Wednesday, 27 January 2016


The poets of Stanza Mar Menor met again for the third time this month to discuss a plethora of writing which did include four that Douglas had written since last week.  He is prolific and that is something I need to be, but I (John) have been concentrating on other matters.

Douglas had previously paid tribute to Bowie, Mr Rickman and now we mourn Mr Glenn Frey.  I am sad that another person has left us having given the world so many lyrics that we can hang on to. Douglas was able to remind us in his lines of some of those titles.

He then introduced 'On Being Scottish'.  For me the one theme that came out clearly was the simple fact of 'him never leaving'.  He knows where his roots are.  There was one line that stood out ' We seem to be the artist's first macquette' and then he proclaimed in another line 'We are the nation that the world forgot'.  Well, how could we?

Then he was 'Dreaming' and back to the sixties with a nostalgic trip into a world that had never really been!  His words go deep and it has to be read line by line and picking one line, to quote here, is not effective.

Heather who read her poem Hello Dementia at TORREVIEJA WRITERS CIRCLE last  week had sent us a hard copy so that we were more able to give feedback.  We had a very full discussion on her work and sent her our comments.  It was poetic and we liked it.  What a subject to choose and she is to be congratulated on achieving some very beautiful lines.  She has a way with words.  We await her response from what we had to say about it and await her next offering.

Discussions have carried on from the early part of the month regarding what we see, as a group, those competitions that award prizes for something that we do not consider poetic.  It is an ongoing item for us and David has already sent a well worded article to the manager of the festival, Phillipa Slinger.  We had already examined Jane Satterfield's winning entry 'Forfeit' and decided that it was not poetic and was no more than words aligned in lines that contained no rhythm and had nothing to commend it.
We see that a single judge awards a fellow academic the kudos of winning and we note that almost  all of the winning entries are female.  What is going on, we ask?

Douglas had already written a unique response to Jane Satterfield's winning piece which goes to show what a good writer can achieve in only a few lines.  He knows his Hamlet too!  His last one 'Versifying' echoes in poetic form our contempt at writing masquerading as being poetic.  He says in there that ' I want to write my own true verse' and then his final line is 'But, sadly, I have landed out of time'.  He has not and when his writing is viewed it will stand the test of time unlike other much poorer offering.

Okay, now to examine a piece of writing by Deryn Rees-Jones who was the sole judge and we looked at her published 'poem', 'After You Died'.  We would prefer to be kind in our comments, but we cannot be. It left us wondering what it was really about.  We can accept the fact that a poem should linger on in the mind after the last line, but this one was not clear as to it's message.

If this sounds critical of what Ledbury is doing then we can say that we have listened to the recording of their Poetry Salons and this is a terrific idea.  We enjoyed listening to Adam  Horovitz reading his 'House built from Cloth' for it contained some wonderful pleasing lines.  What a difference. He is currently Herefordshire's poet in residence.

In attendance, apart from Douglas, was Margaret, Robin and myself.  Unfortunately Heather could not attend.

We recorded our event and it means that however scattered we are, we can remain in contact.  We have yet to set the date of the next meeting, but I intend that we should meet again in February.

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