Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

G is for Children’s Poet Philip Gross, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Philip Gross

Philip Gross was born in Delabole, north Cornwall. Until recently he was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales. He is a Quaker, and that special relationship between words and silence informs much of what he writes; poetry for adults and for children, thought-provoking fiction for young people, schools opera libretti, radio short stories and plays. His children’s poetry includes The All-Nite Café, illustrated by Claire Fletcherwhich won the Signal Award, and Off Road To Everywhere, illustrated by Jonathan Gross, the winner of the CLiPPA (CLPE) poetry award 2011. Philip’s work enabling poetry in schools over thirty years has often been site-specific, working for many years with the National Trust in Cornwall on their Arts In Trust scheme. His new book, Dark Sky Park, Poems from the Edge of Nature illustrated by Jesse Hodgson (Otter-Barry) is available soon, here. His website is here.

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Here is one of Philip’s fabulous poems:

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Ways of Conquering Everest

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… at all, the first time, ever

… by the direct route, in winter

… solo

… without oxygen or breathing apparatus

… travelling light

 

… all of the above, but barefoot

… without toes

… in secret, like under the bedclothes,

with a torch, by night

 

… blindfold, trusting your guide

extremely

… without maps, or GPS, or compass

… without a clue

 

… very politely, in the English fashion: after

            you; no, after you

… or if even that feels awkward, then

forming an orderly queue

 

… the whole family, together

(under 4s come free)

… in the amateur way: did I climb that? Oh!

as if accidentally

 

… as a tourist, in appalling shorts,

only here for the view

… in swimming costumes or

… sky-streaking

(very quickly, and completely nude)

 

… by mountain bike

… by yak

… by yeti

… by hook or by crook

… by the skin of your teeth

 

… by an enormous catapult, fired by a hundred sherpas

from the valley miles beneath

 

… in high heels      .

… in fun-furry slippers

… in princessy pink

 

… by extreme patience, with global warming,

without ice (and sooner than you think)

 

… piggy-back

… wheelbarrow-fashion

… as a three-legged race

… abseiling from a hot air balloon

… skydiving from the edge of space

 

… by none of the above,

I mean, let’s not go to extremes

… when no one is looking,

not even yourself

… in your dreams

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© Philip Gross (from Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry Books, 2018)

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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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