Read this exclusive poem from the first-ever official anthology for National Poetry Day

Published on: 04 October 2018 Author: Sophie Offord

Poetry For a Change is packed with an exciting variety of poems for children by a top team of fantastic poets: including this one, by Remi Graves.

For National Poetry Day, Otter Barry Books have published an anthology of brilliant children's poems: Poetry for a Change.

What makes the book extra special is that each of the poets inside have selected their favourite poem to share, too. It provides a fascinating bridge between past and contemporary poetry, but is presented in a fun, inspirational way that is not too daunting for any eager readers or young writers.  

Remi Graves is one of the authors in the anthology.

Remi has written a brilliant, hard-hitting poem about how cities change over time, and whether this is good or bad. Read it below, plus her own favourite poem, and let us know what you think...

Portobello's Soul by Remi Graves (2018)


Remi Graves says: 

'Returning home after having been abroad for a while made me see my area in a new light. It's changing in many ways, lots of luxury flats are being built whilst shops are closing down. It got me thinking about what happens to the soul of a place experiencing change, and I started imagining a soul flying around, looking for a new place to call home in its own area.'

Spring Fever by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1913)

Remi Graves says: 

'Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem is initially striking because of it's song-like rhythm – whilst it's written in "African American" dialect that might not be totally familiar, the rhythm and sentiment means you still understand the scenes being described.
'It's also interesting how the poem circles around the notion of spring (usually a pleasant shift in weather) which here is a nuisance to the speaker, whom we discover in the final stanza is a slave. I like the subtle way the poem sheds light on and subverts the usual "the beauty of spring" style of poem, and presents us with a different view.
'The personification of animals adds an ironically nice light touch to a poem which also harbours some darker elements about America's history.'

See some of our favourite poetry books

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