November 23rd, 2020

The Joy of Poetry

Week Four: Kit Wright

Kit Wright is the author of more than 25 books for both adults and children, and he’s won awards including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award (jointly) as well as an Arts Council Writers’ Award. As a child, Kit was encouraged to read and write voraciously. He wrote his first poem at the age of 6 and carried on writing and reading throughout his years at school: “I thought the most interesting thing in life was poetry.”

Kit loves cricket and playing his guitar. He lives in London and enjoys walking around the City, particularly at weekends when it is deserted.

Here is one of our favourite poems from Cat Among the Pigeons:

Advice to Spiders

The spider is a very short person with very long legs
That are fine for advancing
On a fly in a sticky web
But utterly useless for dancing.

You can see two bees up
Over the sunny clover,
Body-popping,
But you can’t imagine two spiders having a knees-up
On their springy floor.
It’s those complicated legs that have stopped the bopping
For ever more.

They’d be so entangled
They’d get mangled,

So interrelated
They’d get amputated.

So I advise spiders:
Leave your dancing pumps on the shelf
And keep your legs to yourself.

The Magic Box

The Magic Box, published in 2010, is a beautiful anthology featuring all of Kit’s finest poems. It includes work from his best-selling and universally loved collections; Hot Dog, Rabbiting On, Cat Among the Pigeons and Great Snakes, alongside many other treasures.

Watch Kit Wright perform The Magic Box.

Listen to Kit reading his poems at the Children’s Poetry Archive - a brilliant resource featuring lots of great poets reading their work.

Finally, one of Kit's poems that will give us the comfort we all need in these difficult times. It first appeared in The Ring of Words edited by Roger McGough and published by Faber.

All of Us

All of us are afraid
More often than we tell.

There are times we cling like mussels to the sea-wall,
And pray that the pounding waves
Won’t smash our shell.

Times we hear nothing but the sound
Of our loneliness, like a cracked bell
From fields far away where the trees are in icy shade.

O many a time in the night-time and in the day,
More often than we say.
We are afraid.

If people say they are never frightened,
I don’t believe them,

If people say they are frightened,
I want to retrieve them
From that dark shivering haunt
Where they don’t want to be,
Nor I.

Let’s make of ourselves, therefore,
an enormous sky
Over whatever
We hold most dear.

And we’ll comfort each other,
Comfort each other’s
Fear.


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