Friday, 8 March 2013

A poetry-filled week

This week has included three evenings in succession filled with poetry!

On Tuesday 5 March, we held our monthly workshop.  In this session we looked at some examples of concrete poetry - where the use of "white space" around the "black space" (ink or print) is important in conveying meaning and often, where the shape of the text on the page relates to the meaning of the  poem.   After the refreshment break, we used word hoards - lists of words to inspire us to draft our own poems.  As usual, we read these back to the group, giving and receiving constructive comments to help us in the editing of these early drafts.

The next evening, 6 March, saw the first of our two recitals entitled "Out of the Depths" and drawing inspiration from Psalm 130.  During this event, at St Margaret's Church, Alderton, Five poets from the Society (Roger Turner, Michael Newman, Gill Wyatt, Robin Gilbert and Sharon Larkin) read poetry from the past five centuries on themes of searching for meaning, faith and hope in times of questioning, doubt and despair.  This was followed by a musical interlude, with a metrical version of the 130rd Psalm and settings of two poems by George Herbert to music, composed and played by Roger Turner - and beautifully sung by Nia Chittenden.

Here is a recording made on the night: Out of the Depths, Alderton

The gracious hosts at St Margaret's supplied a wonderful array of food, wine and juice for the interval - much appreciated by performers and audience.  In the second half, the poets read their own poems on similar themes - searching for significance and hope.

On Thursday 7 March we repeated the recital at St Mary's, Great Witcombe, where we were delighted to be greeted by another attentive audience, and welcome refreshments in the interval.

"Out of the Depths" was first performed at Highbury Congregational Church in April 2012, during Cheltenham Poetry Festival.  The Society welcomes enquiries from other venues where this kind of event would be suitable.

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