Archives for posts with tag: W H Auden

Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay last Thursday morning with Gail, Joyce, Carol, Geoff, Elizabeth and myself. We talked about facial hair, Durham, clothes, plagiarism, South versus North, Jerusalem (the city not William Blake’s), travelling, Foucault, education, politics, academia, London and William Blake.



In between we drank tea and coffee and shared poems including work by  John W White, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Derek Walcott, Mbella Sonne Dipoko and W. H. Auden. And Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd.

Those words always make me think of Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World. The painting takes its title from another book in the bible, John: “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness..”

There was a metal sign of the Holman Hunt  painting and the quote which hung above my Nan’s bed. I was transfixed by it as a child when I stayed over and shared her double bed.  I was scared of the dark and found comfort in that image and those words. The bed was always warm and the sheets smelt so sweetly clean. Perhaps all Nan bedrooms smelt the same? I’d like to think so.


Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay returns to the library on Thursday May 28th. The theme will be Holidays.

We’re a very friendly group and new attenders are always welcome. The only thing we ask is that you book a place, so we know how many people to expect.  You can book via email to



A new face, a newish face and a few familiar faces sat around the table in Whitley Bay library today for Poetry with Friends.

The theme was Secrets which led us off on conversational tangents…once again.

The poems we shared and enjoyed were:

  • A Puppy Called Puberty by Adrian Mitchell
  • Material Signposts by Maureen Oliphant
  • Secretly We Spoke by Rumi
  • At Last the Secret is out by W H Auden


  • Blood Relative by Elaine Cusack
  • Super Secret Agent by Anon
  • Love’s Secret by William Blake
  • Dawn by Frederico Garcia Lorca
  • Winter: My Secret by Christina Rossetti
  • In Defence of Adultery by Julia Copus


The next Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay Library takes place on November 27th and the theme is “Previously…”


I celebrated National Poetry Day by chairing a brand new Poetry with Friends meeting in Whitley Bay library.  The session, run by Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC was fun. I enjoyed it very much.

We kicked off with one of my poems, Souvenir of Tynemouth. The poem was written earlier this year as part of my ongoing collaboration with the artist Anne Proctor.

We also shared poems by Seamus Heaney, George Charlton, W.H Auden, William Wordsworth, Edward Lear, Issac Rosenberg, Jane Kenyon and Naomi Shihab Nye.

edward lear

naomi shihab nye

Ellen Phethean popped up again (one of her poems was shared at the last Poetry with Friends in North Shields) and there were two poems each by Ted Hughes, Keats, Yeats, Stevie Smith  and Dylan Thomas.

Poetry with Friends @ Whitley Bay Library will run every other Thursday from 11am to 1pm. The next session is on October 16th and the twin themes for the session are Humour and The Mind.

Our Tuesday night Poetry with Friends @ The Mission in North Shields runs every other Tuesday evening from 7pm to 9pm.  Our next session is on  October 7th and the theme is Black History Month.

Poetry with Friends costs £3 and includes as much tea, coffee or water as you want. Biccies are usually available too. Please pre book your place by emailing


Poetry appreciation has returned to the Banks ‘o’ the Tyne. Our fortnightly gatherings hosted by Happy Planet Creative Arts at The Mission in North Shields have restarted after a short break.

Newcomers as well as old faithfuls shared poems, homemade biscuits and stories. The theme of the evening was journey/travel and our narrative arc included Scotland, Spain, wet plate collodion, Paris, budgies, Hull, railways, Bill Nighy, Tynemouth and Teignmouth.

One of our “regulars” Angie told us all about her recent work experience in the world famous Paris bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. She is now a fully fledged Tumbleweed, the name given to all the young students and would be writers who worked in the shop by its founder, the late George Whitman.

shakespeare and company

Poems shared included Last Post by Carol Ann Duffy, Auden’s September 1st 1939 and two bods brought the same poem, The Journey by Mary Oliver.


Two attendees shared their own work and regular Alan entertained us with poems about North East legend, Geordie Broon of Backworth.

A grand night was had by all. Next evening on Tuesday 12th August when the theme will be Night Life.

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