A poem for today’s group…

When You Are Old
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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Featured poem: I, Too by Langston Hughes

The Reader Online

I hope you enjoy this week’s Featured Poem. I chose it because of  the clear, uplifting  feelings of hope and inner strength from the narrator, despite the poem being set in times of racial segregation in America. I have such admiration for the narrator and his self-assurance, and think we can all look up to characters like him when we are in need of a confidence boost and optimism in our daily lives.

Do you have any favourite characters in literature which you look up to? Let us know in the comments below. Enjoy!

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I…

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A year into the project…

This is the official blog for The Reader Organisation’s North Wales project ‘Make Friends with a Book’. I’m Leah (the Project Worker) and I work alongside Jeanette, the Project Coordinator. We have a tiny office in Llanberis where Jeanette is based full time and I work three days a week. Our project was funded by The Big Lottery to set up 36 shared reading groups across all 6 counties of North Wales. We have been given the monumental task of bringing shared reading to the good people of North Wales.
As there’s just the two of us the practicalities of running the 36 groups would involve a Hermione style time watch, so instead we recruit and train volunteers to run groups for us. This first year has been manic! We were given an office that was bare (apart from a book shelf…obviously!) and asked to set up a suitable readerly work space. We built desks…we bought books….we had equipment delivered. Then we had a cup of tea, looked at the map of North Wales and wondered how on earth we would accomplish such a huge task.
The good news is that we did accomplish it. Well, we’ve had a very successful first year anyway! We managed to find 20 very lovely people to train. The first training course was in November of last year and was held in the beautiful Seiont Manor in Llanrug, a stone’s throw away from our office. We trained 13 volunteers…enjoyed poetry and lunch and after three days we were ready to go. Several groups had already begun and Jeanette and I were leading them. The process of handing the groups over to the volunteers had started….
During the first year we have set groups up in Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire. This month we have started a group in Anglesey and have one planned for Wrexham. We have read short stories and poems on a weekly basis and both Jeanette and I have thoroughly enjoyed the last year of working together. My literary background is mostly medieval, where Jeanette enjoys more modern literature. She’s brought me into the 21st Century and I’ve attempted to drag her back in time…. We’ve laughed, (almost) cried, read poems, drank tea and eaten a shed load of biscuits. Bring on the next year….