National Poetry Day 2018: Change

Special Collection

National Poetry Day, founded by Forward Arts Foundation in 1994, is an annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. Everyone is invited to join in, whether by organising events, displays, competitions or by simply posting favourite lines of poetry on social media using #nationalpoetryday.

The theme of this years National Poetry Day is 'Change'. Below we have created a collection of poems around the theme of change. We hope you enjoy!

Hurricane Hits England

Grace Nichols

It took a hurricane, to bring her closer

To the landscape

Half the night she lay awake,

The howling ship of the wind,

The Minister for Exams

Brian Patten

When I was a child I sat an exam

The test was so simple

There was no way I could fail.

Pathology of colours

Dannie Abse

I know the colour rose, and it is lovely,

​ ​but not when it ripens in a tumour;

​ ​and healing greens, leaves and grass, so springlike,

​ ​in limbs that fester are not springlike.

The arrival of Brighteye - an extract

Jean Binta Breeze

My mommy gone over de ocean

My mommy gone over de sea

she gawn dere to work for some money

an den she gawn sen back for me


Alfred Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

The Send-off

Wilfred Owen

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way

To the siding-shed,

And lined the train with faces grimly gay.

Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray ...


Jane Draycott

We calculate you´re two corners away by now,

first time alone in the car, navigating through

the twelve big houses at the edge of town,

the fallow field where once in a blue moon

The Full Indian Rope Trick

Colette Bryce

There was no secret

murmured down through a long line

of elect; no dark fakir, no flutter

of notes from a pipe,

Old Tongue

Jackie Kay

I was eight, I was forced south.

Not long after, when I opened

my mouth, a strange thing happened.

I lost my Scottish accent.

Two Seasons

Valerie Bloom

We don' have a Springtime like some folk

Who live in dem colder place,

but we have a time when de soft rain come,

an' tease open de seedcase