Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Stories and Activities with Children 4: Become a hero poet

Try your hand at a Rosc poem

Rosc is very old. The very first stories were told through this type of poetry. The form was used to describe both the setting of a story and the action. It was a good way of describing a battle. It can be hard for us to understand today especially because they were originally written in a very old style of Irish. Download the ‘rosc’ worksheet and have a go.

Make a Praise Poem for a famous hero

First, listen to the story Bricriu’s feast to get to know about some of the best heroes.When these stories were first told, there was no TV, there were no films. The story tellers had to paint pictures with words. Thy were very good at it. You can do it too. Download the Hero Praise poem worksheet and have a go.

Make a praise poem about yourself

There is a very early type of ‘praise poem where a poet (or a poet-warrior is singing his own praises. Each line begins “I Am”. You could write a poem in the same style. It is very easy but great fun. The short video below will show you how you can create a really imaginative poem.

Download the special template sheet. With this you can create really unusual poems by asking your brothers and sisters parents or even Grans and Grandads the questions on the template, over Skype or Watsap.

This is a translation of part of a poem that was first written down at least, 900 years ago. Your poems will be just as good.

I am a stag: of seven tines,
I am a flood: across a plain,
I am a wind: on a deep lake,
I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,
I am a hawk: above the cliff,
I am a thorn: beneath the nail,
I am a wonder: among flowers,
I am a poet: who but I
Sets the head aflame with smoke?

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