A poem a day…

March 30, 2009

This weekend the Ullapool Book Festival launched its programme for 2009 with a reading by Ali Smith served with stovies (yum) and prosecco. Their Poems Aloud event, 11pm on the Saturday night, is always chaired by an SPLer.  After driving through all manner of weathers, featuring 4 rainbows, a snow blizzard and blazing sun, Ullapool stretched out before us in a gentle smirr. It was lovely to see one of our SPL outposts in the foyer of The Ceilidh Place, bristling with  poetry goodies such as postcards, our Poetry Readers, and our Ideas Box. All that parcelling up was worth it!

Poetry aplenty at Ullapool's Ceilidh Place

Poetry aplenty at Ullapool's Ceilidh Place

Robyn made a discovery at a London meeting last week, concerning poetry’s vital role in our well-being: ‘Darwin is much mentioned in this anniversary year, and I found the Poetry Society’s Director, Judith Palmer, quoting him in the PS newsletter: ‘If I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some Poetry and listen to some music at least every week, for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied might have been kept active through use.’ But we could make that resolution now, in the middle of life (or wherever we find ourselves). The listening to music bit is much easier, obviously, than in Darwin’s time: the reading of poetry, though, doesn’t take much effort either. Be ambitious – a poem a day rather than one a week! And it has been demonstrated by research (in Dundee, as I recall) that reading poetry does keep the synapses busy.’

Stave off atrophy with poetry!

5 Responses to “A poem a day…”


  1. I’d also perhaps think that the same study suggested that doing anything* keeps the synapses busy. :p

    * as opposed to nothing i.e. being dead


  2. Oh, and a poem a day isn’t hard at all… you could leave leaflets in docctor’s surgeries.

  3. spl5 Says:

    A fair point well made David! But I would suppose that poetry would do more for the synapses than, say, just watching Deal Or No Deal.

    Speaking of poetry in public places (on which there’ll be more anon), this might interest: http://www.shetland-library.gov.uk/BardsintheBog.htm


  4. Yikes… Deal or No Deal. Not many tv programmes depress me, but that does. (Just like “Sing Something Simple” used to do on the radio when I was a kiddie.)

    BArds in the Bogs is verging on genius!


  5. […] communications department of the SPL is in Ullapool once more for their splendid book festival. Every year, an SPL-er comes up to chair Poems Aloud […]


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