Tuesday, 26 January 2016


We met again (18th)with only a week's break in between and we still had plenty to read, discuss and comment upon.  Feedback is essential.  However first things first.  We examined the offerings brought by Margaret, Douglas and an updated version of David's 'Fuming'.  Now that he has had time to digest our comments and to consider what should be amended he came up with a more rhythmic end product.  His lines contain a very good damnation of those that pollute the atmosphere having no regard to it, and to those who cannot escape the fumes.

Margaret brought two that she considered were work in progress.  'Alan' was given our scrutiny first.  It was one taken out of her early life where children were labeled and put into convenient compartments.  We liked it with its simple style and rhyming pattern.  Changes were suggested.
Her second one was entirely different.  It was entitled 'News from 2001 - 2016' and originated from the news items and her attitude to the horrors in our world.
This is part of the first verse.
.....Perhaps I will be desensitised, or sentimentalised,/But No, I find myself sickened, reeling/feeling hurt and angry for those terrorised. ........

Her final line hits out at the waste of human life.  
'Killing at a steady, effective, frightening pace'.
Says it all from 9/11, Charlie Hebdo to today.

Douglas had written 'Caliphate'.  This was his view of THEIR view of the 'war on terror'.  This piece is very thought provoking and chilling.  We are used to hearing the Western view and this swings it around the other way.  It expounds an external view, it being the very opposite of much of poetry that has an internalized version of life.  In my view the writing takes us to another place.  We discussed it and offered no suggestions.  It stands as it is and maybe should be submitted to a quality newspaper.

Death came several times last week with David Bowie and Alan Rickman departing this planet.  Both so well loved and now who can play the Sheriff of Nottingham?  Douglas wrote Valedictory for the former and a short Tribute to a great scary character actor.  I can now another sad note for Glenn Frey left us yesterday. No more standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona for any of us, but the memories are great and will live on.

John had reacted to a theme offered by TORREVIEJA WRITERS CIRCLE of ' The Fondest Kiss'. He had surprising comments from Margaret about the simple fact that she consider it poetry.  David is of the opinion that it is 'poetic, but not poetry.  A shock really as the three pieces were written as 55 word Flash Fiction. He will consider the thoughts offered and will probably read it for TWC this coming Wednesday.  There is no 'fondest' in his three versions, but I suppose that is what a warped mind does!

And now to something entirely different.  We are a small group and very enabled to spend time examining what is being offered by some in the poetry world.  Some of it we don't like and we have decided to say so.  This will involve much reading, digesting and the formulation of articulate replies - for we are writers after all!

We will look again at the winning entry at Ledbury, together with the TS Eliot Prizewinner, Sarah Howe and also Rachel McCarthy who has been labeled as 'the climate scientist poet unleashing elemental forces'.  Articles have appeared in The Guardian and so they are already in the public domain.  Ledbury Poetry Festival announced its competition winners and those can be accessed via their website.  We are going to see who has been examining and judging and who has decided and adjudicated upon what.   We will look at background and gender to see what prejudices ( if any) are in play.  This is not a 'witch hunt' - no sexism at all here - and having read some of the comments on social media I know that we are not alone in being skeptical about what is good and well written and what masquerades as poetry.  I believe that poetry is for every person and not for an elite group who evidently consider that they are the ones that know best.  It does not mean to say that everything must rhyme, but it must have rhythm and it must be poetic.

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