Posted in Introduction

Welcome to Poetry Roundabout!

Hello! I’m Liz Brownlee, National Poetry Day Ambassador! What’s on the poetry roundabout? Quickie poetry writing ideas for children, teachers, parents and librarians, crafty poetry projects, all types of poems including animal poems, funny poems, empathy poems, and of course, poetry videos. Use the menus or search for them on the right. There are also interviews with poets, poetry book reviews and poetry competitions. Thank you so much to @chriswhitepoet for my little cartoon me and Lola and @mrs_darl teacher for the window to pop us in! Welcome!

Posted in Poetry Review

Poetry Review: Colin West, BattyBallads

I have spoken before about the delightful Colin West and his poems – his picture books, which were a favourite with my children, still remain on my shelves and will soon be available for my new grandson, when he’s old enough.

This review is about Barmy Ballads, which is his latest book. Refreshingly at odds with most poetry books today, the poems are longer, poem stories, and all take you on a ride through completely hilarious absurdity, richly and charmingly added to with details by Colin’s trade-mark style illustrations (all in colour!).

Where else would you find a poem entitled ‘Some Stuff in a Sack’? Or a tale of ‘Granny’s Green’s’, in which granny grows enormous vegetables of all descriptions on… well, I can’t tell you where, as that would spoil the ending.

My favourite poems are ‘A Crusty Loaf of Bread’, in which Winifred’s journey round a supermarket sadly echoes my own experiences, and ‘The Story of Fergus MacPherson’, whose opinion of himself is belied by one of Colin’s brilliant illustrations.

I look forward to a bit of silliness whenever I see there is a new poem on Colin’s Twitter feed – if you want to follow him he is @mooseandmouse.

If you like poems with masterful rhymes and ridiculousness, then this is the book for you!

Posted in World Poetry Day

#World Poetry Day – White-Bellied Heron from Asia – India, Bhutan, Myanmar

I’m sharing animals from around the world for World Poetry Day today – here is the white-bellied heron, once widespread in the foothills of the Himalayas in Bhutan and NE India, in the hills of Bangladesh and north Myanmar, now confined just a few sites. Illustration by the wonderful Rose Sanderson, from my book, Animal Magic, Poems on a Disappearing World, IRON Press.

Posted in World Poetry Day

World Poetry Day!

It is world poetry day – the day on which everyone should read at least one poem – and maybe share one, too!

I’m to be sharing a few world animal poems to celebrate the variety and wonder of the wildlife on planet earth in poetry.

First of all – Africa!

Posted in Poetry News

International Women’s History Day

This month it’s International Women’s History Day on the 8th, and to celebrate, Jan, Michaela and I are taking turns to post a poem about extraordinary women. Here’s one from me – it’s about Amelia Bloomer. She was a suffragette, women’s right’s advocate, journalist and fashion reformer.

Women’s clothes in the 1800s consisted of tight corsets (which restricted breathing), and many layers of woollen petticoats and skirts, which trailed on the ground. As you can imagine, these were heavy, uncomfortable and made doing anything energetic very difficult indeed. It restricted women to doing only those things that men considered women should be doing.

Amelia had other ideas about women’s clothing. She designed loose tops, over short skirts and loose cotton trousers, which became known as bloomers.

Amelia Bloomer

(who campaigned for votes)

didn’t like corsets

or petticoats.

What did she advocate?

I think you can guess –

bloomers! Blooming marvellous

freedom of dress.

and women all over

said ‘what’s not to like?

We can’t ride in long skirts

on new-fangled bikes,

we can’t walk very far,

breathe deeply or sing,

blooming marvellous bloomers

are wonderful things,

if you want to bloom

and work for your wealth,

stand up for your health,

stand up for yourself.

How will you do this?

I think you can guess.

Wear bloomers! Blooming marvellous

freedom of dress.

Posted in #WorldBookDay

World Book Day!

It’s World Book Day today – so in honour of reading, here is my poem about it, from Being Me, my me, Laura Mucha, and Matt Goodfellow, Otter-Barry Books.

In the Heart of a Book

Liz Brownlee

I found myself a story

with a place in me to store it

I found myself a wide, new world

so set off to explore it,

I found a scary monster

plus the way to banish it

I found a pool of sadness

and the strength to manage it,

I found the dragon in my soul

learned the way to tame it

I found a new ambition

a path to take and aim it,

I found a way to rest my head

while my worries all unplug

I found a curl of comfort

where each word was a hug,

I found a web of wonders

things I dream about at night

I found a pair of magic wings

and flew into the light.

Being Me, Poems About Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, May 2021

Posted in Poetry News

It’s Valentine’s Day!

Yes, today’s the day, so I’m posting the only love poem I’ve ever written. You can also see this poem as part of a collection of Valentine Poems over on Brian Moses’ blog – if you like poetry or are a teacher, you should really check Brian’s blog out – it is full of lesson ideas, poetry-writing ideas and also some collections of poetry for days like today.

Secret Valentine


Dearest Herbert, so you know

(and please don’t huff or whine)

as I’m the only one without,

you’re my secret valentine.


I told my friends about you

just yesterday at school

said you’re really good at football 

are dark, handsome, fit and cool.


I won’t make you walk with me

dressed up in fancy clothes

I love you just the way you are

down to your very bones.


I will show the kids at school

the card sent by my mum 

it’s always quite anonymous

I’ll pretend you are the one.


I’ll cover all my books and stuff

with hearts and ‘Herbert’ doodles

and no-one ever needs to know

you are in fact a poodle!


Liz Brownlee

And here he is...

Posted in Poetry Review

Christmas Present Poetry Review: Things That Should Be in a Poem, by Coral Rumble

Things That Should Be in a Poem, by Coral Rumble, Illustrated by Shih-Yu Lin, Troika Poetry

Coral is a master poet for children and it really shows in this splendid book for younger primary children.

Precise descriptions full of sound and texture and rhyme make each poem a delight – they twinkle on the page, and are delicious to read aloud.

From the day-to-day contents of every child’s life, though the surreal to the absurd, each poem is a morsel of loveliness and you could not possibly want better to enthuse children with language and creativity and depth of thought than this gorgeously illustrated (by Shih-Yu Lin) book.

I’m afraid I didn’t have a jpeg of this book, so had to take a photo, so this by no means shows how lovely the book is, but this is a sample of one of the poems.

This is a must for your primary child, it should be in every school, 5 stars!

Posted in Poetry Review

Poetry Review: The Red Ear Blows Its Nose by Robert Schechter

The Red Ear Blows Its Nose by Robert Schechter, Illustrated by S. Federico, World Galaxy Press (AMP)

Well now – this is a FEAST of words at play, and it is SUCH fun. I haven’t read a book of poems like this for a long time – as a child this would have been one of my favourites, I know it would.

It’s like reading poems by a mixture of Ogden Nash (a big favourite in this house, a poet also from over the pond) and Ronnie Barker, an exercise and pleasure for your brain, tongue and funny bone.

This is inventive, original, and wonderfully executed. RECOMMENDED with a lot of stars.

However, having got you all extremely excited to buy it, it sadly does not come out until 7 April 2023 – BUT you can pre-order and I suggest you do. A love of words is BOUND to come out of reading this as a child.