Category Archives: Shortlands Poetry Circle

Meeting of Jan. 28th 2020. Eleanor Farjeon and Walter de la Mare

Seventeen people attended this meeting and Ruth Smith provided the two poets’ biographies before we got down to the business (and pleasure) of reading a selection of their poems.

It is always hard to judge which poet members will turn to most but in this instance 16 of Eleanor Farjeon’s poems were read and 18 of Walter de la Mare’s. A comment was made that Eleanor Farjeon’s poems read better than expected and Anne Stooke was praised for her rendition of ‘Mrs. Malone’.

Eleanor Farjeon

Eleanor Farjeon

Our note-taker wrote down a quotation from Walter de la Mare about his poems, saying that if any of them had the good fortune to give a fraction of the pleasure in the reading that they gave in writing it will be the author’s reward

Meeting of Jan. 14th 2020. Open Choice

Fifteen people attended this meeting and came ready with two poems each, the second being a shorter one for the last part of the meeting. Sometimes members take the opportunity to read from a favourite poet but just as often it may be something they’ve come across recently. Poems from different eras and nations were read, one written by one member but read by another as there is a bar on reading our own work. This is especially the case as we have a Writers’ Group for sharing of our own poems. Here is the list for this meeting.

Reader                                     Poem                                                Title Poet

Ann Barlow                        Hymn to Birds                                Kei Miller
Members of the Public                   Nick Ashby

Diane Chorley                     Go and open the door                    Miroslav Holub
Sometimes                               Sheenagh Pugh

Liz Maliphant                       A poem for Epiphany                John Heath Stubbs
Th New Year’s Gift                      Robert Herrick

Foster Murphy                      The Race                                      Fiona Moore
The Sceptic                                    Robert Service

Christine Pope             The Peace Of Wild Things                 Wendell Berry
Day after Boxing Day                        Paul Cookson

Adele Radelat                 The Frog in the Swimming Pool      Deborah Gregor
The Duck                                                Ogden Nash

Mavis Robinson                    from ‘Sabbath’                               Wendell Berry
Recitative by Death                         W.H. Auden

Loraine Saacks                      Mayflower Matrons No. 7          Andrew Creasey
Hope                                            Frederick von Schiller

Ruth Smith                            A Portable Paradise                     Roger Robinson
Squirrel heights                                Peter Daniels

Anne Stewart             Answer to a verse by Mr. A. Pope         Countess Ann of Winchelsea
The Rudiments of Musical Knowledge             Jane Sharp

Anne Stooke                   Washing Day Monday morning 1966                  Dawn Bauling
Late Love                                                             Jackie Kay

Nola Turner                     Jam Market                                                    Diana Sanders
Triolet for a sycamore                                      Ruth Kelsey

Paul Norris                       On the Death of my first Daughter                     Ben Jonson
On the Death of my first Son

Michael Bobbs                   The Garden                                                    Andrew Marvell
A little East of Jordan                                            Emily Dickinson

Christina Webster                           The Caterpillar                                  Guillame Apollinaire
A Woman Writer doing her Washing             Anna Swirszczynsk

Meeting of 10th December 2019

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.

November Meetings 2019

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.

Meeting of Oct. 22nd 2019

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.

Meeting of Oct. 8th 2019 Writers’ Portfolio Meeting

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.