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An emerald is as green as grass

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Have fun with the poem by trying this...

Buried in this short poem, almost in the middle, is a flint – a hard, grey stone used in the past for tools and to start fires. The flint is very different to the precious stones which the poet helps us picture using similes and clear descriptions.

Your reading needs to allow the flint's power to shine out in the final line. You'll need to make every word in this short poem count.

Think about places you might pause in each line, not just at the end. Try pausing after each stone is mentioned, including the flint. Help your listener to notice the different stones.

You could also lengthen the pause a touch longer after ‘flint’ in the final line, and allow the final word ‘fire’ to linger. Take special care not to rush the last line.

You’ve only got 47 words, but if you get the pace right you can really make your listener think about the difference between surface wealth and beauty and quiet hidden power.

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An emerald is as green as grass;
A ruby red as blood;
A sapphire shines as blue as heaven;
A flint lies in the mud.
A diamond is a brilliant stone,
To catch the world’s desire;
An opal holds a fiery spark;
But a flint holds fire.

An emerald is as green as grass

by Christina Rossetti