Anne ran this workshop on Form and Creativity in response to requests from the Writers’ Group.
It was held in the function room of The Daylight Inn Petts Wood where we sat round a white-clothed table with plenty of paper and coffee on tap.
By the end of the day we had learned about three forms – the ghazal, the glose and terza rima. Not only this but we were trying them on for size and beginning to use them. In many cases it was surprising what emerged in so short a time.
Many thanks to Anne for her enthusiasm and considerable knowledge. It was pleasurable to stretch our wings without too many bumpy landings
The Daylight Inn Petts Wood
If there was a problem with this it was being ‘spoilt for choice.’ All the better, so far as the meeting was concerned, because people avoided the obvious and this made for a very interesting and varied bill of fare. Not all of the poems of course were about paintings or sculptures There were at least two about photography and two poems by our own Isabel Bermudez (aka Turvey) were read, reproduced on a calendar illustrated by her artist husband.
Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Standing Female Nude
One member teamed Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Standing Female Nude’ with ‘The Women of Rubens’ by Wislawa Szymborska. Another member reminded us that R. S. Thomas, who is normally associated with religious poetry, had written a poem about Cezanne’s painting of card players. There was a poem about dancing by none other than Ninette de Valois and one of the starting poems was ‘Bohemia’ by Dorothy Parker who cocked a snook at all things artistic.
These were poems we were all eager to share. Art books were brought and displayed and it was a case of seventeen different minds being brought to bear on how poets have responded to the visual arts
Judging from the list we keep of poems read, our attention was divided almost equally between Mimi Khalvati and Carole Satyamurti. Both are greatly loved poets who have won prestigious awards. Some members who write poems themselves have experienced Mimi’s excellent Versification Course which she ran for many years. It was considered the ‘go-to’ class for anyone who wanted to learn about form in poetry and many people benefited from it. Carole Satyamurti is also an experienced workshop leader and tutor, being especially interested in connections between poetry and visual art. She is also a sociologist and has worked at London’s Tavisock clinic.
As is usual some information was prepared about the life and works of these two poets and for those wanting to find out for themselves, Anne Stewart’s poetrypf site was useful. From Mimi we listened to poems that are mystical yet down to earth.
From Carole, we were lifted from our everyday surroundings and taken to unexpected places. It all added up to a very enjoyable time in the company of two remarkable poets.