Poetry – Understanding the Art

Libby Beckett – Tel: 4782 5263

Email:  lochtiebeckett@hotmail.com

96 Narrow Neck Road, Katoomba

Thursdays  2:00pm – 3:30pm 

We have been exploring poetry and its art for five or six years, using a chronological sequence based loosely on the birth years of English and American poets since Shakespeare.

Our studies are very varied because

(1) there are no clear-cut boundaries from one artistic movement to another,

(2) no “movement” is ever pure and contains multiple off-shoots,

(3) many “minor” poets have received little publicity,

(4) most women poets have been forgotten or ignored,

(5) poetry reflects not only individual personalities but also major events and issues, and

(6) poetry can reveal human delights, problems and contrariness that are still with us today and are interesting to discuss and consider.

We have covered evolving styles and subject-matter – pastorals, elaborate classicism, Restoration bawdiness, cold rationalism, sharp satire, Romanticism, the Victorian struggle between prudery and decadence (and religion and science), and we have begun looking at the development of Modernism, the tragedies of WWI and soon the emergence of black writers.   These last three strands will continue, interspersed with multiple others.

Each self-contained session deals with two, three or four poets;  materials are provided.   Five consecutive weekly meetings are held in my Katoomba home, starting in U3A’s second week of term.   There are usually about a dozen people on my roll, with an attendance of some eight to ten fellow-explorers.   (No meetings in the cold weather of Term 3)

I thoroughly enjoy my research and discoveries;  they keep me on my toes with my nose in books and my fingers on the internet!   The group is lively and welcoming and we enjoy a cuppa together at the end of each session.   Please contact me if you’re interested in joining us.