What makes poetry?

Recently I ran a writing workshop with a small group of local older women; although from different backgrounds and local villages, they had each written poetry later in life.

‘When I turned eighty, I became poetical.’

The conversation and writing activities were around the subjects of belonging, Northumberland, home, the natural world, love, friendship. We were all inspired by one of the pieces that I read which came from Jackie Kay’s memoir ‘Red Dust Road’ in which she describes her emotional attachment to an African village she has never seen before. Equally we loved the poem I read from our local poet Katrina Porteous entitled ‘Alnmouth’. We used the latter as a starting point for a writing activity inspired by her images of the estuary at the well known  local seaside village. Here is a first draft from one participant.

‘The curlew letting go of its rinsed notes,
the curl of its voice across pastureland
and coast, the curl of its beak above
newly sewn wheat, the curve of its neck
as it peers down on humans, it’s note an
F sharp from a wind instrument
that sails into the mist.

Thanks to everyone for making the effort to attend.  Romi


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