Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Today was our monthly Poetry Meeting at friend W's house.  We meet in her conservatory and it is lovely to sit there and see her hens roaming around outside and the pony in the field looking over the gate and her neighbour T walking up the field to commune with his bees.   And in addition the poetry is good too!

This month there were only seven of us so in theory we should have got a lot of poetry read aloud.   But what in fact happened was that we had lots of interesting talk as well.   Friend S had a book of poetry collected for the Queen's jubilee - one poem for each year of her reign and each poem sparked such a lot of reminiscence.

For example one centred on the assassination of JFK and we were all able to recall where we were when we heard the news.   It seemed such a very long time ago.

I read a Betjamen poem 'Original Sin on the Sussex Coast' a rather sad poem in which JB recalls being bullied as a child.   Not at all his usual kind of poem - it did lead us to wonder about how poetry does fall into categories.   Some poets write intellectual poetry (Eliot?) while others seem to write from the heart (Rosetti?).  The friend S and I got to chatting about whether music might not be the same.  We thought of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven who after all overlapped in their lives yet Haydn's music to me is much less
'emotional' than that of Beethoven's Concertos.   I know this is a
very simplistic view but one we were happy to chat about.

We all left after a slice of a delicious apricot and almond cake baked by S and lovely little chocolate mouthfuls with a swirl of butter cream on the top.   A lovely civilised afternoon.

Shame I had to come home to a six o'clock news dominated by The Budget.  


Gerry Snape said...

I agree with you Pat about poetry. Some of the poems that I read on the various sites I follow are so cerebral that I can't feel anything as I read them and others such as Dave King touch my heart often very deeply ...he writes as he thinks I feel but with such a wonderful use of words...a bit like Heaney...that's my kind of poet!!!

Heather said...

What a wonderfully stimulating and thought provoking afternoon you all had. I think preferences for poetry must be just as personal as those for music. Both feed the soul but in different ways.

Dartford Warbler said...

If I lived just along the dale from you I would love to join your poetry group. Stimulating discussion washed down with tea, home made cakes and some good poetry - what a lovely way to spend a winter`s afternoon!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

It sounds like a lovely afternoon.

Elizabeth said...

Civilized indeed!
I sometimes think I should stop reading the newspaper and watching TV news because all it does is fill one's mind with sad stuff that one is quite unlikely to do anything about.....just get all angry and miserable.

That's why I enjoy your blog and others since they talk about everyday lives with few explosions and budget meltdowns!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think Elizabeth has the right idea - we can't do much about all the sadness and misery in the world, so why do we watch it I wonder. Thanks for visiting.

Dominic Rivron said...

I always think Haydn is very emotional. He may appear less so in comparison with Beethoven - but then most of Beethoven's music hadn't been written.

I do think a lot of good music is first and foremost neither emotional nor intellectual. I think the best music breathes the air of another world and it's main function is allow us entry to that other world. This is, of course a thrilling (and therefore emotional) experience but sometimes the emotional and intellectual satisfaction are secondary.

Dominic Rivron said...

I've just found this quote from Stravinsky: "I consider that music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, or psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc….Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence."