This was the last meeting of the Summer Term. After a brief introduction by Diane Chorley we read poems by Vernon Scannell and Kathleen Raine.
Many of us were familiar with some of Vernon Scannell’s poems in particular, as they are widely anthologised. What did come as a surprise was his autobiography. Born in 1922 Scannell left school at 14 and at one time in his life was a boxer. This experience is reflected in his poem The Loving Game’ which Jennie Milne chose to read where love, he says, hurts more than being in the ring. Scannell also served in the British Army during the Second World War and in 1947 studied at Leeds University. His poetry was published from the 1950’s right up to the last year of his life. He wrote, it has been said, about life’s ironies, big and small. His poetry is human and accessible and used to be read by him in a gravelly voice.
Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) was a prolific poet and also wrote scholarly works on Blake and Yeats. She was one of the founders of the Temenos Review and the Tenemos Academy.
Raine was attracted to the work of ‘the romantics’ and valued nature and the life of the imagination. Several of her poems are set in the landscape of Wester Ross where she shared a love of the natural world in her relationship with Gavin Maxwell, author of ‘Ring Of Bright Water.’ One of our members read ‘The Ring’ from ‘The Marriage Of Pysche’ ‘He married me with a ring, a ring of bright water/ whose ripples travel from the heart of the sea –‘ Other poems read were ‘Change’ ‘Dream’ ‘Shells’ and ‘Winds’.