Bundaberg Poets Society members have been reciting verse in the community now for 25 years and there are no signs of the group slowing down.
Bundaberg Poets Society secretary Sandy Lees said there was a long history of the group that originally was known as the Bundy Mob and it continues to go from strength to strength.
“It was the initiative of a few people who belonged to the Bundaberg Writers Group who decided to form a club and in due course was incorporated and became known as the Bundaberg Poets Society to cater for persons who had an interest in writing poetry,” Sandy said.
“After the formation of the Bundaberg Poets Society this led the way for members to travel and recite their poetry around the country doing what they love best – reciting poetry for the enjoyment of others.
“In 1995 the first Bundy Bush Poetry Muster was held and over the years this grew and became known as one of the best in Australia, if not the best, to attend.”
Sandy said many poets and poetry followers looked forward to the Bundy Bush Poetry Muster each year, but unfortunately the last was held in July 2016.
Nurturing the interest of rhyme
She said one of the aims of the club has been, and always will be, to nurture the interest in rhyming verse, which is bush poetry, to the wider community.
“Another goal was to keep Australian history alive through poetry whether it's in rhyme and meter form or free verse and to encourage people to become involved especially the younger generation,” Sandy said.
“Poetry is really a story told in verse where the performer can have you in tears or laughing.”
The Bundaberg Poets Society is active in the community. Members entertain at various functions throughout the year including Christmas break-ups, retirement villages, fetes, birthday parties and festivals, and not just in the Bundaberg Region.
Sandy said one of the most satisfying things about being in the Bundaberg Poets Society was the friendships gained from the club along with putting members in touch with other poets throughout Australia and sometimes overseas.
“From time to time we have people who like to follow poetry festivals call in on our club meeting afternoons as they are travelling around Australia just to get their little fix of poetry,” Sandy said.
“Some members are prolific writers of verse and perform their own work while others get more enjoyment from just listening to poetry being recited, reading or performing other poet’s work.
“Several members over the years have had their work published in books or produced on CDs.”
Now and into the future
The Bundaberg Poets’ Society caters for poets who write in different styles of rhyme and meter as well as free verse and encourages new members to join in and present their work.
“There are many budding poets out there who are too shy to tell people about their hidden talents keeping their poems hidden away in the bottom drawer,” Sandy said.
“It would be wonderful if they would come along to club meetings on the second Saturday of each month to share their poetry.
Sandy said it was unfortunately some people were shy about presenting their work and were worried that others might not like what they have written, which she said probably kept a lot of potential poetry enthusiasts from coming “out of the closet”.
“Of course, this is not true because if we all wrote the same type of poetry there wouldn’t be the variety that is out there for others to enjoy,” she said.
“Ultimately the aim of the Bundaberg Poets’ Society Inc. is to make the public aware that there is a Society out there for those ‘closet writers’ to come forward and be a part of a very active poetry group. It’s an excellent way to meet new friends who have similar interests and most importantly to offer advice and help each other.”
Join the Bundaberg Poets Society
Monthly meetings are held in the Rum City Silver Band Hall on Targo Street.
“The Bundaberg Poets Society club afternoons are a lot of fun and very friendly where you will hear a variety of poetry – thought provoking with serious poems and then have a laugh at the humorous ones,” Sandy said.
“If you are looking for an extra social outing, then this just might be what you are looking for.
“The club has several members who come along just to listen to poetry and enjoy ‘friendship set to rhyme and meter’.
“Meeting new friends is an added bonus which all makes for a good afternoon.”
Club meeting days: The club meets on the second Saturday of each month at 1.30pm.
“These afternoons commence with a brief meeting, which is then followed by poetry recitals,” Sandy said.
“There is a short break for afternoon tea and a chat, and the afternoon concludes with more poetry usually finishing around 4.30 to 5pm. These afternoons cost $3, which includes afternoon tea.”
For more information on the Bundaberg Poets Society contact Jayson 4155 0778, Edna 0428 574 651 or Sandy on 4151 4631.
Here's a poem from a 2016 newsletter:
Scientists will attest
The cane toad is a noxious pest
With eighteen poisons on his skin
Ugly warts and wicked grin
He gobbles up our native creatures
And, with his ugly toxic features,
Poisons those that try to eat him
Let's hope that science can defeat him
Meanwhile, when on a Queensland road
Please don't swerve to avoid a toad!
— Jim Haynes
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