Preparing for Trump: Erasing Nixon

nixon erased


The erasure above is from Richard Nixon’s resignation speech of 8th August, 1974 – his arrogant misappropriation from the words of Theodore Roosevelt. I watched it live on TV in Kesgrave, Suffolk.




National Poetry Day, 4th October, 2018 – ‘Change’. Free Downloadable Creative Writing Ideas

NPD Main Logo with copy

I have posted and tweeted previous early ideas and resources about NPD and Change, but this is, as promised, a final version of everything. I will probably tweet this posting once or twice before the day to remind that it is available.

All the sheets will be available at the end of this brief introduction to download as pdfs and copy/use as you will. The main addition to my previous postings is that this one includes a Teachers Notes sheet.

There is this year probably the widest range of resources available for this day and its theme of Change, not least from the excellent National Poetry Day site.

It is a wealth of riches for all schools and all teachers and all subjects [imagine that whole school focus on the theme of Change for at least a whole week…..]. However, I make no apology for also saying I think this is a special privilege for English teachers – having been one for thirty years, and always promoting the teaching of creative writing.

My final observation is this: my resources are primarily focused on students writing poems on the theme of Change. I take it as fundamental that reading poems and discussion them, especially students sharing ideas among themselves, occurs often. That said, these creative writing ideas are designed to guide students into their writing as quickly as possible, providing models as support and hopefully some targeted engagement with the theme for their age and experiences [these probably more across the secondary sector, my area of experience].

The resources:

1a – I Will Change

1b – I Will Change – Student Sheet

2 – The change in my pocket- eg & SS

3a – Change

3b – Change – Student Sheet

4 – Search Engine Change Titles

5 – Change Quotes 1

6 – Change Quotes 2 + Mix + Poem

7a – Bowie’s Changes

7b – Bowie’s Changes – Student Sheet

8a – Blue Mood Poet

8b – Blue Mood Poet – Ideas & Options

9. Teachers Notes

NB There are many more creative writing ideas and resources on this site, with downloadable materials, if you want to explore further at any time. Type in search ‘creative writing’ to find most…

Top Fifty 43: Free – Tons of Sobs, 1969

[Originally posted September 2011]

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As we all know, the album begins with the beautiful and acoustic slow Rodgers ballad Over the Green Hills [Part I] with its gorgeous harmony rise and then suddenly, out of nowhere, comes the chugging and pulsating guitar, bass, drums and piano beat of Worry, and one of rock’s greatest debut albums is launched – indeed greatest rock albums of all time.

I first heard Free on The Old Grey Whistle Test and despite my research I can’t find what year this was. And it was Paul singing Over The Green Hills [the ‘complete’ version I think] that excited me most – another example of my love of ‘pretty’ music having its impact. It was the voice of course that made its instant impression too, and soon after I bought the album Tons Of Sobs.

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Third track Walk In My Shadow is signalled by the wail of Kossof’s guitar and the thumping simple bluesbeats continue. Kossof’s guitar is staccato and edgy until it dances around Fraser’s three repeated rhythms and takes over from Rodgers until he returns to woawoo woawoo with a voice turning all sounds immaculate.

You don’t need your horses baby, you got me to ride/You don’t need your feathers baby, I’ll keep you warm inside and the Rodgers/Fraser writing partnership gets its first metaphor-laden spot: pre-politically correct ethnic naming of Wild Indian Woman and with a simplicity to presage so much memorable songwriting excellence to come.

Fifth track Goin Down Slow by St Louis Jimmy is a measured blues around which the album seems to revolve because the blues is such a fundamental part of Free’s early sound. Kossof keeps it so simple and yet dynamic throughout. One of the greatest Rodgers/Fraser songs I’m A Mover is the sixth, and the Fraser bass lines do their brilliant walking up and down the line. Seventh The Hunter is one os the strongest versions out there.

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Perhaps my favourite on the album is the Rodgers /Fraser Moonshine. Another slow and simple blues, Kossof’s guitar haunts in the background whilst Paul and Andy lay down the foundations. Kirk’s drums roll heavily to introduce another succinct Kossof solo.

The album closes on a return to Over the Green Hills [Part 2] and it is as if the 34 vibrant minutes wrapped within this sombre song’s warm embrace have been an outburst, an eruption to announce the following lava flow wherein we were all melted by its advancing glow.

I never got to see Free live but I’ve seen Paul Rodgers twice: once in Cardiff [1993] at the launch of the Muddy Water Blues album [with Steve Lukather on guitar] and in Poole [1997] at the launch of Now. Outstanding both times, naturally.

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