Judith Palmer presents a series about enthusiasts who meet to enjoy and promote their favourite poetry.
|01||01||The Walter Savage Landor Society||20031123||20031129|
The Walter Savage Landor Society of Warwick was formed by a handful of devotees on a freezing day in January 2000.
is a mystical branch of Islam which, 800 years ago, produced one of its greatest poets - Jal-al-Adin Rumi.
|01||03||Dylan Thomas Society||20031207||20031213|
Judith Palmer meets the members of the Dylan Thomas Society, as they gather in Swansea for a special lunch to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the poet's death.
Among the poems she hears is a previously-unpublished rhyme jotted down in Dylan's fourth-form physics exercise book.
|01||04 LAST||The British Haiku Society||20031214||20031220|
gather in Preston to explore the ancient Japanese art form.
|02||01||The Thomas Lovell Beddoes Society||20060723||20060729|
Judith spends an evening at the Dead Poet's Pub in Belper, Derbyshire, with the Beddoes Society, where family and friends gather to raise a glass to their brilliant but flawed ancestor.
|02||02||The Gujarati Writers Forum||20060730||20060805|
The Gujarati poets love to celebrate their literary heritage but want to make it relevant for the younger generation. Judith Palmer goes to Batley in West Yorkshire to join in a lively meeting and hear about their latest translation project.
Judith meets sixth-formers and members of the religious community at Ampleforth as they gather to share their favourite poetry.
|02||04 LAST||The Yeats Society Of Sligo||20060813||20060819|
Judith spends a day on the west coast of Ireland with the Yeats Society as they celebrate the poet's birthday in style.
|03||01||The John Harris Society||20070909||20070915|
The undervalued poetry of a Cornish miner is brought to light by a small but dedicated group of admirers, including a mainstream poet.
Extract from The Mine by John Harris.
Hast ever seen a mine? Hast ever been
Down in its fabled grottoes, wall' with gems,
And canopied with torrid mineral-belts,
That blaze within the fiery orifice?
Hast ever, by the glimmer of a lamp,
Or the fast waning taper, gone down, down
Towards the earth's dread centre, where wise men
Have told us that the earthquake is conceived,
And great Vesuvias hath his lava-house,
Which burns and burns for ever, shooting forth
As from a fountain of eternal fire?
Hast ever heard, within this prison-house,
The startling hoof of fear? The eternal flow
Of some dread meaning whispering to thy soul?
The Hill-Top by John Harris
But here I am, with heaven above my head,
O'errun with beauty, and great thoughts like ships
Gliding across the waters of my soul;
The earth below me like a teeming mart.
So renovated, so refreshed am I,
If I had wings I'd flash into the air,
And strive with all the marvel of a sage
To grasp this growing grandeur. In the woods
At summer twilight, I have heard strange songs
Travelling among the shadows, and my strength
Grew as the notes waxed louder, till I felt
The sinews of a giant, and strode on
With supple limbs through seas of solemn sound,
Feeling no weariness, forgetting pain,
And followed by an angel. But this height
Brings organ swells, and crash of lifted trumps,
And sounding odes from choirs whose wings are flame,
Whose harps are moulded in the fires of love,
That I grow big with blessing.
|03||02||The East Coker Poetry Group||20070916||20070922|
East Coker in Somerset was immortalised by Ts Eliot in The Four Quartets and the great poet's ashes are buried in the church. The poetry society, however, meets to enthuse about poetry of any sort which its members have come across and enjoyed. Meeting over a meal in the local pub, they share their latest poetry finds and occasionally hold modest poetry competitions.
|03||03||The Pushkin Club||20070923||20070929|
Formed in 1953 for emigres and lovers of Russian culture, the society still champions the best in Russian poetry, from Anna Akhmatova to an exciting young poet from Azerbaijan.
|03||04 LAST||The Friends Of The Dymock Poets||20070930||20071006|
The small colony of poets who gathered in a corner of Gloucestershire prior to the First World War left a legacy not only of cherished poetry, but also in the walks and wildlife of the area.