Poetry 1

The important bit!


Normally Poetry 1 meets monthly on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 pm.  We normally meet  in Minehead.  Please remember to check the Calendar in case of any late changes to schedule. 

Our group is led, at least for the time being, by Sandra Hanley, and she is available at 01643 707148 and by email at poetry1@minehead-district-u3a.org.uk

About the group


We are a small group and thus hope to be able to continue with our meetings. On 25 January our subject is ‘Joy’ and on 15 February we shall be looking at the work of Keats and Shelley.


October’s theme of ‘Creatures’ included animals ranging from domestic cats to a ‘tyger’. Our last
2021 meeting is on 30 November, when the theme will be ‘Blessings’. Our first meeting of the new year will be on 25 January 2022.


In September we brought along our own choice of poetry which gave us a wide variety of poems from the 18th to 21st centuries.  October’s subject is ‘Creatures’ and November’s is ‘Count your Blessings’.  There will be no December meeting.

 Each month we choose a subject and bring along poems that we’ve found either in a book or on-line.  About once a year, we might concentrate on a particular poem or poet.  If you are interested in joining us please email Sandra, the convenor, as above.

In June we held our second meeting of 2021.  The theme was ‘Family’ and we read poetry mostly about relationships betwen parents, siblings, etc.  July’s subject is ‘Lists’ which covers a wide range of poems from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s romantic “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” to the more mundane “Cargoes” by John Masefield or “Naming of Parts” by Henry Reed.  Thank you to Jill for the use of her garden.  Subjects for future meetings will be decided in July.

With the sad loss of our convenor Jenny Hart, we emailed each other in April with poems about plants and gardens in memory of the enjoyable times we had met in Jenny’s lovely garden. 


For various reasons, a very small number met on Zoom for our extra poetry reading in
December. This wasn’t a problem, except it always seems to be my turn again! We read the ‘winter’ poems in November after all, so we did the ‘humorous’ ones in December when we really needed cheering up. We particularly loved At Lunch Time by Roger McGough, Little Red Ridinghood and the Wolf by Roald Dahl, and The Cats Protection League also by McGough. We begin in January 2021 by studying Simon Armitage, who is of course our present Poet Laureate, and looking in depth at some of his work. In February our subject will be ‘Lists’, which sounds intriguing.

For our November meeting we have chosen poems which make us laugh: which, even at a time when maybe there is not a lot to laugh about, will cheer us all up.  

Our subject for October was poems we came across during the first lockdown, or which reminded us of that time.  We had an interesting collection including one from Simon Armitage, who is our
current Poet Laureate.

Our September subject was ‘Trees’, which was not as easy as we had expected, although we had a good selection in the end.  A particular favourite, unknown beforehand, was It was Long Ago by Eleanor Farjeon; such a lovely poem, and well worth tracking down.

This month we will be remembering new (to us) poems found during lockdown, and the effect they had on us.  With such extraordinary and changeable weather, as well as constant anxiety about doing the right thing, it’s a miracle we’re all as normal as we are.  Most of us have become passable Zoomers as well.  Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?   Jenny Hart


Some of our favourite poems


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