National Poetry Day


Water is the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day, inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.

Coleridge lived at Greta Hall in Keswick at the start of the 18th century, so itwould be remiss of us not to join in with the celebration of our Nation's poetry

At the moment, some favourites include (in no particular order):

  • Macavity: The Napoleon of crime! Brilliant.
  • Matilda (who told lies and was burned to death):  I love this one – poor old Matilda!
  • Scissors: This poem strikes a chord with Sally for some reason (she would have called it ‘Tweezers’ though)!
  • The King’s Breakfast: Our children love this as much as we did when we were children.
  • Chocolate Cake: Our little girl loves this because she loves chocolate, my brother also likes it, which I find harder to understand!

Bruno as Macavity

Unfortunately none of these really fit the water theme, so I would like to celebrate ‘Cargoes’ by John Masefield (to be read aloud to be truly appreciated).


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Rob Fielding

Boats in Whitehaven Harbour