Poetry Club August 2019

A fun, if a bit dark at times, discussion surrounded this months poems. The unplanned, underlying theme….fire! Which shouldn’t be surprising as we all live in the Sierra Foothills, with fires on our minds at this time of year.

Susan gave a rollicking performance of “I Went to A Marvelous Party” by Noel Coward. This poem/song is special to her because of a family friend who performed it and she will be reciting it at a memorial service. Such a good poem to be creative with accents and “posh” expressions. You can listen to him here, (although I like Susan’s version better!)

Cindy read two poems by Anne Sexton, in the genre of confessional poets. Which does not move one toward happy endings. “The Ambition Bird” provided vivid images of an unhappy mind prone to seeing a bit of despair in everything, from immolation to passing out his heart like hors d’oevres. Sexton’s second poem, “45 Mercy Street”, took us back in time, to that desperate spot of recall about what has impacted one throughout a life time. Cindy brought us back to peace with a poem she wrote herself, “Gardener’s Meditation”. A soothing poem, filled with auditory and tactile images. You can read several more of Sexton’s poems here.

Tece read “Pity the Nation” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a poem written in 2007, but so blatantly appropriate for today. The poem had the group comment less as we mulled our despair about what has happened in our world over the past week. This poet is still wTece cheered us up by sharing an illustrated version of In Just be e.e.cummings…she illustrated it herself in high school!

Linda entertained us with The Summer Day by Mary Oliver. Of course we are all still mourning this poet laureates death, and her verse of the outdoors was a light point for us.

Kathy’s melodic recitation of “The Children’s Hour” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow led to a discussion of the difference in the classic poetry and more modern verse. Longfellow referred to “the Bishop of Bingen” and when several of us indicated we didn’t know this reference, Kathy entertained us with the story and the truth behind this reference.

Robin recited “On the Way to Chevron My Father Tries to Save My Live” by Francesca Bell. This wonderful poet granted permission for the video presentation of her poem. Once again, Robin chooses a poem that speaks to women.