In common with National Poetry Day (yesterday, 8th October), we took “Light” as our theme for the meeting on Monday evening. This post’s title is taken from Andy’s “Increasingly enlightened”, which succeeded in keeping several layers of meaning illuminated for the duration of a quite complex piece of writing. Andy’s second poem was an impromptu haiku in response to one by Joan. Or was Joan’s a halliku? The jury is still out. Anyway, it was good to hear her reading her own work!
Jo read two small but perfectly-formed poems on the topic of light. The use of rhyme and repeated lines made them seem to fold in on themselves in a satisfying origami-like way. Rosalie’s poem, ostensibly about packing to go hoime at the end of a holiday, began with a striking line and kept up the quality throughout. Sara read a small but powerful poem full of implied danger. The lasting image of the light in a rural phone-box at night could be straight from a black-and-white film.
Wendy’s two poems dealt in her usual deft and seemingly effortless style with aspects of light. Mark gave us “The Brecon Beacons had switched off their Light” and an affectionate poem about a lasting marriage. Ewa’s “Beauty in Decay” was full of light and shadow, and Morag read “Chiaroscuro” from the most recent Fountain anthology. Annette read two of her “Louis” poems, playfully and lovingly exploring the darker and lighter sdes of parenting. Ama read “Winter Boat” (starlight and pyrelight) and “Candlemas“. She also read, in Chris’s absence, his profound and perceptive poem “Sunlight Time”.
Paul read two entertaining poems in his unique style – one about planning, but not actually writing, poetry, and one about the memorable quality of a truly awful performance. The first line had us all laughing, and we had to control our guffaws in order to hear the rest. Karin, who is currently “between poems” read “O the Places you’ll go” by the late great Doctor Seuss. Well worth revisiting – I’ll be looking for it in the library. Ewan read two poems of holiday memories, one recent and one from childhood. A poem can be the best kind of souvenir, and it never needs to be dusted!
It was great to have our founder, Jane Williams, with us. Jane read, from her first collection, “Harvesting Potatoes”, a memory of work and sexual awakening during WW2, and “Clouded Yellow”, a tale of a troubled child with a disturbing attitude to wildlife. We hope you’ll come more often, Jane.
The next meeting will be on Monday 2nd November; it will be chaired by Jo and the topic will be clocks. We hope to continue meeting at the Sherston Inn. Archie, the new manager, made us welcome.
Fountain stars: Rosie Jackson was joint first in the Bath Poetry Cafe competition. Rosie and Ama were placed 2nd and 3rd in the Battered Moons competition, and Ama won first prize in the Poetry Space competition. Rosie also had three poems short-listed for the Buzzwords competition, and Jinny was short-listed in the Bridport Prize. Rachael has a poem is the 52 Anthology (Nine Arches Press) and Jo has poems forthcoming in “Gnarled Oak“. Sara, Zanna, Rachael and Ama were all in the short-list for the Bath Cafe Competition.
We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own and other people’s models, learn to be ourselves and allow our natural channel to open.