Category Archives: Member Profiles

Meeting of 27th. November The poetry of Michael Longley, Sean O’Brien and Robin Robertson

Ann Barlow supplied information about the first two poets with Ruth Smith following on with an account of Robin Robertson’s poetry. Several members were unable to make it for this meeting but nine poems by Michael Longley were read, seven by Sean O’Brien and four by Robin Robertson.

We found that the smaller numbers allowed time for discussion and one of Michael Longley’s poems, chosen by Patsy Paine, was read twice for further enjoyment.

Advertisements

Success and Congratulations Isabel

Isabel Turvey (aka Bermudez) recently gained a Highly Commended in the prestigious Winchester Poetry Competition. Congratulations Isabel.

Meeting of April 24th 2018

It seemed a long time since we last met and the topic, as always at the beginning of a term, was ‘Open Choice’ When it came round to Christine Pope she told us a bit more about her and Mavis’s visit to the Poetry Library for an evening on the Dymock poets, some of whose grandchildren were present on the day.

Here is the list of poems read:-

 

Ann Barlow The Quiet Ones Wyn Parkinson
In the Museum of Antiquated Offices: Exhibit C, Fax Machine Emma Simon
Janet Chapman Home Thoughts from Abroad Robert Browning
Printing Jenny Matthew Mitchell
Diane Chorley What do women want? Kim Addonizio
Light Month Victoria Redel
Sheila Corrin  A Date with Spring John Agard
Shall I compare thee …………? William Shakespeare
Jean Ellis  Translations Adrienne Rich
From ‘Quarto’ Adrienne Rich
Monica King This is going to hurt just a little bit Ogden Nash
The Photograph Lorna Dexter
Liz Maliphant High Wood Ewart Alan Macintosh
Song for a beautiful girl Adrian Henri
Kathleen Mustoe Counting Fleur Adcock
Under the Lawn Fleur Adcock
Adele Radelat The power of the Dog Rudyard Kipling
Going too far Wendy Cope
Mavis Robinson The Salutation Thomas Traherne
One does get old at last Ruth Pitter
Loraine Saacks  My Future Robert William Service
A Parent’s prayer David Axton
Nola Turner On Meryl Pugh
Beck Simon Armitage
Ruth Smith Poundland Simon Armitage
For Edward Thomas Sasha Dugdale
Anne Stooke Apple Blossom Louis McNeice
The Legs Robert Graves
Patsy Paine Sentenced to Life Clive James
Azma Unpacks her Pretty clothes Clive James
Christine Pope  Adelstrop Edward Thomas
Adelstrop 1987 Alan Brownjohn
Creative Writing Gervase Finn

After the meeting, many us us stayed as Ann Barlow and Monica King reported their findings from the Suggestions Book and invited comments. In the light of the discussion that followed, some choices were made which will be presented to the Committee at their May meeting. From this the programme for next year will be constructed.

 

Meeting of January 23rd 2018

A slightly thinner crowd than usual, more due to illness than to any disinterest in the poetry of Byron and Shelley.

We were grateful to Ann Barlow for her summary of both poets’ lives and work, then the reading began. More than one person read excerpts from Byron’s ‘Don Juan’ and we paid tribute to Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’ and ‘Ode To A Skylark.’ In all, eleven of Shelley’s poems were read and thirteen of Byron’s. It was good to be reacquainted with these two poets and to hear their stories.

Ruth Smith Member Profile

I was introduced to poetry during my early schooldays by a ferocious teacher who read William Blake’s ‘The Tiger’ with such power and conviction that I was utterly overwhelmed. Then came ballads, the poetry of Walter de la Mare and ‘A Child’s Garland Of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.

After this early flush of enthusiasm, poetry became something you had to learn by heart for homework but I loved reading Shakespeare and Wordsworth when I was older.

Many years later, when I retired from my job as an English teacher, I tried to write poetry, tutored by Matthew Sweeney and Maurice Riordan who put up with all my blunders and excesses. There was always a such a gulf between the poem I wanted to write and the one I produced. Things gradually improved, but what a long time it took!

I must have joined the SPC shortly after the Centenary Celebrations and enjoyed ferreting out poems to bring to the meetings and found myself in good company. I never imagined then that I would one day take on the Presidency having always considered myself something of a ‘backroom girl.’

I continue to write – rather slowly – and to read poetry aloud and it is the pleasure of my life.

 

Meeting of 28th. Nov. Topic – The Visual Arts

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

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