Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Michael Rosen...

Michael Wayne Rosen was born in Harrow, London, Britain on 7th May 1946 into a Jewish family. Son to Harold (1919 – 2008) and Connie, we can see where Rosen gained his writing talent. Harold became a secondary school teacher soon after working for the Institute of Education as professor of English. Connie was a primary school teacher for a short time before she ventured into lecturing and broadcasting for the BBC. Whilst on the BBC, Connie initiated the idea of creating a programme featuring poetry using Michael Rosen's material. Rosen’s writing was becoming more popular than he ever imagined.
Rosen spoke these words in 2008 in The Sunday Times, “I went to [Middlesex Hospital] Medical School, started on the first part of a medical training, jacked it in and went on to do a degree in English at Oxford University. I then worked for the BBC until they chucked me out and I have been a freelance writer, broadcaster, lecturer, performer ever since – that's to say since 1972. Most of my books have been for children, but that's not how I started out. ... Sometime around the age of twelve and thirteen I began to get a sense that I liked writing, liked trying out different kinds of writing, I tried writing satirical poems about people I knew” [1].
Rosen is now a highly regarded children’s novelist and poet with over 140 novels and poetry books. Being awarded the British Children’s Laureate in June 2007, Rosen’s career only grew as a result. In 1947 Rosen published his first poetry text, Mind Your Own Business. Soon after came, Wouldn’t You Like To Know, Quick Let’s Get Out of Here and You Tell Me.

Attaining an MA in Children’s Literature from the University of Reading in 1993, establishing himself as not only a writer but as highly intellectual man with ideas which others found hard to understand. Whilst the writing was phenomenal, we cannot forget the outstanding illustrations which went alongside his work. Quentin Blake created beautifully crafted iconic pictures.
As a whole, Michael Rosen had the ability and the opportunity to become a great writer and he did. My most favourite poems are The Chocolate Cake, Hot Food and Don't Put Mustard in The Custard . These three poems I will be exploring in regards to my argument that Rosen's work was not simply whimsical nonsense, but in fact underpinned moral values of a child's experiences within his poetry.

[1] Emily Bearn (16 November 2008), “A novel approach to the classroom”, The Sunday Times

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