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Young At Heart ULO: 16 April 2018

This week at Young At Heart ULO we have revisited favourite poems from the past and enjoyed being introduced to some new poetry.

At the Stockton group, nobody brought any poetry with them nor could they recite any. Thankfully, I was prepared with two poetry books that I would never lend; ‘Shake Before Opening’ by Jez Alborough and ‘The Fireside Book of David Hope 1992’. These books are poetic polar opposites as one is full of childish humour while the other is full of traditional poems.

The Stockton group had the opportunity to read through the poetry books I had provided and discuss the themes of the poems while enjoying tea and biscuits.

In Billingham, we welcomed Laraine to our team of volunteers. Joan had arrived with a poetry book marked at the page of her favourite poem, ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth. She recited the poem to the group and a few of the group members joined in with some of the more memorable lines. Laraine shared some comical poetry from one of her poetry books, the one about chewing your food was particularly memorable! I shared some poems from both of the books I had with me and we discussed key themes. Joan later found a WW1 poem, ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ by Wilfred Owen, which was apt because we are going to be involved in some WW1 activities in the coming months.

In Thornaby, two group members came prepared with poems for the sessions. One poem was ‘An Overworked Elocutionist’ by Carolyn Wells OBE shared by our newest member Janet. Vera shared ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph and ‘Leisure’ by a William Henry Davies. our volunteer, Grace, shared two of her favourite poems by Gervaise Phinn and I shared a selection from the two books I had.

Although I am aware that poetry isn’t for everyone and not everyone enjoyed the theme this week, I was happy to see everyone getting involved in the conversations and chatting about memorising poems at school. Also, the enthusiasm for the upcoming WW1 themed activities is reassuring. I understand that it may be a sensitive topic for some members, who may have lost older family members during The Great War and I just hope that the activities we do will pay a respectful tribute to the those who were affected.

Next week, we will be taking part in some seated exercises – either the parachute or the armchair exercises. Either way, I am sure we will have fun!

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