Poetry has a wide appeal. This is because the subject field of traditional and modern poetry is very personal possessing a cornucopia of poems at higher and lower levels which speak directly to the entire gambit of everyday human situations. It appeals as ‘all things to all people’ with few holds barred! There are no ‘good or bad’ poems, but only poetry that appeals (or does not) by the way its ethos touches ‘that special area within ME lying too deeply for words’.
At one extreme, being a member of a U3A poetry group means a simple meeting to discuss loosely a selection of poems related perhaps to a specific theme or poet, and talking generally about maybe six/seven poems per session. This informal approach meets the U3A ethos of Enjoyment by helping us ‘feel good’ and have fun sharing views with others. Anyone – yes, even you – could lead this kind of group. All that is necessary is to possess a love and feeling for language and sound patterns.
The more serious group integrates this social element with our U3A criteria of Knowledge. Here new critical analytical skills can be learnt by methodical approaches that stretch and train our intellects and emotions. This kind of group relies on a proficient co-ordinator holding a level of expertise gained possibly by teaching the subject in a previous pre-U3A life, yet having the ability to help and encourage members to learn from each other.
So folks, feel inspired. Join your existing U3A group, or even take the plunge by thinking how YOU might start a group of your own!
You can get in touch with Ray via the Poetry page.