Poem of the week

This week's poem is a wonderful children's poem about books by Julia Donaldson. Julia Donaldson is a British author who wrote many, many children's books. Her cooperation with the German illustrator Axel Scheffler (who's living in London) made both of them world-famous after their first "Gruffelo" book.


The Poem

Julia Donaldson, I Opened a Book

I opened a book and in I strode      Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

(Taken from:  http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/)

 

 

 

The Poem

Elizabeth II

BY RUTH STACEY
In today's correspondence a poetry book
detailing the lives of British Queens—
with a note enclosed and a question:
what does it mean to be a Queen?
I could reply and say
this precious stone set in a silver sea:
a symbol, like a banner, for mens' love.
But these are not my words.
I could reply and say—
glorying in the glories of my people,
sorrowing with the sorrows of the lowest.
But these are not my words.
I could declare—
that each Queen is tissue paper thin,
transluscent but combined, are my flesh.
But I will not solidify my words,
instead I will command my secretary to write,
with many kind thanks for the little book etc,
but to say my thoughts on Queenship
can only be ascertained by my actions. 
Ruth Stacey, "Elizabeth II" from Queen, Jewel, Mistress. Copyright © 2015 by Ruth Stacey.  Reprinted by permission of Eyewear Publishing. Found on poetryfoundation.org

 

Helful Vocabulary

Julia Donaldson, I Opened a Book

stride, strode, stridden=schreiten, stiefeln

cloak= Umhang

swallow=schlucken

magic potion=Zaubertrank

dive, dove, dived=tauchen

bottomless=bodenlos

bump=Bodenwelle

bend=Kurve

(They lived) happily ever after= Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, dann leben sie noch heute

hide, hid, hidden=verbergen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Vocabulary

Ruth Stacey, Elizabeth II

 

In der heutigen Korrespondenz war ein Gedichtband, der das Leben von britischen Königinnen beschreibt - mit einer beigefügten Nachricht und einer Frage: Was bedeutet es, eine Königin zu sein?

 

Ich könnte antworten und sagen - dieser kostbare Stein in einem Meer aus Silber: ein Symbol, wie ein Banner, für die Liebe der Menschen. Aber das sind nicht meine Worte.

 

Ich könnte antworten und sagen - die Ehre meines Volkes auskosten und die Sorgen der Geringsten teilen. Aber das sind nicht meine Worte.

 

 

Ich könnte verkünden - dass jede Königin dünn wie Seidenpapier ist, durchscheinend, aber alle zusammen sind mein Leib. Aber ich werde diese Wörter sich nicht verfestigen lassen,

stattdessen werde ich meinen Sekretär beauftragen zu schreiben, mit freundlichem Dank für das Büchlein usw., aber um zu sagen dass meine Gedanken über die Bedeutung des Königin-Seins  nur anhand meiner Taten herausgefunden werden können.

Now You

Julia Donaldson, I Opened a Book

 

How do you like Julia Donaldson's poem? What were your reading experiences as a child? Can you remember your first/ favourite book? Did you sometimes play/ act out the stories or imagine to be the hero of the story?

 

Tell us about it in the forum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now You

 

 

What do you think about this poem?

What characteristics do you think of when you think about queenship or kingship?

 

Do you know any actions by kings or queens that you find "worthy of a king or queen" (eines Königs/ einer Königin angemessen)? Which ones and why? 

 

Wenn Du Lust hast, erzähl uns im Forum davon! 


William Wordsworth, Daffodils

 

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

 

 

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
   And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
   Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
   And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
   On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
   Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
   I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
   One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
   And palms before my feet.
found on poetryfoundation.org
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, A March Snow
Let the old snow be covered with
the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled,
and stained, and sodden.
Let it be hidden wholly from our view
By pure white flakes, all trackless
and untrodden.
When Winter dies, low at the sweet
Spring's feet
Let him be mantled in a clean,
white sheet.
 
Let the old life be covered by the new:
The old past life so full of sad
mistakes,
Let it be wholly hidden from the view
By deeds as white and silent as
snow-flakes.
 
Ere this earth life melts in the eternal
Spring
Let the white mantle of repentance
fling
Soft drapery about it, fold on fold,
Even as the new snow covers up
the old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Lear, two limericks

 

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven,
Who danced a quadrille with a raven;
But they said, 'It's absurd
To encourage this bird!'
So they smashed that Old Man of Whitehaven.

 

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat, I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you ain't!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

 

 

Robert Louis Stevenson, Singing

 

Of speckled eggs the birdie sings

And nests among the trees;

The sailor sings of ropes and things

In ships upon the seas.

 

The children sing in far Japan,

The children sing in Spain;

The organ with the organ man

Is singing in the rain.

 

 

Robert Browning, All's Right With the World

 

The year's at the spring, 

And the day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hillside's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His heaven - 

All's right with the world! 

 

William Wordsworth, Daffodils

 

Daffodil=Osterglocke

cloud=Wolke

float=treiben

vale=Tal

host= hier: eine Menge

flutter=flatternd

breeze=Lüftchen

continuous=fortlaufend

milky way= Milchstraße

stretch= sich erstrecken

margin= Rand

bay= Bucht

at a glance= auf einen Blick

toss=werfen, schütteln

sprightly=lebhaft

out-do in glee=an Freude übertreffen

gay=hier: fröhlich

jocund=heiter

gaze=schauen

wealth=Reichtum

vacant=leer, abwesend

pensive=nachdenklich

flash upon that inward eye=vor diesem inneren Auge aufblitzen

bliss= Glückseligkeit

 

 

G.K. Chesterton, The Donkey

 

 

Als Fische flogen und Wälder herumliefen

Und Feigen am Dornbusch wuchsen

Als der Mond ein Blutmond war

 - so ein Moment war es sicher, an dem ich geboren wurde.

 

Mit einem riesigen Kopf und einem widerlichen Schrei

und Ohren wie verirrten Flügeln

bin ich wie eine vom Teufel geschaffene wandelnde Parodie aller Vierfüßler.

 

Nach uraltem krummen Willen der zerlumpte Geächtete der Erde;

lass mich hungern, peitsche mich aus, verspotte mich: Ich bleibe stumm,

Ich bewahre mein Geheimnis.

 

Narren! Denn auch ich hatte meinen Moment, eine weit zurückliegende, leidenschaftliche, süße Stunde:

Ein Schrei drang zu meinen Ohren

und Palmzweige lagen vor meinen Hufen.

 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, A March Snow

deeds=Taten

ere=bevor

melt=schmelzen

eternal=ewig

mantle=Umhang

repentance=Reue

fling=werfen

drapery=Überwurf

fold= Falte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Lear, two limericks

 

raven=Rabe

encourage=ermutigen

smash=zerschmettern

to be afloat=schwimmen

to be ready to faint= kurz davor sein, in Ohnmacht zu fallen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Louis Stevenson, Singing

 

speckled=gesprenkelt

among=zwischen

sailor=Matrose

rope=Seil, Tau

organ man=Drehorgelspieler

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Browning, All's Right With the World

 

morn=morning

dew-pearled=mit Tau beperlt

lark=Lerche

snail=Schnecke

thorn=Dorn oder Spitze

William Wordsworth, Daffodils

 

In diesem Gedicht geht es darum, dass Wordsworth in dem Moment, als er das Meer von Osterglocken sah, noch gar nicht wusste, welcher Reichtum in der Erinnerung an diesen Moment lag, und wie oft ihn das Bild noch glücklich machen würde. 

Hast Du auch solche Momente/ Erinnerungen, die Dich immer wieder froh machen?

 

Tauchen diese Bilder oft auch dann auf, wenn Du alleine bist? Einsamkeit wird hier in der ersten und letzten Strophe als etwas sehr Positives beschrieben. Was sind Deiner Meinung nach die Vorteile daran, Zeit allein zu verbringen? 

Wenn Du Lust hast, erzähl uns im Forum davon! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G.K. Chesterton, The Donkey

 

Do you like Donkeys? What do you think about the poem? 

Think of an animal that you especially like or dislike or that played a role in history, religion, art.... and try to write a text from it's perspective.

Would you like to share your text in the forum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, A March Snow

 

Have you ever thought of march snow as something positive?

Do you think it's good to cover what's old to be able to start something new?

Do you feel differently about snow in winter and snow in spring? If so, in what way and why?

If you want to talk about in the forum, visit it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Lear, two limericks

 

Why not try and write a limerick yourself? 

Here are a few places that you might easily find rhyming words for:

France, Derry, Kent, York, Hull...

Share it in our Forum

For more inspiration you'll find tons of limericks on the internet, for the ones by Edward Lear are click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Louis Stevenson, Singing

 

Bei welchen Gelegenheiten singst Du oder hörst andere singen? Hast Du ein Lieblingslied? Wovon handelt es? Wenn Du willst, erzähl davon im Forum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Browning, All's Right With the World

 

Hast Du das raffinierte Reimschema entdeckt? Dein Gedicht muss sich ja nicht unbedingt reimen, aber schreib doch mal ein paar Zeilen, die für Dich das Gefühl ausdrücken, das die Welt gerade rundum in Ordnung ist.