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What’s your favourite poem from school?


27-09-2012 09:00

If you’re Irish and over 35, the cover of Exploring English will be all too familiar. Until the Inter Cert was abandoned in the early 1990s (I did the very last one in 1991), thousands of Irish teenagers spent the first few years of secondary school studying the poems within its pages. And however resistant we may have been to the idea at first, most of us grew rather fond of some of them.

 

I always liked Tennyson’s romantic Arthurian tragedy ‘The Lady of Shalott’, which was on the 1991 syllabus, but there was also Wordsworth and his ‘Daffodils’, Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’ and Eliot’s ‘Macavity the Mystery Cat’. As a Dubliner, I had a special love for Donagh MacDonagh’s ‘Dublin Made Me’. But my favourite was Yeats’s ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’, surely the most truly romantic poem in the whole book. However much we may have rolled our eyes at English classes, some of these poems must have worked their way into our hearts.

 

So which ones were your favourites? And are you looking forward to revisiting them?



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