The Girton Poetry Group

Not Averse

Recent meeting dates, themes, forms

Lent term 2019:  30 January

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Distance
  2. Quotation:  ‘It is a most wonderful comfort to sit beneath a lamp, book spread before you, and commune with someone from the past whom you have never met.’  — Kenkō
  3. Form:  Villanelle

Michaelmas term 2018:  21 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Revelry
  2. Form:  Heroic Couplet
  3. Quotation:  ‘The three boys do not notice the night.  Perhaps some part of them does, but they are young, and drunk, and busy knowing deep in their hearts that they will never grow old or die.  They also know that they are friends, and they share a certain love that will never leave them.  The boys know many other things, but none of them seem as important as this.  Perhaps they are right.’  — Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Michaelmas term 2018:  7 November

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Alien
  2. Form:  Concrete poetry
  3. Quotation:  ‘I had a terror since September, I could tell to no one; and so I sing, as the boy does by the burying ground, because I am afraid.’  — Emily Dickinson, 1862

Michaelmas term 2018:  17 October

Prompts:

  1. Theme:  Rejuvenation
  2. Form:  Haiku
  3. Quotation:  ‘We have taken a new home, and we must exhaust the past before we can finish with the present.’  — Samuel Delaney

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