“Poetry is an egg with a horse inside” April 2020 Virtual Poetry Club

We wouldn’t let a little thing like “Shelter in Place” stop us from meeting! New to most of us, our first attempt at a “ZOOM” meeting was a success.

We started off with a wonderful quote which is the definition of poetry (by an 8 year old girl): “Poetry is an egg with a horse inside.” As we are all constantly sharing definitions of poetry (and agreeing it shouldn’t be defined), this one was most wonderful, and of course led to stories of daughters and horses.

Kathy read “A Reflection for this Season” by Laura Kelly Fanucci which fit our state of mind: what is it we will never take for granted, all the little things, when all this is over. A comforting discussion followed, with the concept that although we miss things we are also grateful for the time we have to enjoy those things that are around us. Watching the leaves pop on the Japanese maple, the birds get ready for spring, the buzzing bees.

Tece shared a poem by John O’Donohue, untitled, but the poem was beautiful description of this is the time to be slow. We discussed “when things go back to normal” and how we wouldn’t ignore the important changes we have been gifted by slowing down.

Cindy read “Cat Moving Kittens” by Austin Smith, a poem which really places an emphasis on the emotional with its beautiful, simple images, and a sudden surprise. I felt very grabbed by this poem. No spoilers…you should just click the link and read it…but remember, poems should be read aloud.

Susan read a poem by Anne Sexton, titled “Pain for a Daughter”, which she prefaced with “this is uncomfortable to listen to”…and it was. Not solely from the aspect of rather graphic descriptions of abscesses, but from the pain of the mother. When Cindy enlightened us with the dark history of this poet, the poem hurt even more. Is this poet talking about herself? Her guilt about her daughter? The pain and guilt of all women, young and old? Watch Sexton read her poems…it’s rather incredible and dark.

Barbara shared a poem to reflect the fact that her birdwatching has been limited by the shelter in place. Mary Oliver‘s “Swan“, which really shows the world with new images. This was followed by a discussion of the different types of bird watching: the competitive “listers” vs. those who commune with nature and listen, watch and try to see what those birds are living (Cindy called this ZEN birdwatching!)

I stuck to my favorite Poet: Billy Collins. (Who by the way is reciting two poems per day via live stream on Facebook!) “The Afterlife” (yes, I chose a poem about death. No surprise there) struck me as an absolute descriptions of my belief that all religions are correct. We each have our own spiritual self and that is what impacts us in both life and death.

Because we were enjoying our social interaction via Zoom, after so much isolation, Susan read a second poem. “The Wild Swans at Coole” by William Butler Yeats (she had the strong visions of swans from Barbara’s poem in her head)…another poem about loss and appreciating what we have.