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As well as the free online poetry resources mentioned in previous blog posts, there are also multiple examples of poetry OER.  these are teaching and learning materials which have been licenced for reuse and repurposing under a creative commons licence  For more information on OER – or open educational resources – visit A good starting point for poetry OER is the OER Commons website at The keyword ‘poetry’ returns over 200 links at

Another option it to key poets and poetry into YouTube or TeacherTube.

Make Google your best friend this Christmas.

The classics can wait. Make poetry fun.

Government funding of £500,000 to promote poetry in schools sounds fantastic. Spending it on a new national poetry recitation competition for 14 to 18-year-olds has potential. But asking students to memorise and perform a poem such as Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley or anything by Shakespeare will not help young people to engage with contemporary poets or poetry. Most of all, it isn’t encouraging them to explore writing poetry and learning the art of maximum expression in the minimum number of words.

I haven’t seen the list. Benjamin Zephaniah may be there, Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy or anyone of the recognised poets from the past 50 years would be good. But associating poetry with lines like ‘Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain’; is removing it from every day language and disguising its potential for relevance. The classics can wait. We need to make poetry fun and culturally defunct English is not the way to do it.  Teenagers to recite Ozymandias off by heart in schools