Monthly Archive for January, 2016


Poetry became even more accessible at our January book group meeting as we met to read, listen to and discuss poems that we collectively enjoy or have written ourselves.

booksThere was such a broad range of poetry and listening to another read aloud is a great way to appreciate something we may think we already know or hear something new, with an opportunity to listen to the way a poem flows, focus on its words and reflect on their depth, power and significance.

Angela began her selection with a reflection on what poetry is from
‘How to Read a Poem’ by Burton Raffel: “Poetry is a disciplined, compact, verbal utterance, in some more or less musical mode, dealing with aspects of internal and external reality in some meaningful way”.

Actress Fiona Shaw once said on her pleasure in hearing other people speak the words of great poets ” poems put me in touch with feelings I might not otherwise get a chance, in this short life, to feel.” I think she’s making an apt and insightful point.

To illustrate this and quite unexpectedly Hannah sang to us in her lovely voice, a poem that her sister-in-law Viv C Wiggins had written, to whose words she had composed a tune, which was a truly unexpected pleasure. Thank you Hannah.

The poems that we heard were wonderful and included a poem by Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer read to us by Sara, John Lennon’s song/poem ‘Imagine’ read to us by Sheila, a poem by Jacob Silkstone read by Margaret, Derek Walcott’s ‘Love after love’, Christina Rosetti’s ‘Goblin Market’, John Cooper Clarke; ‘Warming Her Pearls’ by Carol Ann Duffy, R S Thomas’ ‘The Moor’, Khalil Gibran, Jenny James, Mary Dorcey’s ‘After Long Silence’, Adrian Mitchell’s ‘A Puppy Called Puberty’, ‘Mental Cases’ by Wilfrid Owen, Harold Monro and ‘Keening’ by Paul Batchelor.

Something tells me we’ll be repeating our Poetry Night. One to watch out for if you want to bring along a poem you love or one that you’ve written yourself.

Our next book choice is ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel which we’ll be discussing on Monday 8 February.

See you all then and happy reading!


Rachel Orange

Next meeting: 11 January 2016

Happy New Year to you all.

Our next group meeting will take place in the downstairs room at Leonard’s coffee house in Durham from 6pm on Monday 11 January. If you haven’t yet joined the group, please feel free to come along.

PoetryThe theme is poetry. Please bring along a poem or two that you particularly like, to share with the rest of the group. If you’d prefer to just listen to the others, that’s absolutely fine.

If you have any questions ahead of the meeting, please reply to this post in the comment section and I’ll respond as promptly as I can.

See you next week.


Rachel Orange