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15 Poetry British English Lessons

Because of their structure, poems are a great way of learning about the rhythm of the English language. In these lessons you will be able to listen to poetry, read it, and then improve your knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols, thus improving your pronunciation. The lessons also include information about the poets and some background to the writing of the poem. Finally, you will have the chance to test how much you have learned about the vocabulary and other aspects of the poems through some interactive exercises.

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5 of our 15 Poetry British English Lessons

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If-

The poem, If-, by Rudyard Kipling was written around 1895, shortly after the birth of Kipling’s son, John. The poem is an example of Victorian stoicism and takes the form of the author’s paternal advice to his son. John Kipling was reported as wounded and missing in 1915 while serving as a Lieutenant during World War I, a post his father had secured him thanks to his social connections and despite his son’s severe myopia. His grave was not identified until 1992. You can read this poem in Latin script and in IPA script as well as listen to me read it for you.


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Flowers of the Grass

A short lesson using a video I made of a beautiful haiku poem some years ago. The lesson will help you to learn, remember, and use some vocabulary and expressions in English. I hope you enjoy both the poem and the lesson, as well as the video, as much as I enjoyed making them for you.


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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

The lyric poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, also commonly known as Daffodils, is Wordsworth’s most famous poem. I have designed this lesson as a way of showing you the rhythm of English. Because of their structure, poems like this one are a very useful way of demonstrating the typical rhythm of the English language. In this lesson you will first listen to the poem, then read it, and then explore the phonetic transcription. It also includes a biography of William Wordsworth, the poet, as well as the background to the writing of the poem. Finally, you will have the chance to test how much you have learned about stress patterns and rhymes in some interactive exercises.


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The Pig

The poem is written with 8 syllables per line, and a rhyming word at the end of a pair of lines. oOoOoOoO is the stress pattern and this is a good poem with which to practice the rhythm of English. You can listen to the poem and match the IPA transcriptions with the original Latin script. There are also exercises to help you practice some of the new vocabulary and expressions from in the poem. Poems are a great way of learning about the rhythm of English, and this poem is particularly amusing.      


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The Chaos

The Absurdity of English Spelling and Pronunciation.  English spelling and pronunciation appears to have been devised by a lunatic. The absurdity of English spelling has inspired many teachers and writers to demonstrate just how ridiculously complicated it is. Chief among these was Gerard Nolst Trenité, who wrote the oft-quoted poem, The Chaos. I first transcribed the entire poem into IPA symbols, double checking the accuracy of the IPA transcript, then fed the IPA transcript through an AI speech synthesis program to produce the most accurate rendition of the poem possible.  


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5 of our 15 Poetry British English Lessons


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