Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

P is for Children’s Poet Brian Patten, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

Photography Credit: APEX

Brian Patten

Brian Patten writes for both adults and children and his books have been translated into many languages. An accomplished performer of both humorous and serious work, he has performed in venues as varied as The Islamic Students Union in Khartoum, local schools, and the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank. More poems and information about Brian and video clips etc. can be found on his website, here. One of his poetry books, Thawing Frozen Frogs (try saying that quickly!) illustrated by Chris Riddell, is here.

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Here is one of his wonderful poems:

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Geography Lesson

 

Our teacher told us one day he would leave

And sail across a warm blue sea

To places he had only known from maps,

And all his life had longed to see.

 

the house he lived in was narrow and grey

But in his mind’s eye he could see

Sweet-scented jasmine clinging t the walls,

And green leaves burning on an orange tree.

 

He spoke of the lands he longed to visit,

Where it was never drab or cold.

I couldn’t understand why he never left,

and shook off the school’s stranglehold.

 

Then halfway through his final term

He took ill and never returned,

And he never got to that place on the map

Where the green leaves of the orange trees burned.

 

The maps were redrawn on the classroom wall;

His name was forgotten, it faded away.

But a lesson he never knew he taught

Is with me to this day.

 

I travel to where the green leaves burn,

to where the ocean’s glass-clear and blue,

to all those places my teacher taught me to love

But which he never knew

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© Brian Patten (First published in Juggling With Gerbils (Puffin, Penguin Books). For permission to reproduce, contact Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary Agents.)

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Author:

Poet and owner of Lola the alert dog *** Animal Magic, Poems on a Disappearing World *** Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls *** The Same Inside: Poems about Empathy and Friendship *** Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems *** I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals, and organise poetry events. And write of course! http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com http://www.poetryroundabout.com

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