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Poets' Corner - National Poetry Day, 6 october

Five of the best

1. CAEDMON - THE UNLIKELY POET

The earliest English poet whose name is known. His nine-line alliterative poem Caedmon's Hymn, praising God, is one of the oldest surviving texts in Old English. An illiterate shepherd attached to Whitby Abbey, he changed after a dream. When he presented his poem the Abbess ordered him to take monastic vows. http:rpo.library.utoronto.capoem369.html

2. GEOFFREY CHAUCER (c.1343-1400) AND HIS KIDNAPPED FATHER

Widely recognised as the father of English literature, Chaucer - best known for his Canterbury Tales - had a celebrated life, but was almost not born at all. In 1324, his father John, then 12, was kidnapped by an ambitious aunt hoping to marry the boy to her daughter in a bid to keep property in Ipswich. See the links and resources for primary pupils from krista carson.

3. LORD BYRON (1788-1824) - THE MISOGYNIST AND ANIMAL LOVER

Renowned for his good looks and scandalous relationships with women, Byron kept a tame bear while he was a student at Cambridge out of resentment for rules forbidding pet dogs. During his life he also kept monkeys, a parrot, an eagle, a crocodile, horses and a falcon. Try the introduction to the Romantic Period 1739-1834 from TES English.

4. ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (1806-1861) - THE FEMINIST POET

The eldest of 12 children, she read novels at the age of six and wrote her Homeric epic, The Battle of Marathon, at 10. Her father called her "the Poet Laureate of Hope End" (where they lived). A fervent libertarian, she was disowned by her father when she wed Robert Browning. Read about her most famous sonnet in a resource from Cumming Study Guides. www.cummingsstudyguides.netguides2sonnet43.html

5. RUDYARD KIPLING (1865-1936) - THE IMPERIALIST POET

The youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature when he received it in 1907 has been discredited for celebrating British imperialism. But his poem If is hugely popular. He was named after Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, where his parents had courted and married before moving to India in 1865. "An introduction to the British Empire - the world in which Kipling lived" has been shared by jhn.

Who is your hero? Discuss in the forum

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