A somewhat smaller group convened for our May reading with many of our regular readers away on their travels. Nevertheless, seventeen of our staunch supporters, along with their audience, met for another wonderful evening of poetry and Italian culinary delights at our usual venue – the Mama Mia Restaurant in Sheen.
Tim Catchpole was our able compere and, inspired by the recent biopic, opened proceedings with Emily Dickinson’s ‘Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers’. This set the tone for much of the evening, with many of the poems reflecting a preoccupation with the passing of time and our own mortality. John Philpot and Hugh Springall both chose to read Roger McGough in works which reflected the poet’s changing attitude to death during his own life time – thus John’s choice ‘Let me Die a Young Man’s Death’ written when he was a young man in the Sixties contrasted poignantly with Hugh’s selection – ‘Coach & Horses. Interior’ and ‘Tomatoes’ – taken from an anthology of McGough’s recent work.
Light relief came in the life-affirming choice from Tom Stanier ‘You Made me Fly’ by J. Samm. Equally positive were Marin Sorescu’s ‘With Only One Life’ from Andrew Shimield and Fleur Adcock’s ‘Kissing’ read by his wife Julie, while the evening’s organiser, Kathy Philpot offered the wonderfully bawdy, outrageously funny ‘Saturday Night’, in a tribute to the late, great Victoria Woodorses. Interior’ and ‘Tomatoes’….
Jeremy Preston gave us Matthew Arnold’s lyric poem ‘Dover Beach’ his tribute to a great-grandfather who died at Arras and whose last view of England would have been its white cliffs ‘glimmering and vast out in the tranquil sea’. Joy Manners evoked wistful memories of parental love in ‘Genetics’ by Sinaad Morrisey, echoed by Adrienne Jack’s reading of ‘Lanyard’ a moving tribute to his mother from the American poet Billy Collins which comes fittingly from an anthology ‘Poems that Make Men Cry’.
The group will meet again in the autumn. Watch your mailboxes and the Pass on a Poem weekly bulletin for a Save the Date notification.
|Andrew Shimield||‘With Only One Life’ by Marin Sorescu|
|David Massa||‘Twist of Water’ by Peter Scupham|
|John Philpot||‘Let me Die a Young Man’s Death’ by Roger McGough|
|Hugh Springall||‘Coach & Horses. Interior’ and ‘Tomatoes’ by Roger McGough|
|I N T E R V A L|
|Kathy Philpot||‘Saturday Night’ by Victoria Wood|
|Shiona Llewellyn||‘The Times, They Are a’Changin’ by Bob Dylan|
|Richard Rickford||‘The Fall of Rome’ by W. H. Auden|
|Lynne Hood||An extract from ‘Chorus’ from Hippolytus of Euripides, translated by Gilbert Murray|
|Carol Springall||‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’ by Edward Lear|
|Joy Manners||‘Genetics’ by Sinaad Morrisey|
|Jeremy Preston||‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold|
|Adrienne Jack||‘Lanyard’ by Billy Collins|