Image of Poetry – A Reflection


The Community Market Garden plays host to a wide variety of different sessions – learning opportunities, wellbeing courses, and experiences – for both people accommodated by New Hope and further afield. Of all New Hope services, it is here that I probably spend most of my time outside of the office.

While visiting the garden yesterday morning, I was fortunate to be able to attend a session entitled 'Image of Poetry,' a course in which members of the poetry group are presented with images of a range of subjects to act as prompts for the writing of poems. Now, my degree is in English Literature – I've studied poetry before, dissected it, dabbled in my own verse – I've also been a teacher and have had to provide the skills required to write in rhymes and narrative, so, in the back of my mind, I had suppositions of the kind of things a poetry session would entail. I was wrong.

Beginning with something as simple as a black and white photograph of an elderly man playing violin on the side of the street, participants sank deeply into an exploration of feeling and memory as they put pen to paper and words flowed across the page. In the silent workshop, each poet found something different within that image, sometimes raw and emotive, and other times exploratory. Unlike a seminar, no one was trying to impress, to be better than their neighbour, everyone had written something for themselves, in their own words and not drawing upon well known formulae or language.

It was amazing to see so many different takes on the same image, as if everyone had seen something totally different. That, to me, is what makes poetry what it is – an opportunity to explore the things that are important to you – a place where it doesn't matter what others see. I think it is in that moment of translating stimuli into feeling, and again into verse, that we are given a window into the part of the mind where memories and experiences lie.

Joe – Fundraising Team


Concentration, never missing a note
Music played from memory, learned by rote
The lone violinist hears the orchestra still
Playing alone, trying to help pay the bills
Walking past people pay him no heed
Hearing the music but not seeing his need
A virtuoso performance played out in his mind
His old fingers move stiffly, the notes hard to find
Music he loved for all his long life
But now he plays to help feed his wife
The audience moves by with a quickening pace
The musician impassive, no smile on his face

A member of the poetry group



The personality rules the title,
a path has been given,
requires strength and determination,
seeing generations,
a physical effort required,
to make the best with other people requires a sociable skill,
I am a man looking at my life,
I will go through difficulties and hardship to succeed.

Samir - A member of the poetry group



What’s outside this window
I’m in limbo
Hopes and ambitions, dreams and aspirations
What are my motivations
I guess I’ll never know
Perhaps I’ll find out as I grow

Best - A member of the poetry group

Joe Meehan