November 9th, 2020

The Joy of Poetry

Week Two: Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen wrote his first poems when he was twelve, and he has been writing ever since. He loves words, and especially loves talking to children and adults about how we can play with them. He may have got that from his father, who loved to sing songs in different languages and recite bits of poetry or plays – especially Shakespeare. Michael’s parents and his brother all loved jokes, stories and songs, and many of his poems are about his family life as a young boy.

Michael’s first book for children was Mind Your Own Business, a collection of poetry that was illustrated by Quentin Blake. Since then, he has published many more poetry collections, picture books and anthologies, and has become one of our best-known and best-loved authors. In 2007, Michael became the fifth Children’s Laureate (2007-2009).

Michael’s most recent book of poetry is called On the Move, Poems about Migration illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Big Book of Bad Things

Michael wrote, "When I do my shows, I tell a story called Michael's Big Book of Bad Things. I thought it would be good to write it down." What resulted was this book of brilliant poems that you'll want to read again and again. With its witty illustrations by Joe Berger, it's a collection to treasure.

Here is one of our favourite poems from that anthology:

The Rhythm of Life

Hand on the bridge
feel the rhythm of the train.

Hand on the window
feel the rhythm of the rain.

Hand on your throat
feel the rhythm of your talk.

Hand on your leg
feel the rhythm of your walk.

Hand in the sea
feel the rhythm of the tide.

Hand on your heart
feel the rhythm inside.

Hand on the rhythm
feel the rhythm of the rhyme.

Hand on your life
feel the rhythm of time.
hand on your life
feel the rhythm of time
hand on your life
feel the rhythm of time.

What is Poetry?

In this great handbook Michael Rosen describes the pleasure that comes from reading and writing poems. Containing classic and funny poems from Christina Rossetti's Who Has Seen The Wind to Edward Lear's nonsense poem The Jumblies this is an essential guide to poetry for both teachers and children.

Michael Rosen performs Chocolate Cake

Michael Rosen performs Don't

Listen to Michael give some advice on writing poetry


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