President’s note: In August, our blog was written by Rod Stone, webmaster extraordinaire, and we’ll continue this practice of monthly blogs written by each of members. This month, the blog is from the Brooklin Poetry Society’s past president, John Di Leonardo.
POETRY IN SEPTEMBER
“There is a mystery in everything,
it matters not where you may go;
there is a mystery in a drop of rain,
or in a flake of snow.”
–David Graham Burns (I860 -1922), Brooklin Poet
I was asked by a friend, a visual artist, what I thought about poetry and why I write.
Poetry asks us to consider our quality of life, the deeper perceptions of what lies before us, be it nature, people, emotions, morality or ideas. Poetry is one antidote to the “whatever” sentiment prevailing in contemporary culture.
Pascal said “the heart has its reasons that reason can only guess at.” To write poetry, to read it, to attend readings is a way of living emotionally in the world. There will always be those who are suspicious of poets who express a “divine madness”, as Plato called it. To those, I repeat the old adage “yes, there is no money in poetry but then there is no poetry in money.”
The general public’s assumption is that poetry is dead or at least in a coma. The truth is that this form of expression has managed to thrive and evolve in the face of social media. I’m happy to report that poetry is thriving in Durham Region and right here in our “little apple” of Brooklin, Ontario. It is a privilege to be part of The Brooklin Poetry Society team.
First of all, the art of living; then as my ideal profession, poetry and philosophy, and as my real profession, plastic arts; in the last resort, for lack of income, illustrations. – Paul Klee
Hello BPS members. Well summer is almost over and we’re fast moving into the autumn season, a very evocative time for poets. I’m sure whatever you’ve been up to this summer – whether puttering in your garden, relaxing by the lake, hanging out with loved ones over a BBQ or visiting new and exciting places in foreign lands – that you’ve been gathering impressions that will end up in many fine future poems. After all, that’s what poets do because we’re sponges of experience – the raw material of art. The trick of course that transmutes this into poetic gold is seeing things in a fresh new light (often helped by the removing of familiar context by a change of scenery) and having the language tools to express it skillfully. Remember that the great Swiss painter Paul Klee had to leave home and go to Tunisia to really see color. So many beautiful paintings flowered out of this experience.
Some of our members though not traveling by camel in exotic places have been busy indeed this summer. Theresa Donnelly had three poems: Disturbing Linens, St. Stephen’s Green 1783 and The Midwife’s Curse published in Buried Horror– Frightful and fresh voices in horror, speculative fiction, and poetry – a website edited by our own Bradley McIlwain. She also had one poem Flowering published in the May to Sept 2017 edition of Verse Afire published by The Ontario Poetry Society. John Di Leonardo had a poem About Your Smile When We Kiss published there and three poems: Awareness, On the Death of a Friend and Retired published in Buried Horror. He’s also working on a chapbook of poems as is our president, Renée Sgroi. Two of Bradley’s poems Necropolis and Flying Dutchman are also posted on Buried Horror so check it out. He also had a poem Time Before published August 1 in naturewriting.com. Finally, I was pleased to have one of my pieces Happy Daddy published in the May to Sept 2017 edition of Verse Afire.
I would be remiss in not thanking Renee for the wonderful job she is doing informing BPS members of poetry contests, events, festivals, workshops and such like via social media. Let her know if you participate in any of them and what the benefits were. We will be posting new poetry of our members in early September. The material already there will be moved to the Archive section. It’s still not too late to have some of your stuff posted if you get it into us right away. Maximum number currently allowed per poet for a single post is 3 poems. Please do send us your best work. Hope to see you all at our next event tentatively scheduled for late in August and certainly in the early Fall when our regular monthly meetings start up again. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer and we hope you enjoy reading our latest poetry.
Here we are, several days after Canada’s 150th, initiating a new online space for poets on the eastern edge of the GTA. It’s a good place to begin, and I’m excited to officially announce the launch of our website. As a small poetry collective, the Brooklin Poetry Society (BPS) wouldn’t continue to exist without the efforts of past president John Di Leonardo, and Bradley McIlwain before him. And we couldn’t achieve all that we do without the energy and support of all our members.
Our website’s intent is to provide a forum for our members’ poetry, as well as to open spaces for new and emerging poets. With that in mind, we are currently at work collecting poetry for a new members’ anthology which we hope to publish early in 2018, with additional plans to post an open call for a poetry anthology (open to non-members) in the near future.
So as I sit and write this first official blog post as the recently inducted president of the Brooklin Poetry Society (BPS), I’m thinking about poetry in July, and what that means. Wherever you are reading this, whether it be from the comfort of a Muskoka chair by a lake, in the middle of a busy subway train, or in your favourite air-conditioned public library, take a moment to contemplate what a gift it is to be able to read, write, and discuss poetry at all. And, wherever you are, remember that poetry in July, December, or any other month, is meant to be shared with others. I hope you will enjoy reading the small sample of work from Brooklin Poetry Society (BPS) poets as much as we enjoy sharing our work with you.
Thanks for stopping by. Now for some poetry in July…
Welcome to the official website of the Brooklin Poetry Society! We are a small poetry collective located in Brooklin, Ontario, dedicated to furthering the spaces for poets and poetry on the shores of Lake Ontario and surrounding areas. Our site is currently a work in progress, but we hope you’ll enjoy the poetry you find here. Please feel free to find us on Facebook (@Brooklin Poetry Society), Instagram (@brooklinpoetrysociety) and Twitter (@BrooklinPoetSoc).
Please be aware that the contents of all web pages on this website are protected by copyright law and may not be used in whole, or in part, without the express consent of the authors.
The Brooklin Poetry Society gratefully acknowledges the generous financial support of the Town of Whitby’s Performing Arts Community Development Fund. https://www.whitby.ca/en/