Classact Registered User

Hi All,
I am tryin gto put together some old time favourite pomes for my daughter that we all learned in school and are favourites. Ones I can come up with are

Robert Frost - Stopping by woods.....
An Old woman of the Road
School Bells Ring - by Eleanor Farjoan

Would love some of your favourites if you have time, Thanks


Also turns up in secondary school but... 'Mid-term Break' by Seamus Heaney

'First Day of School' by Roger McGough as well!


And Pam Ayres's 'I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth' - which they love in schools. And indeed dentists' offices.

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byhookorbycrook Moderator

bigsmokewriting said:
And Pam Ayres's 'I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth' - which they love in schools. And indeed dentists' offices.

Used to be in one of the senior class readers in the old Rainbow readers series (home of Anne and Barry)

byhookorbycrook Moderator

Ones I taught that I had learned myself.

Requiem for the Croppies
by Séamus Heaney

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley...
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp...
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching... on the hike...
We found new tactics happening each day:
We'd cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until... on Vinegar Hill... the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August... the barley grew up out of our grave.


(a great Scór favourite)
The bishop sat in lordly state and purple cap sublime,
And galvanized the old bush church at Confirmation time;
And all the kids were mustered up from fifty miles around,
With Sunday clothes, and staring eyes, and ignorance profound.
Now was it fate, or was it grace, whereby they yarded too
An overgrown two-storey lad from Tangmalangmaloo?

A hefty son of virgin soil, where nature has had her fling,
And grows the trefoil three feet high and mats it in the spring;
Where mighty hills uplift their heads to pierce the welkin's rim,
And trees sprout up a hundred feet before they shoot a limb;
There everything is big and grand, and men are giants too -
But Christian Knowledge wilts, alas, at Tangmalangmaloo.

The bishop summed the youngsters up, as bishops only can;
He cast a searching glance around, then fixed upon his man.
But glum and dumb and undismayed through every bout he sat;
He seemed to think that he was there, but wasn't sure of that.
The bishop gave a scornful look, as bishops sometimes do,
And glared right through the pagan in from Tangmalangmaloo.

'Come, tell me, boy,' his lordship said, in crushing tones severe,
'Come, tell me why is Christmas Day the greatest of the year?
'How is it that around the world we celebrate that day
'And send a name upon a card to those who're far away?
'Why is it wandering ones return with smiles and greetings, too?
A squall of knowledge hit the lad from Tangmalangmaloo.

He gave a lurch which set a-shake the vases on the shelf,
He knocked the benches all askew, up-ending of himself.
And oh, how pleased his lordship was, and how he smiled to say,
'That's good, my boy. Come, tell me now; and what is Christmas Day?
The ready answer bared a fact no bishop ever knew -
'It's the day before the races out at Tangmalangmaloo.
John O'Brien

A Ballad of Athlone

by Aubrey DeVere

Does any man dream that a Gael can fear?-
Of a thousand deeds let him learn but one!
The Shannon swept onward broad and clear,
Between the leaguers and broad Athlone

Break down the bridge!"- Six warriors rushed
Through the storm of shot and the storm of shell:
With late but certain victory flushed
The grim Dutch gunners eyed them well

They wrench’d at the planks’mid a hail of fire:
They fell in death, their work half done:
The bridge stood fast; and nigh and nigher
The foe swarmed darkly, densely on.

"Oh, who for Erin will strike a stroke?
Who hurl yon planks where the waters roar?"
Six warriors forth from their comrades broke,
And flung them upon that bridge once more

Again at the rocking planks they dashed;
And four dropped dead: and two remained:
The huge beams groaned, and the arch down-crashed;-
Two stalwart swimmers the margin gained]

St Ruth is his stirrups stood up and cried,
"I have seen no deed like that in France!"
With a toss of his head, Sarsfield replied,
"They had luck, the dogs! "Twas a merry chance!"

Many a year, upon Shannon’s side,
They sang upon moor and they sang upon health,
Of the twain that breasted that raging tide,
And the ten that shook bloody hands with Death

The Ballad Of Father Gilligan
by William Butler Yeats

The old priest Peter Gilligan
Was weary night and day;
For half his flock were in their beds,
Or under green sods lay.

Once, while he nodded on a chair,
At the moth-hour of eve,
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.

'I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace,
For people die and die';
And after cried he, 'God forgive!
My body spake, not I!'

He knelt, and leaning on the chair
He prayed and fell asleep;
And the moth-hour went from the fields,
And stars began to peep.

They slowly into millions grew,
And leaves shook in the wind;
And God covered the world with shade,
And whispered to mankind.

Upon the time of sparrow-chirp
When the moths came once more.
The old priest Peter Gilligan
Stood upright on the floor.

'Mavrone, mavrone! the man has died
While I slept on the chair';
He roused his horse out of its sleep,
And rode with little care.

He rode now as he never rode,
By rocky lane and fen;
The sick man's wife opened the door:
'Father! you come again!'

'And is the poor man dead?' he cried.
'He died an hour ago.'
The old priest Peter Gilligan
In grief swayed to and fro.

'When you were gone, he turned and died
As merry as a bird.'
The old priest Peter Gilligan
He knelt him at that word.

'He Who hath made the night of stars
For souls who tire and bleed,
Sent one of His great angels down
To help me in my need.

'He Who is wrapped in purple robes,
With planets in His care,
Had pity on the least of things
Asleep upon a chair.'

Anseo i lár an ghleanna

Bhí an tAifreann léite is gach rud déanta,
Bhí pobal Dé ag scaipeadh
Nuair a chualamar gleo ag teacht 'nár dtreo
Anseo i lár an ghleanna.

"Cén gleo é siúd ag teacht 'nár dtreo?"
"Sin torann cos na gcapall."
"Seo chugainn saighdiúirí airm an rí
Anseo i lár an ghleanna."

Do chas an seanfhear Brian Ó Laoi
Is shiúil i dtreo an tsagairt,
Is chuir sé cogar ina chluais
Anseo i lár an ghleanna.

"Ó a Athair Seán, Ó a Athair Seán.
Seo chugainn na cótaí dearga;
Ní féidir leatsa teitheadh anois
Anseo i lár an ghleanna."

"Tá tusa óg, a Athair Séan,
Táim féin i ndeireadh beatha;
Déan malairt éadaigh liom anois
Anseo i lár an ghleanna."

Do deineadh malairt gan ró-mhoill
I gcoinne toil an tsagairt,
Is shíl sé deora móra bróin
Anseo i lár an ghleanna.

Do ghaibh na Sasanaigh Brian Ó Laoi,
Is d'imigh saor an sagart;
Do chroch siad Brian ar chrann caol ard
Anseo i lár an ghleanna.

Ach mairfigh cáil an tsean-fhir áigh
Fad fhásfaidh féar ar thalamh;
Beidh a scéal á ríomh ag fearaibh Fáil,
Is anseo i lár an ghleanna.

byhookorbycrook Moderator

As already mentioned:

Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth

by Pam Ayres

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth,
And spotted the perils beneath,
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.

I wish I'd been that much more willin'
When I had more tooth there than fillin'
To pass up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers
And to buy something else with me shillin'.

When I think of the lollies I licked,
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My Mother, she told me no end,
"If you got a tooth, you got a friend"
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin'
And pokin' and fussin'
Didn't seem worth the time... I could bite!

If I'd known I was paving the way,
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin's
Injections and drillin's
I'd have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lay in the old dentist's chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine,
In these molars of mine,
"Two amalgum," he'll say, "for in there."

How I laughed at my Mother's false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath,
But now comes the reckonin'
It's me they are beckonin'
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.

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squeakyduck Registered User

Night Train by W. H. Auden - the craic we had reciting/reading it in class to the sound of a train!

Mid Term Break by Seamus Heaney. We learned this in wintertime so bleak, it just stays with me. The idea of the paleness and innocence of youth reminds me of snow for some reason.

tipptom Registered User

And miles to go before i sleep,or is this stopping at woods,always nearly brings tears at the loneliness at night time,often reminds me when i was younger and thumbing home from a dance in freezing weather and no lift and looking in at lit warm houses and wishing i had that.daffodils,wordworth.And death the leveller.


Antigonish by Hughes Mearns

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

I always remembered this one there's just something about it!

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Classact Registered User

Some good suggestions there. I like that poem Antigonish. As for Robert Frost, I love that poem stopping by woods....miles to go before I sleep... always associate it around christmas time... Love it

Niles Registered User

Recall Mid Term Break coming up as part of primary school religion for some reason.

Wordsworth's Daffodils is a nice poem for primary students I think, can't actually remember if we did it then though!

baalthor Registered User

I remember a poem called 'Inspector of Holes'
It started with:'My Dad is an Inspector of Holes' and the chorus went 'A hole is a wonderful thing, nobody knows what a hole might bring'
The class found this poem hilarious, I doubt it's still on the curriculum
Others I remember:
'I see his blood upon the rose'
'Oft in the stilly night'
'The minstrel boy'
'I must go down to the sea ...'
Some of these were in History class rather than English. Nearly all the Irish poems were by Gabriel Rosenstock.

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Classact Registered User

That poem Inspector of Holes sounds very light hearted and one kids would enjoy reciting. Does anyone have the full poem? Who wrote that poem?

I like the poems that were easy to learn off.....

Kalimah Registered User

Two little kittens one stormy night
Began to quarrel and then to fight.
I'll have the mouse the little one said....

Here's a link to some old ones.

I saw the Autumn Greeting one on a poster in my daughter's classroom and looked it up!

mojopolo Registered User

I learnt this one off by heart in P5 (age 8/9). I'd forgotten about it until this thread. Thanks for the memory.

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all.

Ducks’ tails, drake’s tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight,
Busy in the river!

Slushy green undergrowth
Where the roach swim -
Here we keep our larder,
Cool and full and dim.

Everyone for what he likes!
We like to be
Heads down, tails up,
Dabbling free!

High in the blue above
Swifts whirl and call -
We are down a-dabbling,
Up tails all.

(Kenneth Grahame – from ‘The Wind in the Willows’

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