Poetry

The Poetry group meet on the 3rd Friday of each month in Eastwood Library between 12.30-1.30 pm. The contacts for the group are Jenny Ball on 01773 602 347 or Freda Hallsworth on 01773 861 502.

There are about fifteen members in our friendly group and we decide amongst ourselves the theme for our next meeting. Each member chooses a couple of poems on the theme and we take it in turns to read our choices. These can range from well-known works by famous poets to verses written by amateurs, and even some by one of our members. However, it must be stressed that the aim of the group is to read and enjoy poetry. You don’t have to be a poet to come along and share the pleasure of listening to poems and taking part in the lively discussions that can follow.

You can be assured of a warm welcome so why not come and join us?

Members are reminded that from May we will be charged £10.00 for the use of the room.  It was decided that we would pay £1.00 each when we attend a meeting.  Averaged over the 10 meetings a year we should cover this cost.

For more information, contact either of the group co-ordinators.

Future Meetings:             

Friday 19th July – Love and heartbreak.

Previous meeting reports

Friday 24th June 2019: There were only 6 members at the June meeting – probably due to a U3A visit to Bletchley Park.  This prompted further discussion about how we pay for the room hire. On this occasion those present paid £2 each, but it was agreed to discuss further at the July meeting.

The first topic this month was Dylan Thomas and we discussed his short and notorious life. We found that, due to lack of metre, rhyme and/or punctuation, it was difficult to read his poems.  They probably need re-reading to understand them better.  There are descriptions of family life and the countryside but also references to dying.  We read the following:-

·        A Child’s Christmas in Wales (excerpt)

·        Poem in October

·        Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night

·        Polly Garter (from Under Milk Wood)

·        Fern Hill

·        Mary Ann Sailors (from Under Milk Wood)

As this month’s meeting coincided with the Summer Solstice, we also chose “Summer” as a topic and read these poems:

·        In That Summer of Loving You                                  Deborah Hawley

·        Soon Will the Summer Pumps Come On                 Matthew Arnold

·        The School in August                                                    Philip Larkin

Barbara Wigley reminded us that at each solstice a selection of appropriate poems are read throughout the day on BBC Radio 4.  You can also catch up with them at BBC Sounds.

Friday 17th May : Members were reminded that we are now charged £10/session to use the library meeting room and it had been agreed that we pay £1.00 each when we attend.

The subject this month was poems that have been set to music.  This had proved more difficult than we anticipated to find poems other than such as nursery rhymes.

It was an entertaining meeting as after reading a poem, it was either sung by the more musical of the group or we listened to a rendering on i-phones.  These were the poems we chose.

  • ·       My Orchard by Linden Lea                     Poem by William Barnes and set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams as Linden Lea.
  • ·       War                                                      Words and music by Bob Marley
  • ·       A Red Red Rose                                   A traditional song in Scots by Robert Burns in 1794 which is often published as a poem.
  • ·       Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes          Based on Ben Johnson’s poem of 1616 “To Celia”.  It was subsequently set to music. A notable recording was by Paul Robeson.
  • ·       Trees                                                    (Alfred) Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer wrote this poem in 1914.  He was killed in 1918 at the second Battle of Marne aged only 31. This poem was also sung by Paul Robeson.
  • ·       Down by the Salley Gardens                  W B Yeats.  We listened to a wonderful recording by Kathleen Ferrier.
  • ·       Windmills of Your Mind                          The lyrics were by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and sung by Noel Harrison in the opening of the film The Thomas Crown affair.
  • ·       Come Into the Garden, Maud                 Poem by Alfred Tennyson.  Sang by many well known performers including Marie Lloyd.
  • ·       Greensleeves                                        A song from Tudor times with the suggestion that the words were written by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn.
  • ·       Bobby Shafto                                        A North East England folk song.
  • ·       Jerusalem                                             The poem by William Blake was titled “And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time”.  It was set to music by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916 as the hymn Jerusalem.

 15th March 2019

Again we were few in numbers with 8 members present as there was a U3A National Trust group visit on the same day.

Our topic this month was Walter de la Mare (1873-1956).  We read 20 of his poems and discussed how varied his work was, from poems for children to quite melancholy works. Among those we read were “The Listeners” and “Someone” and we speculated on whether “Someone” was written from the perspective of being in the house when the traveller came knocking.

This is a link to the Walter de la Mare Society website which is very informative. http://www.walterdelamare.co.uk/4.html

These are the poems we read :-

  • ·       The Listeners
  • ·       Nod
  • ·       Mrs McQueen
  • ·       Mother Bird
  • ·       Nicholas Nye
  • ·       Silver
  • ·       The Bards
  • ·       Bones
  • ·       When the Roses Faded
  • ·       Someone
  • ·       Five Eyes
  • ·       Miss T
  • ·       An Epitaph
  • ·       Alone
  • ·       “Sooeep!”
  • ·       Farewell
  • ·       Snow
  • ·       Full Moon
  • ·       Tired Tim
  • ·       All that’s Past
  • Meeting, 15th February 2019:
  • There were only eight members as this month’s meeting. Quite a few of our group were away in Llandudno.  Nevertheless, it was a lively meeting, including a couple of sing-songs!  This month’s topic was “Love” and these are the poems we read:
  • ·       The First Time Percy Came Back                                       Mary Oliver
  • ·       How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)                                    Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • ·       Redback love poem                                                               Anon
  • ·       Love Is                                                                                        Adrian Hanley
  • ·       The Owl and the Pussy Cat                                                 Edward Lear
  • ·       Annabel Lee                                                                             Edgar Alan Poe
  • ·       Love at First Sight                                                                  Danielle C Thomas
  • ·       My Love is Like a Red Red Rose                                         Robert Burns
  • ·       Unruly Son                                                                               Anon
  • ·       Regrets                                                                                     
  • ·       A Subalterns Love Song                                                       John Betjeman
  • ·       When You Are Old                                                                 W B Yeats
  • ·       Beautiful Dreamer                                                   Stephen Foster
  • §  (and vocal renditions by Bing Crosby and Al Jolson)
  • ·       Meeting at Night                                                                    Robert Browning
  • ·       Shropshire Lad                                                                        A E Houseman
  • ·       To Celia                                                                                     Ben Johnson
  • ·       My True Love Has My Heart                                               Sir Phillip Sidney
  • ·       Love’s Philosophy                                                                  Percy Shelley
  • ·       From June to September                                                     Wendy Cope
  • ·       Loving Husbands                                                                    Ogden Nash
  • ·       What Matters on Valentine’s Day                                    Anon                 
  • ·       She Walks in Beauty                                                             Lord Byron

Friday 18th January 2019

The topic to start the new year was Dogs, Cats and other Animals and once again a wide selection of poems were read. Some more serious than others and Pam Ayres was well represented – no less than four of her poems being read by various members of the group.

The Animal Shelter at Gardner’s Lane            Pam Ayres
Cats                                                                         A S J Tessimond
My First Pet                                                          Kevin T Pearson
When the Maker…..                                            Anon
A Cats Ageing                                                       Sir Alexander Gray
A Dog at Home                                                    Pam Ayres
Deer                                                                       John Drinkwater
Stray Cat                                                               Francis Witham
Puppy and I                                                          A A Milne
The Tyger                                                             William Blake
The Owl and the Pussy Cat                               Edward Lear
Snow in the Suburbs                                          Thomas Hardy
The Puppy                                                            Pam Ayres
The Drowned Spaniel                                        Charles Tennyson Turner
The Gift                                                                 J M Berry
Perfect                                                                   Anon
The Fool who wants a Cat                                 J Luke Migliacci
The Snow Leopard                                              Denis Martindale
The Hedgehog                                                     Edith King
The Lion                                                               Roald Dahl
The Ballad of Rum                                             Peter R Wolveridge
My Hairy Best Friend                                        Anon
The Singing Cat                                                   Stevie Smith
The Terrifying Toaster                                      Pam Ayres
A Satire against Mankind                                John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
The Hippopotamus                                            T S Eliot
Symbiosis                                                             Jill Stevenson
Batty about Bats                                                 Philip Ardagh

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