people at a poetry reading

Poetry readings

LONDON SW5: Planet Earth: Poetry Party

Date: Monday 26 June, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM
Price: £7
Venue address:
Troubadour Coffee-House, 263-267 Old Brompton Road, LONDON SW5 9JA

Publicity material for this event says:

Planet Earth: poetry party with guest readers, music & prize-quiz, with a theme of planets & perseids, stars & satellites, orbits, galaxies & constellations…

John Gray insists that Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, & Gustav Holst had both heavenly bodies, & the rest, in his 1916 Planets Suite (all except Pluto which wasn’t discovered until 1930). And David Bowie who gave us Life on Mars had Major Tom observe that Planet earth is blue.

But what do our favourite poets make of the power, or the presence, of planets? John Donne was fascinated with the skies as optical advances allowed his contemporaries to discover so many new planets in the firmament. And even in 1930 scientists & cartoonists named their respective latest discoveries (a new element, & Mickey Mouse's dog) after the newest planet (which also features in Mary Ruefle’s Cold Pluto). But that was after just about every ancient culture had attributed meaning, character, personalities, godlike qualities or auguries of doom to the objects, asteroids, comets & celestial spheres that fill our night-skies.

But the planetary sense is still strong in poems like Auden's Moon Landing, Robert Lowell's Pity the planet, all joy gone/ from this sweet volcanic cone, Jamie McKendrick's Seventh Planet, discovered by William Herschel, Caroline Herschel’s comet-sweeper in Lesley Saunders' Cloud Camera, Peggy Seeger or Roberta Flack singing Ewan McColl’s the moon & stars were the gifts you gave, or a whole generation of contemporary poems about space travel, space exploration, fictional or factual interplanetary craft.

Join us on a journey through poems & planets, astronauts & asteroids, Greek deities & science-fiction geekdom, through constellations, orbits, space-warps, star treks, & yes, not to be forgotten, the ever popular moon, stars & sun that illuminate our poems & our lives. Hear guest poets' planet-inspired poetry, or their astronomically-inspired choices from poets past & present, join in our Extra Terrestrial prize poetry quiz, listen to planet-themed music & hear whose planet poem wins the Troubadour-bonus space race…


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