After a change of venue because of the heat wave, John and Judy Williams kindly hosted our meeting in the cool of their back garden. The selection of poems was as varied as ever with the quality matching the pleasantness of the environment. Some readers were plainly suffering from the old Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times!”; Carol Ann Duffy’s caustic exclusive poem for The Guardian about the Conservatives’ election campaign, Anne-Marie Fyfe’s Newsflash on Kennedy’s assassination, WS Merwin’s ironic verse on giving thanks when all around you is going wrong and even WH Davies’ lament about there being “no time to stand and stare” all fell into this category.
We had two poems about ill-fated sea voyages, Sir John Franklin’s attempt to sail the North West passage, and a wonderfully descriptive verse by Thomas Love Peacock on a philosopher’s totally inadequate self- assembled craft and his refusal to accept afterwards that its demise was inevitable. We had evocative descriptions of dusk falling by Goethe and on Venice by Lord Byron and delightful descriptions of landscapes by Thomas Hardy, Hugh Macdiarmid and the subtle rhythms of Gerald Manley Hopkins. The triumph of the evening, however, was Harvey Rose’s reading of An Overworked Elocutionist about a boy who has totally forgotten the set text he has to recite and hilariously gets by, by cobbling together odd lines from other poems he remembers. A wonderful evening!
|Kathy Hall||Campaign||Carol Anne Duffy|
|Paul Williamson||Weathers||Thomas Hardy|
|Judy Williams||Venice – Palazzo Lioni||Lord Byron|
|John Lavers||Thanks||W.S. Merwin|
|Annie Cartland||Scotland Small?||Hugh Macdiarmid|
|Sarah Haimendorf||Dusk has Fallen||Goethe|
|Trevor Barnes||St Peter of Scotland||Thomas Love Peacock|
|Harvey Rose||An Overworked Elocutionist||Carolyn Wells|
|Claire Williamson (read by her husband)||Leisure||WH Davies|
|Marjorie Wiles||Binsey Poplars||Gerald Manley Hopkins|
|John Williams||About the last member of Sir John Franklin’s expedition to die||Vicar of Edenhall 1859|
|Susan Stanley-Carroll||Newsflash||Anne-Marie Fyfe|
Next meeting on Tuesday 25th July, 2017 in a Bedford Park garden.