This week involved club members in discovering the pleasure and delight to be had from poetry. David McKelvie (our clubs accomplished treasurer) gave an extremely in-depth presentation on the many aspects of poetry. Four double sided, detailed pages of hand-outs were provided!

David began at the beginning, with nursery rhymes. This is probably most peoples first encounter with poetry. David engaged the club members with a fun exercise of fixing misquoted nursery rhymes. It was amazing to see how many of us remembered these. This was followed by a second exercise where (given the first line of a hymn) we had to provide the next line. Not only were quite a few members able to do this, but they actually burst into song. It was all David could do to get them to stop singing!

Next followed poetry from our childhood years, featuring the likes of A.A Milne and nonsense verse like ‘The owl and the Pussy-cat’. Followed by the more serious stuff we learned in school, the likes of Burns ‘To a Mouse’ and of course Wordsworth’s ‘The Daffodils’. Once again it was impressive to discover how much of this poetry is still there, clogging up our noggins.

David followed this with a discussion of poetry in pop music – cue more singing! Then it was on to the serious stuff. From Shakespeare and Tennyson to Edgar Allen Poe and Rupert Brook. David concluded this section by suggesting we occasionally take a night off from the TV and take a poetry book down of the shelf instead.

David concluded by looking at poetic structure and recommended Stephen Fry’s book ‘The Ode Less Travelled’ as an excellent starter for ten. We focused on two famous sonnets (both on the subject of a statue of Rammeses II in the desert) one by Horace Smith and the other by Percy Byssche Shelley.

Overall a very informative and entertaining night was had by all, and David was congratulated for his hard work, which made this success possible.