The Girton Poetry Group

Not Averse

Recent meeting dates, themes, forms

Easter term 2018:  2 May

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Bloom
  2. Form:  List/catalogue poem
  3. Quotation:  ‘Grey mists lie where our bright sails flew.’  — Ian Hamilton Finlay, The End

Lent term 2018:  7 March

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Mystery / Mist-ery
  2. Form:  Ghazal
  3. Quotation:  ‘No.  Try not.  Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.’  — Star Wars Episode V:  The Empire Strikes Back

Lent term 2018:  21 February

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Fancy (verb, adjective, noun, take your pick)
  2. Form:  Rhyming couplets
  3. Quotation:  ‘And he flew out of the window on his cooking ladle.’  — Grimms' Fairy Tales.

Lent term 2018:  7 February

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Shatter
  2. Form:  Lai
  3. Quotation:  ‘Alternative facts are not facts.  They are falsehoods.’  — Chuck Todd

Michaelmas term 2017:  8 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Ritual
  2. Form:  Meredithian sonnet
  3. Quotation:  ‘I, like a river/Have been turned aside by this harsh age.’  — Northern Elegies, Anna Akhmatova

Michaelmas term 2017:  25 October

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  The city
  2. Form:  Concrete poetry
  3. Quotation:  ‘Spending warm summer days indoors…’  — Ask — The Smiths, 1986

Michaelmas term 2017:  11 October

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Apocalypse

Easter term 2017:  14 June

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Fairytales
  2. Form:  Aubade
  3. Quotation:  ‘'This is the end.’  — The Doors

Easter term 2017:  17 May

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Machines
  2. Form:  Prose poem
  3. Quotation:  ‘Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.’  — Douglas Adams

Easter term 2017:  3 May

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Dance
  2. Form:  Ballad
  3. Quotation:  ‘Misbehave more beautifully, more often.’  — Wayne McGregor

Lent term 2017:  8 March

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Lenses
  2. Form:  Sonnet
  3. Quotation:  ‘Lyra’s Oxford and Will’s would lie over each other again, like transparent images on two sheets of film being moved closer and closer until they merged - although they would never truly touch.’  — ‘The Amber Spyglass’, Philip Pullman

Lent term 2017:  15 February

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Mirrors
  2. Form:  Luc Bat
  3. Quotation:  ‘Everything looks perfect from far away / ‘Come down now’, but we’ll stay.’  — The Postal Service, ‘Such Great Heights’ (covered beautifully by Iron & Wine...)

Lent term 2017:  1 February

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Maps
  2. Form:  Ode
  3. Quotation:  ‘Why do you write like you're running out of time?.’  — ‘Non-Stop’, from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical ‘Hamilton’

Michaelmas term 2016:  23 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Space
  2. Form:  Rondeau
  3. Quotation:  ‘There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.’  — Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

Michaelmas term 2016:  2 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Ghosts
  2. Form:  Dramatic monologue
  3. Quotation:  ‘I threw creation to my king / With the silence broken by a whispered wind.’  — ‘Devil’s Spoke’, Laura Marling

Michaelmas term 2016:  19 October

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Orchards
  2. Form:  Haiku
  3. Quotation:  ‘Go then, there are other worlds than these.’  — Stephen King

Easter term 2016:  15 June

Prompts:

  1. Theme: the elements
  2. Form:  Tritina

Easter term 2016:  27 April

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Phone Calls
  2. Form:  Septilla
  3. Quotation:  ‘There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.’  — F.  Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Lent term 2016:  2 March

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Fairytales
  2. Theme 2:  Easter
  3. Form:  Villanelle (some of the best examples are ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’, ‘One Art’, ‘Milkweed and Monarch’, ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’, and Empson’s ‘Villanelle’ and ‘Missing Dates’)
  4. Quotation:  ‘Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.’  — Gerard Manley Hopkins

Lent term 2016:  10 February

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Paint
  2. Form:  Nonsense verse
  3. Quotation:  ‘You wrote your number on my hand / But it came off in the rain.’  — ‘Young Love’ by Mystery Jets and Laura Marling

Lent term 2016:  20 January

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Navigation
  2. Form:  Sonnet
  3. Quotation:  “I’m not any good at pottery / So let’s lose a ‘t’ and just shift back the ‘e’ / And I’ll find a way to make my poetry / Build a roof over our heads.”  — Billy Bragg

Michaelmas term 2015:  25 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Museums
  2. Form:  Heptameter
  3. Quotation:  ‘'What is that you express in your eyes?  It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.’  — Walt Whitman

Michaelmas term 2015:  4 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Fire
  2. Form:  Pantoum
  3. Quotation:  Any line (or lines) from November Song — Stornoway

Michaelmas term 2015:  14 October

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Trains
  2. Form:  Kyrielle
  3. Quotation:  ‘It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it's just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together.’  — Marina Keegan, The Opposite of Loneliness

Lent term 2015:  4 March

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Hibernation
  2. Form:  Prose-poetry
  3. Quotation:  ‘But the wild things cried, “Oh please don't go - we'll eat you up - we love you so!”  And Max said, “No!”  The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye.’  — Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Lent term 2015:  11 February

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  The Scientist
  2. Form:  Rictameter
  3. Quotation:  ‘And the rest is rust and stardust.’  — V.  Nabokov

Lent term 2015:  28 January

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Siblings
  2. Form:  Sapphic stanza
  3. Quotation:  ‘You alone are enough.’  — Maya Angelou

Michaelmas term 2014:  26 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Candles
  2. Form:  the Double-Dactyl.
  3. Quotation:  ‘Would you believe in what you believe if you were the only one who believed it?’  — Kanye West.

Michaelmas term 2014:  5 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Fight!
  2. Form:  An age old classic neglected by poetry group:  The Sonnet.
  3. Quotation:  ‘The sad truth is that evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.’  — Hannah Arendt

Michaelmas term 2014:  22 October

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Music
  2. Form:  the Kyrielle
  3. Quotation:  ‘In nature there are few sharp lines.’  — A.  R.  Ammons