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Featured Poem: Three Peaks Poetry Playlist #2

Written by The Reader, 25th June 2012

The countdown to TRO's Three Peaks Challenge can now be measured in days, hours and seconds - but as the hands of time have ticked down, the distance up and between those very high mountains has unfortunately not. But we're confident that our fifteen fantastic members of the TRO team have amassed enough strides and steps over the last few months to keep them walking on to the finishing point.

As training is in its final throes, adrenaline is surely running high but hopefully it'll have more to do with the will to take on the challenge rather than any last minute nerves. To soothe any anxiety our Three Peakers may have, and send them off into the wilds brimming with willpower and determination, here is the second part of our Three Peaks Poetry Playlist (you can read through Part One here) to soundtrack the epic journey...

First up, some uplifting poems to help our team overcome their personal hurdles on the way:

Of Mutability - Jo Shapcott

Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth - Arthur Hugh Clough

Patience Taught By Nature - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Two inspirational classics from the TRO archive...If  by Rudyard Kipling and Invictus by William Ernest Henley (read by one of our Three Peaks team no less...)

A selection from a member of Team TRO taking on the big challenge - Wordsworth seems to be proving the unofficial poet of the trek:

"I had never climbed a mountain until our training walk up Snowdon last month. It just so happened that I had just begun reading The Prelude for the first time, too. A mammoth climb, a mammoth read – both so well worth the sweat. Snowdon will be the last of the three peaks and I think the only thing that’ll keep us going is imagining/remembering the view from the top. This will be in my mind while we’re striving for the summit:"

From The Prelude

With forehead bent
Earthward, as if in opposition set
Against an enemy, I panted up
With eager pace, and no less eager thoughts.
Thus might we wear a midnight hour away,
Ascending at loose distance each from each,
And I, as chanced, the foremost of the band;
When at my feet the ground appeared to brighten,
And with a step or two seemed brighter still;
Nor was time given to ask or learn the cause,
For instantly a light upon the turf
Fell like a flash, and lo! as I looked up,
The Moon hung naked in a firmament
Of azure without cloud, and at my feet
Rested a silent sea of hoary mist.
A hundred hills their dusky backs upheaved
All over this still ocean; and beyond,
Far, far beyond, the solid vapours stretched,
In headlands, tongues, and promontory shapes,
Into the main Atlantic, that appeared
To dwindle, and give up his majesty,
Usurped upon far as the sight could reach.

William Wordsworth

And to round things off, a reminder of why such a mammoth task is being undertaken: though it's certainly no small feat, the Three Peaks Challenge is a 'self-denying deed' that will bring sunshine, as well as so much more, into the life of our future TRO apprentice. The upcoming 24 hours is certainly a day that Team TRO cannot count as lost:

Count That Day Lost

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went --
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay --
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face--
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost --
Then count that day as worse than lost.

George Eliot

There may not be much time left until the big day, but there's plenty of it to leave your donations and support Team TRO on their way up those mountains: give them the biggest boost possible by pledging towards The Reader Organisation Apprenticeship Scheme at

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