These 6 poems all explore the idea of 'freedom', the theme of National Poetry Day 2017.

From a fourteenth century epic to the condensed power of a short modern lyric, from Gaelic to English by way of Belfast, and from the simplest nursery rhyme to a poem shaped from questions, there's something for all ages and readers.

I Opened A Book
by Julia Donaldson

'I Opened a Book' encapsulates the freedom to read and open doors on new worlds. The readers' manifesto.

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From The Book of Why?
by Alec Finlay

Exploring the freedom to ask questions. Watch this poem get bigger, just like the minds of the questioners.

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Jack and Jill

collected by William and Norah Montgomerie

A simple rhyme, all about the freedom to leave home and the freedom to come back.

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From The Bruce
by John Barbour

translated and edited by A.A.M. Duncan

Four of the most famous lines ever written on personal and political freedom, from fourteenth-century Scotland.

Read the lines & translation
Read the whole poem, edited by A.A.M. Duncan

The Tradition
by Kathleen Jamie

The tensions of longing for freedom and knowing the past are coiled into a tightly-wound 8-line poem.

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An Tiona / the tin
by Peter Mackay

translated by Ciaràn Carson

Freedom and repression in your native tongue, explored by a rising star of Scottish Gaelic poetry and a Northern Irish master.

Read the poem & translation