U3A – Poetry Appreciation 2014

This Page records the poems discussed by the Canberra University of the Third Age Poetry Appreciation Group during 2014. In all there were 18 sessions –


An Explanation of Poetry to My Father – Glenn Colquhoun
Child of Our Time – Rosemary Dobson
The Ugly Sister Remembers – Julia Urwin
Just Remember – Colin Campbell
Rain After Drought – Michael Thwaites
Of Language – Mary Gibson

The W. H. Auden Poems discussed –

As I Walked Out One Evening
Musee de Beaux Arts
The More Loving One
Their Lonely Betters
If I Could Tell You

The Seamus Heaney Poems discussed –

Death of a Naturalist
The Tollund Man (1972)
The Guttural Muse
The Railway Children
‘From the Republic of Conscience’

Poems by Amy Lowell

A Fixed Idea
The Sisters
A Lady

Poems by Glenn Colquhoun

In Other Words
Today I do not want to be a doctor
Today I  do want to be a doctor
Performing Miracles
To the girl who stood beside me at the checkout counter of Whitcoulls bookstore in Hamilton on Tuesday
When I am in doubt
The First Lesson
The Bird
A note of warning to patients when all else fails

The short-listed poems for the annual Peter Porter Poetry Prize which appeared in the May 2014 issue of the Australian Book Review were discussed at this session, …
‘Absence’ – Elizabeth Allen
‘Scenes from the Olivet Discourse’ – Nathan Curnow
‘VFGA’ (Santa Maria di Castello, Genoa) – Paul Kane
and ‘Arrival Platform Humlet’ – Jessica L. Wilkinson … this poem became the winning entry.
We were privileged to have well respected local poet Geoff Page attend.

At this session we considered the poetry of Douglas Stewart. The poems read …
The Sunflowers
The Fungus
Terra Australis
The Snow-Gum
Scribbly Gum
The Silkworms

The theme for this session was ‘Winter’ and the poetry read as follows –
An Old Man’s Winter Night – Robert Frost
Winter – William Shakespeare
Persimmons: Campagnatico – David Malouf
Christmas Landscape – Laurie Lee
(And poetry from within the group by Julia Irwin, Colin Campbell and Richard Scutter)

From a second session on ‘Winter’ –
South of My Days – Judith Wright
The Winter Wind – Louisa Lawson
Winter – Vivian Smith
Inversnaid – Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Shepherd’s Hut – Andrew Young
Winter Dawn – Kenneth Slessor
(And from within the group –
The Winter of My Discontent and Christmas Eve – Colin Campbell

Looking at lines that become part of ourselves – poetic ‘worms’ held in the mind’ –
To His Coy Mistress – Andrew Marvell
Hospital for Defectives – Thomas Blackburn
Homo Suburbiensis – Bruce Dawe
Maud (Part) – Alfred Lord Tennyson
Pressure – Les Murray
Spring Flowers – James Thomson
Days I Enjoy – Vita Sackville-West

At this session we looked at poems from Wales or Welsh born poets …
Roald Dahl – ‘Television’
Dylan Thomas – ‘Fern Hill’
Dylan Thomas – ‘Don’t Go Gentle …’
R. S. Thomas – ‘The Hill Farmer Speaks’ and ‘A Marriage’
Anonymous – ‘The Shirt of a Lad’
Dannie Abse ‘Sunbright’ (he will be ninety this year)
Gillian Clarke ‘Letters From Bosnia’ and ‘On The Train’

Poems read in a session on ‘The Garden’ were …
Rudyard Kipling – The Glory of the Garden
Maura Dooley – Sub Rosa
Ann Drysdale – New Fruit
e. e. cummings – This is the garden: colours come and go
Amy Lowell – The Little Garden
Andrew Marvell – The Garden
Hope Hewitt – Rhyme for Gardeners, and Another Rhyme for Gardeners
Les Murray – The Broad Bean Sermon

At this session we considered the poetry of Australian poet Bruce Dawe. The following poems were discussed …
soliloquy for one dead
Shagger’s Funeral
Homo Suburbiensis

At the next two session we considered poems published in publications – mainly local publications but also including the winner of the Bruce Dawe 2014 Poetry Prize, Sarah Rice … we were very lucky to have Sarah attend a session to read and discuss her winning entry – here is a link to her poem ‘Last Week’.

At this session we looked at the following poems by Louis MacNeice …
London Rain
A Prayer Before Birth
Sunlight on the Garden
Bagpipe Music

At this session we considered the following poems by Philip Larkin –
An Arundel Tomb
Annus Mirabilis
An April Sunday brings the Snow
Sad Steps
The Little Lives of Earth and Form
Midwinter Waking

The last session for the year was based on light humourus poetry. It included poems by Spike Milligan, Hilaire Belloc, Lewis Carroll, and Wendy Cope.

Here is a link to the Wendy Cope poem – The Uncertainty of the Poet

… and a link to ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll


Your word in my ear ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s