The theme of the meeting was ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’ which members interpreted in their own way giving rise to poems like Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Warming Her Pearls’ to Liz Lockhead’s ‘How I’ll Decorate My Tree’ and Adele Radelat, our hostess for the day, did us proud with an array of Christmas goodies to have with our tea.
Sadly for us. it was Patsy Paine’s last meeting as she and her husband John are moving away from Bromley to live close to their daughter in Princes Risborough at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. Patsy has been a member of the Shortlands Poetry Circle for 30 years and we will miss her calm presence and her obvious delight in poetry. John will be missed as well a he is well known for lending a hand at our functions, having washed up. served wine and offered his calligraphy skills at Ripley’s annual Garden Party.
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.
This topic seemed to strike a chord with members and there was an interesting range of poems.
A baby arrived, a pet departed. Among others there was the famous villanelle ‘One Art’ by Elizabeth Bishop’, ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ by Philip Larkin. Moniza Alvi’s ‘Arrival 1946’ about a post-war immigrant’s initial experience of England (finding it a strange place) and Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Departure Platform.
Isabel Turvey (aka Bermudez) recently gained a Highly Commended in the prestigious Winchester Poetry Competition. Congratulations Isabel.
This was where we went back in time to the works of Andrew Marvell, Walter Raleigh and Thomas Traherne.
Ann Barlow started the meeting with an account of the life and works of the first two and Mavis Robinson told us about Thomas Traherne whose works were only fully appreciated after being found towards the end of the 19th. century on a street bookstall.
Even then, he was mistaken at first for Henry Vaughan. Altogether, 7 poems by Traherne were read, 13 by Raleigh and 8 by Marvell.