In a world where truth sometimes seems to be in short supply, with fake news, political uncertainty and anxiety about climate change, young people are often our most outspoken, committed seekers after truth and justice, whether it be Greta Thunberg talking to world audiences about global warming, Emma Gonzalez in the USA speaking out against gun crime, or Malala Yousafzai, fighting for girls’ education in Pakistan.
Poetry has also been having a resurgence among the young, as a way of expressing ideas and feelings about the world we are living in. So, it seems especially appropriate, with ‘Truth’ as the theme for National Poetry Day 2019, that we should offer something to students that allows them to read and write poems in response to the questions that seem to them to be the burning issues of the day.
Simon Armitage was appointed Poet Laureate in May 2019. His first five poems have been responses to events and issues in the world today. They are all available on his website via the tab ‘Poet Laureate Poems’ or directly from the links in EMC's downloadable PDF.
We think they would make a great spark for school students to read, enjoy, explore, think about and write poems of their own. Some are available in print only, others have a spoken version or a film version.