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Poeming Bliss

9 Oct

What a great weekend for me (though possibly not for poetry):

Friday Afternoon:

Poetry reading by Suzanne Batty, followed by a Q&A session and workshop, at Stockport Central Library.

Suzanne Batty

Suzanne read some of her poems (not enough; I could have stood to hear more) and members of the audience (not me) asked intelligent questions (I rest my case).  Then she had the group analyse a couple of poems by other poets, based on National Poetry Day’s [4 October] theme, Stars.  It was like being back with the Open University.  Better than eating Maltesers.

Finally, we had to use the theme to write our own poem.  Ten people produced ten very different poems.  Mine was a complaint about the retirement of the space shuttles.  I’m not talking to NASA at the moment.

The high point of the whole afternoon was wholly unexpected.  A middle-aged man next to me had come along to the reading to experience something new.  He was taken aback to find himself part of a workshop.  He has never written anything in his life, and was embarrassed to admit he only managed three lines. Three lines that proved to be a beautiful haiku.  I was thrilled for him.

I took some pictures of Suzanne but my camera and I disagree about the use of lighting, so they didn’t turn out.  The camera always wins.  Fortunately, Suzanne had given me permission to lift her photo from her Facebook page.  She really is as nice as she looks.

Saturday Morning:

Poetry workshop at St Peter’s Church Burley Memorial Hall in Waverton, Chester.

Not as grand as it sounds – we drove past it seven times and only found it by accident: stopping to ask directions, I looked out of the window to find we had parked in front of a sign saying, St Peter’s Church Burley Memorial Hall.  A squat but pleasant building.  The vicarage was a manor house and looked bigger than the church.

We had thirty minutes to kill so we popped into the beautiful church to look around.  It is 900 years old, we were told; and we got to touch stone that still has the chisel marks from when it was quarried almost a millennium ago.  A brilliant feeling. I enjoyed it so much, I forgot to take a photograph.

The workshop was fantastic.  Offered by the Church of England and run by the rather sweet Julia McGuiness, it introduced us to ways of writing our faith, using our faith to write (not the same thing), and cinquains.

I think I’m in love.  Cinquains are such fun!  I can’t believe I’ve never written one until the four I now have in my notebook.

Monday Evening:

Write Out Loud at Stockport Art Gallery, while it’s still open.  Poems for the reading of.

Stop the Closure of Stockport Art Gallery and War Memorial during the Week

Part of the Write Out Loud network, we meet on the second Monday in the month to read our poems aloud and sort world affairs.  Not every WOL group is like ours: many of them are proper open mic events.  Our group is small and everybody knows everybody else and it has simply fallen into this particular pattern.

We might not be around much longer.  Stockport Council wants to close the art gallery Monday-to-Friday, including our indoor War Memorial, and install just the permanent collection and nothing else.

I intend to write a poem in protest.

If you think stabbing a knife into the heart of the arts in Stockport is outrageous; and closing a War Memorial five days a week is a slight to those who fought and died in several war, then please sign this e-petition: 

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/stop-the-closure-of-stockport-art-gallery-and-war-memorial-during-the-week

The Council’s perfidy aside, I had a lovely weekend.  

Net Result:

  • 4 Days
  • 3 Events
  • 13 Poems (unlucky for some)
  • 1 Happy Tilly
  • 1 Gushing Post

Joke 565

9 Oct

 

Thanks to Schmidley’s Scribbling for letting me lift this from her blog.

politicians

Political Aphorisms from Cousin Ellen

  • The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII
  • We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~Aesop
  • If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers
  • Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev
  • When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow
  • Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author unknown
  • Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton
  • Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer
  • I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952
  • A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~Tex Guinan
  • I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle
  • Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson
  • There ought to be one day — just one — when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

 

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