This, the last meeting of the term, had the appropriate theme of Fairs,Fetes and Festivals.. Between us we read 26 poems, all bang on subject, ‘Christmas Market’ by Mike Harding,’ King John’s Christmas by AAMilne, ‘Taro Fair’ by Ian Corse and ‘Little Tree’ by ee cummings to mention a few.
We were sad to say goodbye to Kathleen Mustoe whose company we have all enjoyed but we wish her well as, on her husband’s retirement, they are moving to Amersham.
Meeting of Nov. 12th. Landmarks.
This is a subject that appears at first glance to be challenging. It can be written about in so many ways – not just in poems about architectural or scenic landmarks but about anything that marks our passage – ceremonies, outstanding events, turning points, realisations.
Meeting of Nov. 26th.
This was the day of the two Mary’s – Mary Wilson, wife of the ex Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and Mary Oliver the American poet who has recently died.
On the occasion of her death, Stephanie Burt of The New Yorker,’ wrote,“ ‘The utmost of ambition’ Robert Frost once wrote. ‘is to lodge a few poems where they will be hard to get rid of, not on university syllabi but in the memory of a generation.’ Few poets achieved this more evidently, or more obviously than Mary Oliver.”
Although Mary Wilson would probably not have placed herself on this level she nevertheless wrote some comely poems and with real feeling. At this meeting 17 of Mary Oliver’s poems were read and six of Mary Wilson’s.
In this meeting we read from the work of three contemporary women poets, Liz Berry, Jackie Kay and Hele Mort. Jackie Kay was particularly well-represented, probably because she is the most well-known of the three but we had a flavour of Helen Mort’s and Liz Berry’s poetry at an enjoyable meeting with 14 members present.
Early October is the chance for our writers to shine, and shine they do, reading a representative three poems each at this popular annual event. There is an opportunity for others who write, to read one poem each but these are not included in the annual anthology compiled this year by Nola Turner.
Nola herself recently had a poem published in ‘Artemis’ the magazine produced by ‘Second Light’ to showcase the work of older women poets. It is good to see her work represented there. Several of our writers have achieved publication.