March Poetry Club

Once again, I have to say, I LOVE Poetry Club. The discussion always segues from the poems recited or read by members into topics of high interest to all.

This month we started off with two poems from Susan. The first was a fun experiment in participation of the poem “Overheard in a Saltmarsh” by Harold Munro. Susan took us to new levels by reciting the poem with vivid expression and drawing a vivid image for us of the Salmarsh. She followed this with “Myth” by Muriel Rukeyser. A follow up to what happens to Oedipus, when he was quite old. A lively discussion of feminism and the use of the male version of words to include men and women and how this impacted us as women followed.

Cindy transitioned us from our discussion with her presentation of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Most of the group was familiar with this “manifesto” of the 60’s, but I was not. The discussion then took a turn to what this poem had meant to people at the time and why something written in 1927 was thought to be so illustrative of what young people wanted in the “summer of love.”

Alas, I had a busy month and I didn’t memorize my poem. I tried. What I discovered..memorizing takes focus. No matter how many times you say the words, if your mind is elsewhere they don’t stick! (At least for me). This gave me pause when thinking about children who have so much trouble “memorizing” the multiplication charts.

Last month I talked about Dorianne Laux, as two members had memorized her poems. I bought her book! I did love it, although there are some rather sad poems related to the loss of a sister and a mother. The poem I planned to memorize but read aloud instead is title “Ant Farm.” Such emotion between her sister and her and how their childhood actions and reactions impacted them. It fascinated me that my poem fit so well following our discussion of the first two.

Then Leslie continued our theme (strange how this happens!) with “Diamonds and Rust” by Joan Baez. Of course we were all familiar with the song, but it is amazing how different it sounds when read as a poem.

Kathy finished up our day with a short poem by Amy Lowell (quite the interesting historic figure) titled “A Decade” and a bit of a love poem, with a short yet potent message of nourishment.