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A very warm welcome to new members of English Exchange.

And to everyone who hasn't done so yet, an invitation and reminder for you to 
introduce yourself to the list. Tell us about yourself, as much or as little as you 
want. You could tell us your name, where you're from, why you're studying English etc 
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This time I'd like to talk to you about using poetry to help you learn English.

I find poetry very enjoyable, both reading it and writing it. One of the keys to 
building vocabulary is reading things you enjoy and are interested in. There are all 
kinds of poetry, so if you can find a style that captures your imagination you'll 
really want to understand what the poet is trying to say.

I'd like to share two of my favourite poems with you. The first is called "If" by 
Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you 
But make allowance for their doubting too 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting 
Or being lied about don't deal in lies 
Or being hated don't give way to hating 
And yet don't look too good nor talk too wise. 

If you can dream and not make dreams your master 
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools 
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken 
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools. 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss 
And lose and start again at your beginnings 
And never breathe a word about your loss 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the will which says to you hold on. 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue 
Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch 
If neither foes nor loving friends may hurt you 
If all men count with you but none too much 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds worth of distance run 
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it 
And which is more - you'll be a man my son. 

The second is "Futility" by Wilfred Owen. I will say no more other than to tell you it 
was inspired by World War I.

Move him into the sun - 
Gently its touch awoke him once, 
At home, whispering of fields unsown. 
Always it woke him, even in France, 
Until this morning and this snow. 
If anything might rouse him now 
The kind old sun will know. 

Think how it wakes the seeds, - 
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star. 
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides, 
Full-nerved, - still warm, - too hard to stir? 
Was it for this the clay grew tall? 
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil 
To break earth's sleep at all? 

I hope you find them interesting. I'm not going to discuss these poems any further 
here, but if anyone has any questions or comments, please share them woth the English 
Exchange list by emailing us at [EMAIL PROTECTED]

I'd like to close by sharing with you two poems that I've written. They are nowhere 
near as powerful as the examples above, but writing poetry does bring me a lot of 
pleasure. The first is entitled "Rocket to the moon"

Rocket to the moon
I hope I come down very soon
I don't like it here at all
This world is very small
And it's surrounded by a wall
I'm on a rocket to the moon
And I hope I come down very very soon. 

And the second is called "Take your time"

Take your time, my friend
Take your time
Life can be strange
And dreams so hard to find
But step by step
Many mountains we can climb
So take your time, my friend
Be easy on your mind.

Please let me know what you think of my poetry. And please have a go at writing some 
of your own, and share your work with the English Exchange.

If you liked my poems, you can see more at http://www.twinisles.com/sos/tll.html

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