Charles House Poetry

20160615_164636Last week I led a poetry session at the Charles House Center for Community Eldercare in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There were almost twenty of us, including clients, caregivers and me. I brought the The Family Book of Best Loved Poems that my father gave me and started by reciting Wordsworth’s Daffodils.

Then I asked if anyone remembered any poetry from their youth and one lady offered a poem I’d never heard before. Fortunately the Best Loved Poems has an index of first lines and I was able to identify the poem as Home by Edgar Guest and read another stanza which triggered even more memories.

They wanted to hear one of my poems but since I mostly write free verse I was a little self-conscious going up against the classics. Instead I read Shakespeare’s sonnet Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day followed by my parody version, Shall I Compare Thee to a Crème Brûlée, that I read at my chocolate open mics.

This lead perfectly into the group writing exercise I’d planned and we wrote a parody version of Wordsworth’s Daffodils. They told me about the walks they take around the grounds and then it was just a matter finding the rhyme and rhythm. Here’s what we came up with.

We wander together as a crowd
through the neighbor’s labyrinth.
When we look up, we see the clouds,
we smell the flowers and the mint.
We walk past, the waterfall babbles,
to rejoin the Charles House rabble.

Thanks for letting me share my love of poetry, Charles House!


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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