We concentrated in this meeting on the two poets Milton and Blake. Nola Turner provided introductory notes on both poets with Isabel Turvey reading the notes on Milton and Christine Pope the notes on Blake. Although we had some previous knowledge of both poets and knew some of their work, it was good to have more detail.
Quite a few people chose to read from Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost,’ fortunately from different books, which helped us to get a feel for the work. Some of Milton’s sonnets were read and several of the shorter poems of Blake, which fitted well with the requirement to read a shorter poem in the second half.
We were very pleased to welcome back our ex-President Diane Chorley who is now well enough to attend meetings. We also welcomed two guests, one of whom has already become a member.
It seemed a long time since we last met as a group but not so long for the members who met at Mavis Robinson’s flat for a very pleasant afternoon of poetry and chat.
Mavis also opened the term for us with a talk on Victorian Poetry, giving a general background to the period. Given that so many children died in infancy and many adults died young, it was not surprising there was a preoccupation with death in Victorian literature generally. Mavis also pointed out that many of the working class poor were unable to read in an age where there were considerable advances in technology.
Although members did not know in advance what the theme of Mavis’s talk was to be, Victorian poetry was very well represented including excerpts from Tennyson’s
At last the Poetry Cup funded by the Circle has been presented to Theodore Antonov, a pupil at St. Olave’s and St. Saviour’s Grammar School who is now at Bristol University reading English. Theodore also won a prize in the local Penge Poetry Competition. A very talented young man.
Ruth Smith and Nola Turner attended the annual Prizegiving to see Theodore receive the Kemal Cup for Poetry from Lord Lingfield.