Poetry in Song

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Like many writers I have a playlist of songs that I write to, but sometimes it’s not just the music that inspires me, sometimes it’s the lyrics. I’m not going to debate the literary merits of song lyrics over literary poetry; to me they are the same. They convey and express emotions, they tell a story and they inspire. I remember the first time I heard John Lennon’s Imagine I was so moved and by his words and still am today. So I thought I’d share some of my favourites.

Robbie Williams “Angels “

I sit and wait
Does an angel contemplate my fate
And do they know
The places where we go
When we’re grey and old
‘cos I have been told
That salvation lets their wings unfold
So when I’m lying in my bed
Thoughts running through my head
And I feel that love is dead
I’m loving angels instead

 

Live “The Beauty Of Gray”

If I told you he was your brother
We could reminisce
Then you would go about your day
If I said you ought to give him some of your water
You’d shake your canteen and walk away

The perception that divides you from him
Is a lie
For some reason you never asked why
This is not a black and white world
You can’t afford to believe in your side

This is not a black and white world
To be alive
I say that the colours must swirl
And I believe
That maybe today
We will all get to appreciate
The Beauty of Grey

 

U2 “one”

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it’s…

Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
One…

 

James Taylor “Fire and Rain”

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

 

Bob Dylan “One Too Many Mornings”

Down the street the dogs are barking
And the day is getting dark.
As the night comes in a-falling,
The dogs´ll lose their bark
And the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind,
For I´m one to many mornings
And a thousand miles behind.
From the crossroads of my doorstep,
My eyes they start to fade,
As I turn my head back to the room
Where my love and I have laid….
Harry Chapin “Cats In The Cradle”

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then

 

 

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Dyslexia is not a Disability

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How to engage the reluctant reader is a puzzle many parents would like the answer to. Like any puzzle some pieces go in smoothly and problem solved, but what if the pieces you have just don’t fit. The advice given, as a parent, is to read to your child every night, immerse them in phonics and sight words. What if you’ve tried all of the above and nothing works.

This is where I found myself with one of my children. He is now a teenager and still hates reading. After lengthy analysis it was found he had a processing disorder under the banner of dyslexia. This had me frustrated as the education system is heavily text based, even Math. How was he going to get through high school?

The answer is individual, case-by-case. For us, we celebrate his talents or play to his strengths. Once he was able to choose electives school became less laborious. He still has to get through English and large volumes of text are confusing and tiresome, but school is not all there is to life, and I show him example of others who have succeeded despite being dyslexic (or maybe even because).

Famous dyslexic writers:

W. B Yeats

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature struggled academically. His school report cards were poor and scholars who have studied his rough drafts have indicated he was dyslexic. He was known for his bad spelling and the inability to edit without reading out aloud repeatedly.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

He also had a great deal of problem with spelling and was kicked out of school at the age of twelve for his inability to focus and finish his work.

John Corrigan

When John’s mother questioned his teachers about his school -work the reply was “Just face it. Some kids are slow” he found the information going in was a struggle, but he could always push it out to make sense – he could write well.

 Patricia Polacco

Patricia did not learn to read until she was 14 and found school a very difficult time. She was fortunate enough that a teacher picked up her learning difficulty and she could adjust the way she learnt. Patricia went on to successfully complete a university degree.

Other writers include:

Agatha Christie, Jackie French, John Corrigan, Terry Goodkind, Hans Christian Anderson, Sally Gardiner.

Other notable dyslexics:

Tom Cruise, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Sir Richard Branson.

These people can be inspiring, but I like the advice from author Rick O’Riordan whose son is dyslexic

“People who are dyslexic and who are successful understand that while dyslexia may define them, it doesn’t confine them. They understand the concepts of ‘work smarter,’ ‘think differently,’ and ‘I can.’”

And in summary the children’s author and illustrator Sally Gardiner who said “My brain was said to be a sieve rather than a sponge” (This is exactly how my son described his) “I strongly believe that dyslexia is like a Rubik’s Cube: it takes time to work out how to deal with it but once you do, it can be the most wonderful gift”.