Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Poetry Day

Today has been our monthly poetry day and as usual it has been a lovely afternoon. We are still meeting in W's conservatory and today the sun was so warm that two members had to have brollies up to shelter them from the sunshine.

We had a super selection of poetry - serious, funny, lyrical, modern, old, but all so enjoyable. Poetry was meant to be read aloud and somehow it is so much more enjoyable when it is read out loud than when one reads it to oneself.

Before we began our reading though S told us about the origins of Indian Summer. We are certainly having an Indian Summer here at the moment - days of pure, unbroken sunshine, warm temperatures and early morning mist. Perfect Autumn days and we are making the most of them up here in the Dales.

I think we had all assumed that the term 'Indian Summer' probably referred in some way to the sub-continent of India. No such thing. Apparently the most likely origin of the term relates to the North American Indian, particularly in New England and New York. Here raiding parties would take place if there was a thaw in January because of course the raiders could not be tracked back to their village if there were no snow tracks to follow. Or one other explanation is that when there was a warm break in the weather squash and corn were harvested.

You learn something every month at our poetry group - as well as a nice plate of cakes, courtesy of W, plenty of laughs and chat - and above all beautiful, varied poetry.

13 comments:

Gwil W said...

Here in Austria we call it "Old Wives Summer" - I now imagine raiding parties of old wives . . .

Heather said...

Your afternoon sounds so lovely Pat. I feel partly responsible for the warm and dry weather as I have just rewaxed my Barber jacket!

Gerry Snape said...

What a lovely combination...poetry and an Indian summer!

Rubye Jack said...

Your poetry circle is such a great idea. I can only read poetry for a short time when I am alone, but can imagine being in a group and how nice it would be to listen to others.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Talking of beautiful varied poetry....has it arrived yet?!!

Elizabeth said...

Sounds a super afternoon.
I have joined Poets House in NY -- biking distance in Battery Park City --an excellent library.
Re Indian summer -- I heard that it was a little gathering of warm days AFTER the first frost. Who knows? it really seems just to mean summery days after autumn has officially set in.

MorningAJ said...

Brollies up? INDOORS? My grandma would have had a fit!

Glad you enjoyed your afternoon though.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

In Hungary they also call it Old Women's Summer. I always thought this was because the old women would sit outside on a chair and enjoy the sun, and because the year is old at that point. I enjoyed Gwil W's imagining raiding parties of old wives! Why not?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Your poetry group sounds lovely! I think it dependson the poetry as to whether it's better read aloud...

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

What a wonderful way to spend a warm autumn day :)

H said...

Poetry circle is a great idea. So much of what makes poetry great is down to the sounds and the rhythm. Reading poetry in your head is almost as bad as doing the same with a song! It seems like a great way to spend an afternoon!

Jenn Jilks said...

I'd like to be part of a writing group. Good for you. Happy writing!
Cheers from Cottage Country!

Golden West said...

I read last night that you may be in store for the warmest October in the UK ever - that should be a great way to transition into winter!