Writing Groups in Devon


Romancing the Golden Triangle

The Tiverton Poetry Group met in the lightening evening of a Tuesday night in May. Their dark figures scurrying past the gaze of the orange street lights and into the even darker recesses of the chair circles, hidden at the back of the Hub. It was as though a meeting of the Illuminati had been called, its members summoned. The night time walkers of Tiverton stood for moments and watched through the blazing windows trying to ascertain the nefarious nature of the after dark meetings at the Hub.

This month’s meeting was based on the idea of ‘Pipe Dreams,’ which led to a meeting focussed on dreams, opium, the order of the Golden Dawn, and its possible poet members. Unfortunately, no one in the Tiverton Poetry Group was also a member of Golden dawn or is that what they want us to believe?

The term 'Pipe Dreams', the subject of this month’s meeting, came directly from the fanciful dreams created when smoking opium pipes. Opiates were widely used by the English literati in the 18th and 19th centuries. Samuel Taylor Coleridge masterpiece ‘Kubla Khan’ was probably written whilst daydreaming on his opium pipe.  Lewis Carroll, although not known as an official opium user himself, made clear allusions to drug use in ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.’  As the centuries passed the term has developed to encompass any dream which is unlikely to be achieved.  However, to dream you do not need a pipe and several outstanding dream based poems were read including,

A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

“Who knows if the moon’s a balloon” by ee Cumings

And Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The rest of the evening was spent listening to new dream based poetry written by the members of the group and written without relying on even as much as an aspirin.

Steve Dawes read from his book Gravel and Gemstones.

P.J. Reed read from her latest collection Flicker, poetry based on the flickering images of characters, countryside, and casual thoughts of two years spent watching life in Devon including,

he dreams of monsters

stories float on empty pages

and his wife talks on

little ginger dog
smiles and snores his happy dreams
duvet occupied

nighttime once more and
lonely moon asks for a friend
my bed lies empty

The theme for next months after dark poetry meeting is poets with a relationship with Devon, which should yield some surprising poetry.

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