by Anne Bronte
“Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me.
O, beautiful, and full of grace!
If thou hadst never met mine eye,
I had not dreamed a living face
Could fancied charms so far outvie.
If I may ne’er behold again
That form and face so dear to me,
Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
Preserve, for aye, their memory.
That voice, the magic of whose tone
Can wake an echo in my breast,
Creating feelings that, alone,
Can make my tranced spirit blest.
That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
My memory would not cherish less; —
And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
Nor mortal language can express.
Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
The hope with which I cannot part.
Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
But still it lingers in my heart.
And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
May answer all my thousand prayers,
And bid the future pay the past
With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?”
Anne Bronte was born on this day in 1820, you can read more of her work at Surrey Libraries.
‘Poetry by Heart 2016’ is launched in the Surrey Schools
The innovative nationwide competition Poetry by Heart has been launched to all the secondary schools. Now in its fourth year, Surrey Libraries have worked closely with Poetry by Heart to host the County Contests each year where participating pupils express ‘an outward and audible manifestation of an inwardly-and understood and enjoyed poem.’
The competition is open to pupils in years 10 to 13 and participating schools need 3 eligible students from these years for a valid school/college competition, but you can have more if you wish. Many of schools or colleges start with a small number and it soon increases from there.
Competitions for this can start in earnest on any date during the Autumn term and just into the 2016 Spring term where the Poetry by Heart require all winners and runners up to be notified to them by Friday 15 January 2016.
School competitions can happen in any environment; classrooms, lunch breaks, after school, a grand evening event and maybe you could share this with an audience. If you notify Poetry by Heart before the end of November, they can send you a set of fantastic bookmarks.
Pupils will need to learn 2 poems for the school/college and county finals and 3 if they make it through to the national finals. They must recite one pre-1914 from the Poetry by Heart Anthology timeline AND one post 1914 poem either from the same timeline or the Poetry by Heart First World War Poetry showcase. These are all on the website www.poetrybyheart.org.uk along with further information about how to take part, and guidance for running a school competition.
The Surrey County Contest is scheduled for the 10 February 2016 at Woking Library with an experienced panel of authors, poets and Community Connection staff casting their view over the various entrants.