Poet Given Statue/ Betsy Lee Online Release/ Tagore Society – Poetry News Roundup May 6th

Today in our poetry news round up, we take a look at the statue for the poet behind a much loved children’s song, the archive recording of a poem that has been released, and a new society created in honour of the poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Statue for Poet Behind Twinkle Little Star

A statue in honour of the poet who penned the first verse of the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is to be unveiled. The statue will be located on Colchester High Street and will be “dedicated to the children of the world”.  

Sir Bob Russell, the former Liberal Democrat MP, has raised £90,000 to fund the creation of the statue, which will be a life-sized tribute to Ann  and Jane Taylor. The sister both wrote poems for children and lived in the Dutch Quarter of Colchester from 1796 to 1810. It was Jane who wrote and published The Star, a poem that she penned in 1806, the first verse of which went on to become the well known nursery rhyme as we now know it.

The statue is 5ft 10in in height and depicts Jane pointing to a star. It was created by the sculptor Mandy Pratt. It took a full year to create, and the planning process took even longer.

The idea for the statue first came to Sir Bob in 2011 and he got to work trying to crowdfund the necessary money to make the idea a reality.

Archive Piece of the Poem “Betsy Lee” Released Online

A recording of the poem “Betsy Lee” is now available to listen to for the first time. The piece from the archives, which is 90 minutes in length, has been released, and features the voice of Dollin Kelly (deceased). Kelly first performed the poem which was originally written by T E Brown in 1992.

Betsy Lee is a story of a lost love and an important part of the Fo’c’s’le Yarns series. This is a collection of Manx dialect poems, regarded as the most important literary work from the Isle of Man.

Brown, who was born in Douglas in 1830 is recognised on an international scale for his sequence of lengthy, narrative poems. The release of the recording coincides with his birthday, 5th May.

Tagore Society Established in Dhaka

On the eve of the 163rd birth anniversary of the poet Rabindranath Tagore, an announcement has been made to confirm that the Tagore Society has been established in Dhaka. The aim of the society is to promote the vision of the poet.

In addition to promoting Tagore’s vision, the society will also take part in national and international collaborations, organise training programmes on a nationwide scale and undertake research. They are currently looking to secure a permanent home for all of their work.

The trustee board of the society comprises a Tagore singer and researcher, academics, lawmakers, a veteran journalist and a number of writers.

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