‘Spirits Of The Dead’
by Edgar Allan Poe
“Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone —
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy:
Be silent in that solitude
Which is not loneliness — for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee — and their will
Shall then overshadow thee: be still.
For the night — tho’ clear — shall frown —
And the stars shall look not down,
From their high thrones in the Heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given —
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever :
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish —
Now are visions ne’er to vanish —
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more — like dew-drop from the grass:
The breeze — the breath of God — is still —
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy — shadowy — yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token —
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries! –”
Edgar Allan Poe was born on this day in 1809, you can read more of his works through 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.