MORE than 400 years after Shakespeare penned a collection of poems, aspiring poets and writers are preparing to celebrate World Poetry Day on Monday.

The annual festival was adopted by UNESCO with the aim of celebrating all things poetry and to promote the teaching of it and to encourage people to put pen to paper and have a go at writing themselves.

Among the Gwent poets that will be celebrating the art on March 21 and also national poetry writing month in April is Patrick Widdess.

Mr Widdess, 36, of Cardiff Road, Newport who released his book ‘Peotry Non-Stop’ this week has been writing poems since he was a child and also writes, performs and sometimes teaches the art.

The Newsquest copy editor by day writes poems in his spare time and first began writing poems at school.

His passion for poetry developed and he went onto study creative writing at Liverpool University. He has since written hundreds of poems that include ‘Love’s Organ’, ‘The Problem with Living Underwater’ and ‘Pineapple.’

He said writing comes naturally to him.

“I have always found it stimulating to be told to write a poem about something there and then.”

In his new book Mr Widdess wants readers to try and write a poem a day for 30 days.

“Poetry Non-Stop is for anyone interested in writing. Ahead of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April it is a simple but effective guide to completing the challenge of writing a new poem every day.”

“The prompts and techniques will motivate beginners to start writing and keep going. Experienced poets will also gain plenty of fresh ideas and motivation to get through the marathon month of writing.”

“I give techniques to get you used to looking at the world around you and taking ideas that you already have,” he said.

“I suggest a few poetic forms that are straight forward and give them a framework so they become more like poetry.”

“It’s sharing my advice on how to go about writing poems.”

“I lift the lid on my writing process but the easiest way for anyone wanting to have a go is to just start writing.”

“I give myself ten to 15 minutes of writing and it doesn’t have to be sentences. I write as much as I can which gets your brain working. There are no hard and fast rules. The great thing about poetry is that it’s about the individual. Everyone will have their own style.”

“There are great poets that rhyme and some that don’t.”



The pineapple’s a funny fruit. It doesn’t grow on pines,

And it’s clearly not an apple, even if you’re blind.

Its skin is thick, inedible and neither red nor green.

It’ll cause some grief and break your teeth if bobbed at Hallowe’en.

It grows on the end of a prickly stalk, a most peculiar tree.

If the serpent had offered one to Eve she’d have said: “No, not for me.”

It’s time to ditch this silly name. It really is bananas!

Let’s join the rest of Europe and rechristen it ananas.

Love’s organ

Not the heart,

asymmetrical lump of gristle,

but the lungs

intricately crafted bellows

to your flaming soul.

Steadily heaving, infusing

blood with scarlet passion,

feeding air through the throat’s fragile machinery

voicing every word, sigh and song.

Bagpipes of Cupid, play on.

Thirty year-old Paul Chambers of Pill, Newport is a professional haiku poet and tutor.

Mr Chambers has always written poetry but found haiku five years ago, through the work of Jack Kerouac.

Haiku is a very brief form of poetry that originated in Japan hundreds of years ago. The goal of a haiku is to capture and share a moment of sensory perception that has moved us in some way.

“When I read his work and his philosophy of the form, I felt that haiku was the right means of expressing my experience of the world,” he said.

“My first full-length collection was published last year and is entitled This Single Thread. To date I have had roughly 130 poems published in some of the most prestigious journals and anthologies in the world, as well as in national Japanese newspapers. For that 130, I have probably written close to 2,000 haiku - like anything you have to work very hard to get it right.”

He said said there is a great misconception that haiku are nothing more than three-line poems made up of 17 syllables, structured in a pattern of 5-7-5.

“Unfortunately they have tended to be taught this way, which reduces them to nothing more than practice of counting syllables. The key thing is the spirit of the expression, and that’s what I focus on in my workshops.”

“In a technical sense haiku are very achievable for children, and that’s one of the great things about the workshops – that sense of accomplishment that the children express in creating their poems. Children have a beautiful freshness of perception, and this means they can create some astonishing haiku. “

“My first full-length collection was published last year and is entitled This Single Thread. To date I have had roughly 130 poems published in some of the most prestigious journals and anthologies in the world, as well as in national Japanese newspapers. For that 130, I have probably written close to 2,000 haiku - like anything you have to work very hard to get it right.

Mr Chambers describes Haiku as street poems or sketches that can happen anywhere.

“I find walking to be a great aid for writing, as is travelling generally - the poems in my book were written while I was travelling in Wales, USA, Andalucia and the Middle East. Ideally I try to write them as soon as they happen but sometimes, despite their brevity, they can take months to get right.

“I enjoy poetry, and haiku in particular, as it provides a profound sense of connection with life, nature and experience. In an increasingly self obsessed and self promoting culture, it is more important than ever that we retain the capacity to forget ourselves in the uniting with experience. Poetry enables us to do that.

Top tips on how to write Haiku

• Focus on the small moments and details of life.

• Try to let go of yourself and focus purely on your experience.

• Appeal to a reader’s senses in order for them to feel themselves into your poem.

• Write clearly, without ornate or overly descriptive language.

• Make every word count.


a gull drifts

beyond the hill

summer deepens


fleeting wind

the branch reaches after

the sparrow


Christmas morning

a sparrow breaks the crumbs

from the broken bread


cicada plainsong

the sun lingers

in the olive field


a strand of her hair

clings to the soap

midwinter cold



Craig Titchener, of Garndiffaith, regularly posts poems on Twitter and calls himself poet_unknown.

The father-of-one, who is originally from Abergavenny started writing as a teenager.

The 38 year-old mechanic said if something inspires him he writes it down straight away. He has written more than 600 poems which he posts on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

Mr Titchener said he takes inspiration from things that have happened to him, whether it’s happy or sad situations.

“I can be driving to work, changing my son's nappy and something will come into my head and I have to stop, write it down ready for later. One instance whilst driving I asked my wife to write down and text it to me because we were on a motorway.”

“I love writing, mainly it's a coping system. I love reading Charles Bukowski, Tupac Shakur, Jim Morrison and Maya Angelou.”

“As for advice, read as much as you can, write how you want and what you want.”

Wheelie bins and recycling.

Premeditated separation of all kinds of waste,

from milk bottles to egg boxes being put neatly in their place.

We're washing out soup cans being meticulously clean,

yet it's kind of therapeutic, escaping to a dream.

Squashing down plastic bottles just to make room for one more,

yet when it comes to collection day you know it's gonna be scattered all over the floor.

Making out you're an alcoholic with the dead cans and bottles out on display,

yet it's always the yoghurt pots after collection seem determined to stay.

Then there's the new Naomi Campbell modeled wheelie bin,

which after a day you can't get anymore in!

So you risk life and limb getting in and pushing down with your feet,

just to fit one more load in, unwilling to admit defeat.

Then before the fortnights over you're left standing there with a frown,

left wondering how the hell you're going to get the flipping lid down!

So we dance.

So we dance,

without music,

without words.

Only feeling the beat,

like two drums,

with the rhythm tapped,

with only one drumstick

We feel a unity inside,

as we become one,

we become together,

holding on,

holding our breaths.

In each others arms,

we dance.

We Die Like Roses in the Snow

We die like roses in the snow,

cold and unable to grow.

Our thorns hold no protection,

nor give us warmth.

I guess in the end we all die alone.

We were once beautiful,

but only to the eyes of admiration,

we once grew under the light,

like that of a wanted conversation.

I guess in the end we all grow cold.

In time those eyes no longer condone,

only remind us of wrongs.

So we look back on seasons,

in full bloom and so full of life,

I guess in the end even life seems to pass us by.

Even when the snow thaws into water,

only drowning the memory of us,

but never enough for us to flourish once more.

So we rot beneath the sod.

I guess we all live in hope our seeds have been safely sown.