Friday, February 08, 2013

Romantic Poetry and the National Curriculum for English - Snibston Discovery Museum

The inclusion by direct reference of Romantic peotry in Michael Gove's new National Curriculum for English is to be welcomed. Some teachers feel the works of the romantics are not relevant for the here and now, poet artist Paul Conneally has been developing pieces and workshops that use pre-1914 poetry as triggers and ways to explore life and community now in the twenty first century.

Here's an excerpt from some of Paul's work in the former coal mining area of North West Leicestershire.

Mick Smith, window cleaner and former Snibston colliery worker, reads an excerpt from a William Wordsworth poem written during Wordsworth's time living at Coleorton, North West Leicestershire, just down the road from Snibston. The poem refers to and is inspired by Grace Dieu Priory where Wordsworth used to visit regularly with his family. Grace Diieu Priory is on the Transform Snibston William Wordsworth Trail.

The video and trail are part of poet artist and cultural forager, Paul Conneally work for Transform Snibston - Snibston Discovery Museum, Coalville, Leicestershire.

Here is the Wordsworth poem in full:

BENEATH yon eastern ridge, the craggy bound,
Rugged and high, of Charnwood's forest ground
Stand yet, but, Stranger! hidden from thy view,
The ivied Ruins of forlorn GRACE DIEU;
Erst a religious House, which day and night
With hymns resounded, and the chanted rite:
And when those rites had ceased, the Spot gave birth
To honourable Men of various worth:
There, on the margin of a streamlet wild,
Did Francis Beaumont sport, an eager child;
There, under shadow of the neighbouring rocks,
Sang youthful tales of shepherds and their flocks;
Unconscious prelude to heroic themes,
Heart-breaking tears, and melancholy dreams
Of slighted love, and scorn, and jealous rage,
With which his genius shook the buskined stage.
Communities are lost, and Empires die,
And things of holy use unhallowed lie;
They perish;--but the Intellect can raise,
From airy words alone, a Pile that ne'er decays.

William Wordsworth

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