Someone came a knocking at my wee small door
Someone came a knocking, I'm sure, sure sure;
I listened, I opened, I looked from left to right,
But nought there was a stirring in the still dark night
Only the busy beetle tap, tapping on the wall,
Only from the forest the screech owl's call,
Only the cricket whistling whilst the dew drops fall
So I know not who came knocking at all at all at all
By Walter De La Mere
As a child I belonged to a local Church Community group known as the Pathfinders, a youth club of sorts and we were actively encouraged to learn new things via this association. One I remember was to learn the names and bring as many examples of wildflowers that we could - I won first prize for this a little ladybird book of wildflowers which I have to this day.
Another time we were entered for a big area poetry competition for public speaking and I had to learn the above poem. I remember the day, I was only about 8 or 9 and we were shipped from Peterborough by bus, I think to Coventry for the actual competition. I had never done anything like this before and needless to say it was daunting speaking in front of all those people but we didn't do too bad as a group - after all it was a group competition. The auditorium that we were in was based on the design of an ampitheatre where you were in effect in the hollow of the audience. Public speaking used to be a big thing on the curriculum when I was a child, and of course there was always the end of term school plays so it is nice to see youngsters taking part in public speaking competitions again. It helps hone up prsentation skills.
I also remember that we used to have to give talks in our English lessons to our peers on a subject that we had researched; sometimes the subject was given ad hoc in the lesson and you literally only had about 10 to 15 minutes warning of what the subject was to be. But that only serves to help you think on your feet.
I have always loved poetry since I was a small child, even when it seemed to go out of fashion I have always read or had a go at writing my own. It is nice to see it resurging out of the wilderness again.