Poetry for all ages at Morningside Library

Here’s our latest guest post from Poet in Residence Ryan Van Winkle:

It was a sunny day when I appeared at the newly re-furbished Morningside Library – a gateway to the world. Rainy days are good for library events and sunny days normally mean a dip in attendance but – bucking every forcast – we had a lovely group of children and two minders ready and willing to read poems.

The kids particularly enjoyed writing their own versions of Dilys Rose’s ‘Happy One Word Poem’ by producing such greats as ‘Scary One Word Poem’ (Black) and ‘Funny One Word Poem’ (Toot). Hard to believe that in under an hour this group wrote 12 poems, read their work aloud, completed a theatre presentation and even even did some clap rhymes. It must be the magic of the new Morningside Library.

I also got to meet with the wonderful Library Link users who’d been displaced to Newington Library while renovations were being done. They were happy to be back on their usual Morningside turf and it was a sparky group. Taking advantage of my American accent, there was a request for Robert Service’s whipping ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew’. It is a favourite to read aloud – “In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway” – and a few of the members could recite a surprising number of lines. One remembered his father reading it off by rote to the whole family. They requested I read some traditional stuff too – ‘Sea Feaver’ by Masefield and Walter de la Mare’s creepy classic – ‘The Listeners’.

Indeed, it was a week of poetry fun for young and old at the new Morningside Library. I hope to be back soon.


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