Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week5-9 Newsletter

Greetings Symposiasts! 

Calendar & Updates
I am so sorry that this newsletter comes so ashamedly late! Week after week it fell off my to-do pile and when I found it again, I was another week behind. But there’s been heaps to report—a very busy semester for Symposium indeed!

At meetings we’ve covered many topics: dreams, transport, and hope. Our last meeting for the term was a movie night where we laughed along with Mr. Bean’s Holiday—in anticipation of our own holiday to come. Some of the poems we heard for dreams include: ‘Ode’ by Arthur O’Shaughnessy, ‘A Supermarket in California’ by Allen Ginsberg, ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ by Walt Whitman, ‘Unfettered World’ by Bonita Summers and ‘The House I go to in my Dream’ by George Barker. For transport, we heard ‘Train Journey’ by Judith Wright, two Thomas Hardy poems—’On Hearing the News of Titanic and ‘Last Words to a Dumb Friend’, ‘in The Train’ by James Thomson and ‘Night Mail’ by W.H.Auden.

We also were treated to poems from our very own: ‘A Rogue Dream’ by our president, Caitlin, and an unfinished poem ‘In Australia’ by Jessy Carlisle.

When we weren’t revelling in the beauty of the written word last term, we were revelling in the spoken: Symposiasts attended both the Queensland Poetry Festival poetry workshop, and the Brisbane heat of the National Poetry Slam, in which Felicity, Jessy and yours truly competed. Although none of us took home the prize (a can of baked beans believe it or not!) it was an amazing, albeit nerve-racking experience and we’ll be ready to blow them away next year.

Members who attended the workshop had a great time, hearing words of wisdom from internationally renowned slam poets like Jive Poetic. Josh, our vice-president, has shared with a key writing tool he learnt at the workshop:

Make 2 categories from which you want to write a poem, and then make up a metaphor and a simile, and use that as the basis of the poem. Write a ton of words for the two categories to use for when you get writer’s block.

On the social side, some of Symposiasts have been testing their taste buds, seeking out new haunts for our after-club dinner, although the jury’s still out as to where to eat next (please feel free to leave suggestions on our facebook page!). We also got to enjoy the Southbank Lights Show last week, completed with an epic sound track and amazing tricks of the eye.

This next term, we’re going to be even busier still! We’re raising money for our anthology and have got many ideas on the table: sausage sizzles, slam events and the like. It’s going to be an epic end to the semester!

Entertainment Corner

What We're Hearing
Here’s a song that was mentioned in one of our meetings (I can’t remember who recommended it, but if it was you, give a shout on our facebook page!): Holland, 1945.

What We’re Watching
Geraldine recommends the movie A Brief Encounter, a good distraction from the ever-looming exams!

Felicity also shared with us a poem by Simon Armitage: You’re Beautiful.

What We’re Reading
Caitlin recommends the Greek poet Cavafy, here’s what she had to say:

He was an Alexandrian Greek, writing in the early 20th century.  He's very famous, so most of his poems have been translated into English. 'Ithaca' is his most famous one. Last week I read a poem of his, and it was just describing a room, with its shelves and desk, but he wrote in such a way that you knew what had happened in the room, and that it was important, and that the author's love had left, leaving him behind with just the furniture always there, reminding him.

Writing Challenge
To make up for my lack of newsletters, here’s a jumble of fun writing challenges to entertain those idle thoughts:

Answer the following:
·       What are dreams made of?
·       ‘Transport phenomena’, in engineering is the study of how things flow, but what does it mean to you?
·        If hope were embodied by a person, what would they look like?
·       Write a poem that explains hope to a young child.
·       Write a poem that explains what beauty is.



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