Poetry Club December 2018

Poetry video
I filmed this a few times, mainly because I wanted it to be perfect. I was so grateful to Susan Browne for letting me use her poem on my blog. Then I realized that the purpose of Poetry Club is not perfection and what I really wanted to share was how we actually are….we stumble through lines, we back track, we blink excessively, we glance down at the printed copy of the poem we have turned face down so as not to “cheat” quickly snatching a glance. I will never be perfect in my recitation, just as I haven’t made a perfect quilt or published a novel without an error. But that does not diminish the pleasure for me in the slightest. This poem was even longer than last month’s and I had less time to memorize it. I also recited last month’s poem throughout the THIS month, because I don’t want to let it slip away (although the final stanza of my November poem already HAS slipped away.)
If I learn a new poem each month in just two short years I’ll have twenty-four recitations waiting at the tip of my tongue, and if Poetry Club keeps meeting in ten years I’ll have 120 poems and how could I possible have dementia if I can recite 120 poems? Anyway, now you know why I loved this poem. I give you Buddha’s Dogs by Susan Browne. You can learn more about this poet on Poetry Foundation Website.
The rest of the meeting was delightful. Linda shared a poem she wrote (yes, she is a poet!) “Lavender” led to a discussion of plants and types and medicinal uses and how she came to write the poem.
Cindy shared “Your love should never be offered…” by Hafez. She shared the background of this Persian poet (1319-1390) and it amazed us all how apt this poem has remained. The lines were amazingly visual. Here is a link to the poem.
Adonna shared “The Day is Done” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Recited in her soft, musical voice, this poem took me to the very room and let me feel the emotions expressed by Longfellow. We looked him up (I remembered what he looked like from my card game of Authors) and were pleased to find some information that felt related to this poem. He was a member of a group of poets, and we could imagine him feeling bogged down by the serious poetry of the day and wanting only words from “some humbler poet, Whose songs gushed from his heart….”
Susan recited “Wind” by Ted Hughes. Before hearing the poem she gave a bit of history on his marriage to Sylvia Plath and we talked about his supposed role in her unhappiness. After hearing the poem we discussed symbolism, and the universality of some symbols and how MUCH symbolism this poem has.
Kathy took us all back to our childhood memories with a creative and expressive recitation of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore. We shared our childhood memories of hearing this poem, grandparents reading beautifully illustrated versions, learning it ourselves, and the “updating” of certain words in more recent versions. It seems “coursers” has been replaced with “reindeer,” kind of a shame, actually.
I just want to say how much fun Poetry Club is! I encourage everyone to give it a try.