Poetry 1

The important bit!

Poetry 1 meets monthly on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 pm.  We normally meet  in Minehead, but while COVID restrictions are in place, physical meetings are suspended, and we circulate poems by email.  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

Without doubt, there is nothing quite like a ‘live’ face-to-face meeting when we all take turns to read out our chosen poems. Not only is it good to hear them, but they often give rise to an interesting discussion. 


We have decided for March  our chosen poet is Edward Thomas and squeezed in next to him we’ve put Robert Frost, without whom Thomas may well have never become a poet at All.

If this spring is anything like the last one we might be in the garden wishing we had brought a sun hat. Watch this space.

What we in our small group ( just 6 of us on a good day) really want is to be sitting Indoors taking turns reading our chosen poems face to face. Immediate response is everything and you can’t get that any other way. Zoom is a good second, but even so, it’s not the same, we want to get back to Old Normal. Will it ever happen? I gather that it is permissible for small groups to meet in the garden. Can you see a group of elderly ladies taking pleasure in getting frozen, outdoors reading poetry? Somehow I don’t think so.

However, if the subject is good enough we do get pleasure in it, and February‘s was an excellent example. It was Jean Page’s LISTS. What a lovely choice. We could have gone way beyond the 3 poems Each we are allowed. I would recommend anyone to try it.

Our choice of Simon Armitage for our January “meeting” was, as expected a controversial one. Our Small group was sharply divided between those of us who are big fans of his work, and those of us who couldn’t make head or tail of some of his poems.


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

We enjoyed Rupert Brooke in August, and had good input from Jean Page who has been a fan of his since she was a teenager!  For September, our subject is ‘Trees’.  Not just autumn, but any time, though falling leaves are bound to put in an appearance, I’m sure.  

Without doubt, there is nothing quite like a ‘live’ face-to-face meeting when we all take turns to read out our chosen poems.  Not only is it good to hear them, but they often give rise to an interesting discussion. I really look forward to their return. 

Our May subject, People in Poetry, was popular with our group members, and we had many good examples, without clashing once.  It gets quite exciting, waiting for them to arrive on our round robin email, before getting the books out, and occasionally seeking help from Google.


Some of our favourite poems


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