Reading Poetry Challenge

I love poetry and always have. When I was younger, I used to spend hours writing poems that never saw the light of day, or even more embarrassingly, actually got shown or given to my boyfriend of the time. As a teacher, I used to love reading poems to my class and getting them to write their own. So why don’t I read poetry now?

I have no idea but it’s something that I want to change. So to try and make sure it doesn’t just stay as something that I will do ‘one day’, I’ve decided to set myself a challenge. I always do better when I have a bit of accountability so my challenge is that I will read at least one poem a week and write a short blog post

So here goes week one of my poetry challenge! I decided to keep things simple and revisit some old favourites to begin with.

Thomas Hardy was one of the major authors that I studied for my A level English Literature and I loved his poetry. A lot of the poems are about his love of nature, love itself and time passing and many of them have a slightly melancholic feel to them. He also wrote about the sadness and futility of war years before Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. But when he was young, the Napoleonic wars were still fresh in people’s minds and then there were conflicts such as the Crimea and the Boer War. The effect of war on young soldiers has always been the same and this waste of life is shown so clearly in Drummer Hodge.

Drummer Hodge
They throw in Drummer Hodge to rest
Uncoffined – just as found
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew
Fresh from his Wessex home
The meaning of the broad Karoo
The Bush, the dusty loam
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam

Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge for ever be
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree
And strange-eyed constellations reign
His stars eternally

Thomas Hardy 1899


Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

7 thoughts on “Reading Poetry Challenge”

  1. Love your challenge. Last year I challenged myself to read a piece of poetry everyday and I plan to continue this year. I haven’t read any Thomas Hardy poetry but did have to study his books at A-Level and really didn’t get on with his style. I vow to read some of his poetry 🤣

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