THE POETRY SESSIONS
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. - T.S. Eliot
I facilitate poetry sessions, currently online.
I work with the metre; the rhythm, flow, heartbeat, whatever you want to call it. Basically, how the poem feels to say, rather than what it is 'about' - although it may well tell us quite a lot about that. Rather than restraining us, or making it very technical, looking at the rhythm can give us lots of visual and aural clues that help us grasp the sense. The same goes for rhyme.
This makes it exciting, intriguing and beyond our normal, intellectual grasp of things. It 'speaks' to us in ways we wouldn't ordinarily be spoken to. It occasionally says the unsayable.
Ted Hughes wondered if poetry might be “a revealing of something that the writer doesn’t actually want to say but desperately needs to communicate, to be delivered of. The writer daren’t actually put it into words, so it leaks out obliquely.” One aim of the sessions is to do justice to this 'obliqueness', to embrace the not knowing and see where it takes us.
Other aims of The Poetry Sessions are:
To enhance creativity and a sense of well-being
To work through fears of exposure and getting it 'right’
To explore the metre & rhyme scheme
To work with the breath & clarity of delivery
To foster an appreciation of the specific qualities of verse - what makes a poem a poem?
To have a laugh
LOVE IS NOT ALL
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
Edna St. Vincent Millay