Old folk at lunch

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another poetry night



Last Saturday I organized another poetry night for my son Joe -- this time to introduce him to some of the great English poetry that his High School education had ignored. Last poetry night covered great Australian poems. We again centred the night around dinner. Anne cooked us some excellent roast pork and a date pudding for dessert. As well as Joe and his girlfriend Sam we had Jill and Lewis there plus Anne and myself. To do the reciting we had Paul Sherman, who is active in Brisbane theatre.

Paul spent a lot of time reminiscing about his own past theatrical activities rather than reciting poetry but Joe seemed to find it interesting. It was an introduction to a world outside his own experience.

We did however read or recite a lot of well-known poetry: Quite a lot of Shakespeare plus Tennyson, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Blake, G.M. Hopkins, Leigh Hunt and even some Chaucer. Being a keen Chaucerian, I would not have let the night pass without some Chaucer. I recited the Chaucer in Middle English and Joe seems to have enjoyed that. Sam was out of the room when I recited it so Joe got me to do it again later for her benefit.

I will plug the hole that his school left in my son's cultural education yet! Happily, Joe seems very pleased to be introduced to such things. There is such a huge wealth of enjoyable English poetry, however, that I imagine I might have to have a lot more poetry nights before I am happy that Joe has had the opportunity of hearing all the poems that I love.

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