Hallowe’en – A Dark Dark Wood, Witches, Warlocks and Ghouls!

A little late, but what the…….

The Henry Brothers' Jim Jam Slam

The last night in October was thought to be the most haunted night of the year. It was the night when witches, hobgobblins, wizards, and evil spirits came back to earth to cast their magic spells, enchantments and curses.


This is the night when witches fly
On their whizzing broomsticks through the wintry sky;
Steering up the pathway where the stars are strewn,
They stretch skinny fingers to the walking moon.

This is the night when old wives tell
Strange and creepy stories, tales of charm and spell;
Peering at the pictures flaming in the fire
They wait for whispers from a ghostly choir.

This is the night when angels go
In and out the houses, winging o’er the snow;
Clearing out the demons from the countryside
They make it new and ready for Christmastide.

Leonard Clark

Superstitious people kept up many strange old customs and rites…

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Two Travellers Meet by Chance Inside a Phrase-Book

“My name is Carmen,” she said.
“The Post Office is over there,” he replied.
“Thank you! It is one o’clock.”
“Goodbye! How are you?”
“Do you speak English?”
“The pleasure is all mine.”
“My factory is on fire.”
“Excuse me.”
“That dog is frothing at the mouth.”
“You’re welcome!”
“My passport lies under your thigh.”
“Where is the café?”
“Keep walking to the left.”
“Please put this on your head, my painful cousin.”




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2013/14 ELT and ELL Conference Calendar for Turkey…Ver 1.0

Many thanks to our friend and colleague Tony Gurr for putting together this list of forthcoming conferences for teachers…


ELT & ELL Conf Calendar (TG ver)


I don’t usually get the Conference Calendar rolling till mid-November – but a couple of people have asked me if I can spread the word about a handful of events that are coming up in…

Canım Türkiyem (TG Ver 03)

…after Summer.


So, here you go…without the “sauce” for now:





  • 21-22 October 2013
  • The 2nd International Conference on Internet , E-Learning & Education Technologies (ICIEET 2013) – The Marmara Taksim (İstanbul, Turkey )
  • Theme: Generic



  • 15-16 November 2013
  • Gazi University – SFL (Ankara, Turkey) – The 1st International ELT…

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Poetry nonsense no. 1 – the double dactyl

As the summer season silliness sets in we would like to share some examples of various forms of nonsense poetry, beginning with the “double dactyl”.
A dactyl on its own is a metrical pattern made up of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones ( ¯ ˘ ˘). The pattern can be seen in words such as celebrate, or symphony. “Double dactyl” poetry is based on pairs of these such as the following (from Charles McDauel’s “Birthday Double Dactyl”🙂

Now on this special day
everyone celebrates

Just like the much more common limerick form of nonsense verse the double dactyl is used for word games and for comedy, but it’s much harder to write. Traditionally the poems consisted of two verses each containing three lines of double dactyl followed by a single choriamb ( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ).

( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ˘ ),
( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ˘ ),
( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ˘ ),
( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ).

Not easy. But luckily there many examples on the fabulous Poetry Soup website, such as David Siegel’s tribute to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony:

Ludwig von Beethoven
sat in his music room,
sucking his thumb.

Heavens to Murgatroyd!
After four symphonies
more could be asked of me?
Da Da Da-Dum

And this tribute by Jaap van den Born to England’s greatest novelist Charles Dickens on his 200th birthday:

Chuzzlewit Chuzzlewit
Nicholas Nickleby
Pickwick, Scrooge, Dombey
And more of their kind.

Two hundred years, filled with
Real, just like you:
It is all in the mind

See Poetry Soup for poems of all kinds including more double dactyls.

If you would like to add more examples in the comments section below please do. Feel free to vary the form as you wish, just as Oladele Olaide has done in the poem “Quest”;

In the heart of the rock
In the depth of the sea
In the room with the lock
At the end of the lea
Is the key to the gate
To the room of your gold
And the knob to your fate-
An event to behold!

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Welcome to My World

Wanted to share this from a poet friend of ours, Monika. It’s the height of sunmmer so probably the wrong time, but a great poem regardless.

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Visit the University of Cambridge this summer

The west end of King's College Chapel seen fro...

The west end of King’s College Chapel seen from The Backs. Clare College Old Court is on the left. A group of people punting along the River Cam can be seen in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The work of the Henry Brothers in bringing English language poems and stories to schools in Turkey is sponsored by our employers Cambridge University Press and the Turkish distributor Dunya Aktuel.

Many of our contacts in Turkey spend part of the summer escorting groups of students to summer schools in the UK and often ask for advice on the University of Cambridge, the second oldest university in the world (founded in 1209), always ranked in the top five and often rated the best.

The university now consists of its 31 colleges (the oldest being  Peterhouse (1284) with most founded in the 14th and 15th centuries. So there is much to see, including one of England’s most iconic buildings, the Chapel of Kings College built in 1438, the grand courtyard of St John’s, the medieval court of Corpus Christi, and any many more. We suggest you take a guide to tell you the incredible stories of students and scholars past and present from Darwin and Newton through to the discoverers of DNA. (You can see the laboratory where they did their research and have a beer in The Eagle, the pub where they announced their findings to the world!).

As well as the colleges the University has the following nine museums and collections that are open to the public including:

    • The centerpiece of the University’s collections, the highly acclaimed Fitzwilliam Museum of art, Centred on the Fitzwilliam collection of paintings by Dutch and Italian masters including Titian, Veronese and Rembrandt the Fitzwilliam has been praised by the director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC as “the finest small museum in Europe”.
    • The beautiful old house of Kettle’s Yard houses the University’s modern art collections including on the private collection of Jim Ede, former owner of the house and former curator of Britain’s most famous modern art museum, the Tate Gallery in London.
    • The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology showing nearly two million years of human history, on all six inhabited continents, from a 1.8 million year old African stone tool right up to modern times, including many objects collected by the great explorer Captain James Cook.
    • Yet another beautiful building holds the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences – fossils, rocks and minerals from around the world illustrate more than 550 million years of the Earth’s history.
    • The Cambridge University Botanic Garden a large park full of plants from all over the world, the Gardens are also a concert venue in the summer.
    • The Scott Polar Research Institute journals, paintings, photographs, clothing, equipment, maps illustrate the story of the Earth’s coldest places.

Please see the Summer at the Museums listing for more information about events this summer and now or in the future we advise you to look at the university’s What’s On listing of events for the public.

And most of all we hope to see you in Cambridge, if not this summer then sooner rather than later.

  • Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951, Fitzwilli...

    Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Saloua Raouda Choucair at the Tate Modern, London

At this time of year many of our colleagues are visiting Britain, either on holiday or escorting groups of students to summer schools. We would therefore like to recommend an exhibition at the Tate Modern art gallery in London of work by Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair.

Choucair was born in Beirut, Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Empire) 97 years ago, but moved to Paris in 1948 to study. Her painting and sculpture can be seen as a reflection of Arab geometric design  through the eyes of a European modernist, or perhaps vice versa. Either way it is a unique perspective and we recommend the exhibition, which is a review of her long career.

Please see here for details of the London exhibition, and here for Saloua Raouda Choucair’s website.

Poem (1963-5) and Poem of nine verses (1983-5) by Saloua Choucair

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