Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Cn U Rd Ths? Its Nt Gd Nws... - Poem by Michael Shepherd

The National Literacy Trust in Britain
did a survey and
- yes, you guessed -
57% read 'only a bit' or not at all
and 25% of the older ones said
they had no intention to
read any more than this

So what do they read when
they read?
Well, mags,
and websites
and txt msgs of course
and jokes,
and TV books and mags
and e-mails

and eighth on the list comes fiction
that's made-up stories, right?
then comix ninth
then newspapers well
they're just for people
who don't have TV and
don't mind waiting 12 hours
to read the news put that tenth

what's that? poetry?
sorry would you spell that
oh poetry nah

girls said, they read
to find out how other people live
and feel and
to help them understand
more about themselves

boys said, they read
because they have to and
because it helps them
get a job so

some old farts might say
put up a sign
civilisation's postponed until further notice
but it may all work out
well it'll have to

Comments about Cn U Rd Ths? Its Nt Gd Nws... by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/30/2005 2:12:00 PM)

    Poetry has been a popular art in possibly every century up to the 20th. What happened?
    Of course communication is always adapting. But I think we should always, as educators of our children or those of others, be watching for possible losses along with the gains. Are we cutting them off from something they need for their emotional development? Isn't that an interesting report about the attitude of boys and girls? There's been a recent shift back to reading among children, by choice, so I read, when it's offered sensitively.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/30/2005 1:57:00 PM)

    What a sad state of the world we have..........I know the statistics came out for the area I live in and sadly the average education of adults living here was.........GET THIS.........11th grade! ! How could this be? I don't understand it. I can't imagine not wanting more. :) Very good topic Michael. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2005 1:30:00 PM)

    A new literacy and new language forms are developing Michael - most of it is functional but some of it is quite poetic. The txt msgs, emails, cinema, television, song lyrics and video clips are very expressive of the very fast pace young people have to cope with. (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2005 8:33:00 AM)

    Oh Uriah you have a lovely mind and a warm heart, yes yes yes to that... (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2005 8:15:00 AM)

    But I still have faith that there is poetry in songs, daily conversations and in the very emotions we feel each day, people just don't think in the term poetry, I hope this is true anyway. (Report) Reply

  • (11/30/2005 8:11:00 AM)

    Well, I already knew literacy was in trouble, but this is serious trouble. But one question: If we're among the few with advanced literacy, how come we're not rich? (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]