Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Spellbound Audience

The final event of 2014 was suitably merry in tone and festive in content. Prize winning author and poet Ann Pilling presented her new anthology of happy poems called "Say Cheese". Sold in aid of Hawes Parish Church Restoration, it features work by living and dead poets. Some of the former read their poems bringing us "Singing the African Sanctus in Settle", a vivid description of an australian creature called "The Jesus Bird", and a fascinating homage to Machines. David Scott from Kendal, whom Ann said is described as "the foremost Anglican poet" read a gentle, evocative poem about the simple Harebell which had the audience spellbound. Ann concluded with a rousing rendition of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.

The second part of the evening featured favourite Christmas poems chosen by regular Sessioners. From John Clare's December at the turn of the 19th century, through some bitingly witty poems by Wendy Cope, classics from Louis Macniece to one about Global Warning, the audience relaxed in front of the roaring fire at The Folly and soaked up the seasonal mood. The deepest listening was of "For a Child Expected" by Anne Ridler, delivered in a soft yet commanding voice by Kathy Bull.

Settle can be congratulated in hosting and supporting these eclectic evenings. They bring together leading British poets as well as local writing talent with literature lovers to share their favourite pieces. If the warm appreciation of this Session is anything to go by, next year's programme will be much anticipated and enjoyed too.

Veronica Caperon

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