7 Of My Favourite Poems!

Since yesterday was World Poetry Day, I had a look through my poetry notebook and rediscovered some of my favourite poems, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you!

1. i carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

2. Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

3. Variation on the Word Sleep by Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun and three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary

 

4. Eternity by William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy

Does the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.

 

5. Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

6. Daffodils by William Wodsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

7. Hope by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
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Be proud of your softness (Poem)

Be proud of your softness

Don’t let the world make you hard

 

There’s flowers of kindness inside you

Don’t let them wilt and die

Plant them in the best soil you can find

Water them

And look at them bloom

 

When the cold and the storms come to destroy them

– and they will –

Build a greenhouse to keep them safe

 

You’ve got all the love in the world within your very own heart

So take a basket of seeds

Throw them in the wind

And watch the flowers grow

6 Ideas for creative and personal Christmas presents

There’s only one more week till Christmas and you still don’t know what to get for your friends and family? Don’t panic, here’s 6 ideas that might save your bacon!

Self-designed tote bags

Do you feel like getting creative but don’t have much money to spend? Just get some fabric markers and a plain tote bag and make your own self-designed bags for your friends! You can find lots of cute images online, come up with your own ones or simply write down a quote from your friend’s favourite book if you’re unsure about drawing.


Photo mug 

This is, again, a very personal gift that’d be great for a family member or close friend – and is surprisingly not even that expensive! (around £5) Choose a cute picture of you and your friend, a screenshot from their favourite movie or even a photo of their celebrity crush and print it on a mug. (You can order them online or sometimes at your local drugstore.)

With such an amazing gift, they’ll enjoy their Christmas tea even more than usual!


Mixtape

Music always makes a great gift, but if you don’t wanna get your friend a regular CD because you’re not sure which albums they already have, making your own little mixtape is the perfect solution. Put together a playlist of songs you want to recommend to them and add some that you’ve listened to together during the past year so they can relive all those wonderful memories every time they listen to the mix!


Customised planner

Since the year is coming to an end, lots of people need a new calendar or planner anyways, which makes it work perfectly as a Christmas present. Instead of buying a ready planner, you could go for a normal notebook that either already has a nice layout or that’s front page you could design yourself by putting together a collage or drawing something. Then, write down the months and days of the upcoming year and add little photos, stickers, quotes or jokes for each day or week to make it even more special and give your friend something to smile about whenever they open their planner!

Write them a story/ poem

If you’re good at writing, coming up with a story or poem for a friend is possibly the best gift you could give them. This is especially great if they’re in a fandom, because you could simply write a fan fiction including their favourite characters or celebrities. Is there, for instance, a book your friend absolutely loved but didn’t like the ending of? Make them happy by writing an alternative one!

A jar full of positivity

Again, this one is brilliant if you’re a bit short of money because literally all you need is a glass jar, a pen and some paper. Simply cut the paper into smaller pieces and write down little compliments, motivational sayings, cute reminders or anything else that you think would make your friend happy, fold them and put them all into the glass jar. This way, your friend can take out and read one of your notes whenever they’re having a bad day and will hopefully feel slightly better afterwards.

My all time favourite Christmas songs

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve actually been listening to this since October, but as December has now begun and my Christmas spirits are higher than ever, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my favourite Christmas songs with you. Enjoy and leave your own favourite Christmas jams in the comments below!

  1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  2. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
  3. Winter Wonderland – Jason Mraz
  4. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas – Elvis
  5. Sickly Sweet Holidays – Dallon Weekes
  6. River – Joni Mitchell
  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
  8. Happy Xmas – John Lennon
  9. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid 30
  10. Sleigh Ride – Fun
  11. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Frank Sinatra
  12. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – NSYNC
  13. Christmas Lights – Coldplay
  14. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  15. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
  16. When I Get Home For Christmas – Snow Patrol
  17. Merry Christmas, Here’s to Many More – Relient K
  18. Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons
  19. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rae
  20. Merry Christmas – Ramones
  21. Someday At Christmas – Jack Johnson
  22. Joy To The World – Aretha Franklin
  23. Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
  24. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
  25. Shake Up Christmas – Train
  26. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Perry Como
  27. The Power Of Love – Gabrielle Aplin
  28. All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey
  29. Please Come Home For Christmas – Eagles
  30. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

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Why keeping a journal is always worthwhile

It makes up for your forgetfulness

Ever had  a brilliant idea, promised yourself to keep it in mind for later and then forgot about it forever? So many creative ideas get lost this way which is quite a shame, but if you’ve got a journal with you, you can simply make a quick note and get back to it whenever you have more time.

Keeping track of things

There’s all kinds of lists you can put in your journal to be more organised: to-do lists, a list of your goals, a list of the books you want to read, a list of things that make you happy for days when you need a bit of positivity, a list of the people you have to get Christmas presents for or even an episode guide of the show you’re watching so you can tick off the ones you’ve already seen. I know all this might sound a bit mundane or even superfluous, but actively keeping track of what you’re doing or just listing things you want to get back into can definitely make life a lot easier.

Doodling

This is particularly relevant for artists who might wanna make sketches of ideas they have for a new drawing, painting or other type of artwork, but even if you’re just as ungifted at arts as I am, doodling is a great way to pass the time whenever you’re bored and can actually be pretty relaxing.

Writing down quotes and lyrics

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll probably be able to relate to the struggle of really loving a passage of a book, but not wanting to ruin your copy by highlighting it or taking notes on the sides of the page. Therefore, copying it to a notebook or journal is quite a good idea, especially because writing something down will also help you remember it – and knowing a few good book quotes by heart is never a bad thing, is it?

It’s just as useful for song lyrics; you won’t believe how many times I rediscovered songs I’d already forgotten about and fell in love with them all over again just because I found their lyrics in one of my notebooks.

Just write down anything that you feel like you want to remember, be it a quote, a stupid joke you’ve picked up, or an interesting fun fact like “Oscar Wilde’s father was Queen Victoria’s private eye doctor” (yes, that’s from my personal collection).

Collages

If you’re feeling creative and are up for a bit of crafting, you could also use your journal as a kind of scrapbook and make collages out of photos, snippets you cut out of papers or magazines, dried leaves and flowers, concert tickets or any other bits and pieces you don’t wanna throw away because they carry some kind of meaning for you.

Let it all out

Sometimes it can be quite helpful, or even therapeutic, to simply write down all of your emotions or worries, particularly if you don’t feel like talking to another person about them. Putting your feelings into words always means reflecting on them as well. This can be great for structuring your thoughts, and going on a proper rant can in many cases be quite liberating, so do give it a try!

Let your friends write in it

Another fun thing to do if you’ve got a journal is to take it with you when you hang out with friends and let them write down your private jokes, draw something, put down book, film or music recommendations for you or simply write you a little message. I’ve done this quite a lot of times and always enjoy looking through all the stuff people have put in there, it’s such a great way to relive your favourite memories with people you love!

It’s pretty much a time capsule

Lastly, since a journal is very personal and often tells you a lot about its owner at the time they wrote it, it will probably be really interesting to look back at a couple of years later. I always find it incredibly fascinating to see how much you can change over time, especially in your teenage years; and even though you might cringe at the stuff you put in your journal later on, it’ll also be pretty amazing to kind of look at your younger self from a different perspective and remember what you were like a few years ago.

How to stay motivated for uni/ school

Cute Stationary

Especially at uni, lots of people just turn up with a piece of paper and a pen which works fine, but you might be surprised how much more motivated you’ll feel if you’ve got some folders, a planner, a cute pencil case and a good set of pens and text markers. Going to Paperchase and shopping for the upcoming semester or school year and picking out the most beautiful stationary I can find is always a highlight for me, but if you want to save some money, you can obviously just as well get cheap stuff at the supermarket and prettify it yourself by drawing on it or doing some crafting with paper. Being well equipped with stationary will make you incredibly excited to use it, and consequently a lot more productive!

Use a Planner

The easiest way to stay on top of your work is to be organised from the start: Get yourself a planner and write down all the work you have to get done, be it uni assignments or just chores you have to do at home. Very often, if you don’t plan out when to do what, you feel like you’ve got this overwhelmingly big mountain of work in front of you, so splitting it into smaller tasks and structuring everything in to-do lists can make a great difference, and you’ll soon notice that it’s probably quite doable after all. Apart from that, being able to tick off or cross out a task after working on something and seeing that you’ve made progress and been productive will make you feel a lot more accomplished.

Pack your bag and plan your outfits

I used to get so annoyed when my mum told me to pack my bag for school on Sunday evenings because it was usually the last thing I wanted to think off at the end of the weekend, but over time, I’ve realised I’d better followed her advice. This might not be relevant for people who have no problems with getting up early, but if you’re a morning grouch as I am, organising your things and choosing your clothes the night before can actually safe you a lot of stress, annoyance and frustration in the morning. Additionally, taking the time to put together outfits you feel really confident in will make you feel a lot more put together and motivated!

Set yourself goals

It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you’ve got a particular aim to work towards. Thus, make a lists of goals that you want to reach this term to encourage you to keep putting effort into your work. If you document your objectives, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come at the end of term and have another reason to be super proud of yourself (and possibly treat yourself with some ice cream as a reward).

Also, always make sure to think of the bigger picture and remind yourself why studying and working hard to get good results will be beneficial to you later on. Think of why you decided to do this course in the first place, of how what you’re learning will help you get the job you want or even just how the knowledge you’re gaining will be useful to you on a personal level.

Set aside some free time

Studying a lot is of course a good thing, but also make sure you don’t overdo it and constantly pull all-nighters or work without any proper breaks – you’ll just be super exhausted and not as productive as if you’d take breaks to relax between study sessions, especially in exam season.

For example , you could plan to study from 2pm – 4pm, turn off your phone for these two hours to make sure you don’t get distracted and then meet some friends or watch your favourite show after you’re done instead of studying for 6 hours straight but checking your social media every few minutes because it’s impossible to stay focused for such a long time. (I know I’m being a bit preachy and idealistic at this point, I’m obviously just as guilty of scrolling through tumblr for hours with my pretty much abandoned textbooks lying next to my laptop as everyone else, but I suppose we could at least try to reduce it, right?)

Remember: The others don’t have a clue either

This goes out to people who have only just started high school or uni in particular: Adapting to a new environment and being literally flooded with new information can be quite challenging, but always remind yourself that your classmates are in the exact same position, and that they’re most probably just as confused as you are. Therefore, don’t feel stupid for asking seemingly obvious questions or not understanding everything right away and talk about your problems with the other students, they’ll either relate or be able to help you!

Signs that you might be a little too obsessed with Christmas

  1. You have been listening to your Christmas playlist for weeks already. It’s the middle of November.
  2. You’ve asked yourself whether it’s acceptable to start wearing Christmas jumpers at the end of October, and have come to the conclusion, that yes, it is.
  3. On the topic of Christmas jumpers: You have at least ten of them, preferably ones with integrated fairy lights, little bells that ring every time you walk or 3D snowmen.
  4. You check your weather app all the time because you can’t wait for it to finally snow.
  5. Michael Buble is your favourite singer.
  6. You need an entire room to store your Christmas decorations.
  7. The premiere of the John Lewis Christmas ad is the highlight of your year and you cry every time it comes on on telly.
  8. You feel equally excited about the GBBO Christmas special and have done a great deal of Christmas baking yourself. (How much gingerbread is it acceptable to eat for one person?)
  9. You believe that wearing anything but red and green in December is pretty much a crime.
  10. You’ve already bought presents for all your friends and family in July.
  11. Picking a tree is the hardest decision you have to make all year. IT’S GOT TO BE PERFECT!
  12. You have serious trouble containing your emotions when you see the first Christmas lights being put up.
  13. You already have 20 giant boxes of baubles at home, but that certainly doesn’t stop you from spending your last few pounds on even more.
  14. You truly don’t understand the question “Isn’t it a bit early for Christmas?”, no matter around what time of the year it’s asked.
  15. Mulled wine and eggnog are the only beverages you’ll drink in December.
  16. Watching a Christmas movie at night becomes part of your daily routine every year.
  17. You can still not fall asleep on Christmas Eve, it’s just way  too exciting.
  18. As soon as Christmas is over, you already start counting down the days till next year.

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