Tuesday 31 October 2017



'When a poet writes a poem, he is trying to express something he has seen about the world, some personal vision of the world. He is not trying to describe it in prose; that might be quite impossible. ... The poetic use of language is not to increase your information about the world. ... The use of words in poetry is to evoke a certain attitude or way of looking at things or feeling about things. ...'
Thus Keith Ward, the same Professor Keith Ward who stunned many of his audience with his wit and erudition, back in September in his Wychwood Circle presentation on Religion and Rationality. He has written so much that it was not to be wondered at that poetry ('Language about God is something like the language of poetry') should crop up too within an argument about the infinity and indescribability of God in a very short book of 2015.

On November 12th, Elizabeth Hollins Main and Lesley Wasley will come at poetry from their own angle, probably neither pious nor theological, but born of a shared love of writing and reading poetry, and they will be hoping to provoke each one of us into a response of our own. 

R S Thomas (1913-2000), an overtly Christian but radical and thoughtful, mystical Welsh priest and poet, will feature amongst others, as well as Wendy Cope, neither overtly Christian nor Welsh nor a priest but widely loved for her pithy and irreverent, often ironic or oblique short poems. Wendy Cope's collections include 'Making cocoa for Kingsley Amis' and 'Serious Concerns' - titles which probably sum up her light-hearted and her thought-provoking sides rather well.  Seamus Heaney said of Thomas that he appears 'as a loner taking on the universe, a kind of Clint Eastwood of the spirit'.

Liz and Lesley will choose poets of the 20th and 21st centuries, and this is what they say about their evening with us, Only Connect - Turning to Poetry: 'Our emphasis will be very much on personal responses to the poems - our own and, we hope, our audience's.  We see the evening as a personal exploration and sharing.'

All are welcome at Wychwood Library at 7pm on Sunday, November 12th. 

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