Poetry Circle

Group Leader: Elaine Oswald

Meeting times: 4th Friday 3.30 – 5.30

Starting date for 2023 : 27.01.23

Southfield Centre or Zoom

No skills required. Just bring along a curiosity about how words and language work.

We recognize poetry by Emily Dickinson’s definition:

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”

As well as feeling poetry physically, we know that it gives us cognitive strength. Poetry stretches the meaning and sounds of words, pushing at the boundaries of language. Brain scans have proved that in processing poetry, our brain function peaks, which strengthens our overall cognitive health. Listening to poems activates parts of the brain that are not activated when listening to music or watching films. So, poetry is good for our mental health, requires no special skills and it’s fun to hear our different reactions to the same poem.

We will be using the Bloodaxe Anthology: Staying alive: real poems for unreal times(Editor: Neil Astley, Northumberland) and thus reading modern and contemporary poets as well as a few older ones.

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