The 21st of March is a date set in many diaries all over the world. It’s World French Bread Day everybody! No but seriously, today is World Poetry Day and in the hub of creativity that is Falmouth, Truthfal is exploring the importance of poetry and the ways that you can engage with it as a student in the South West.
It’s no secret that our little seaside town has an abundance of artistry and imagination and with a large school for writing and journalism within Falmouth university, we should expect the poetry scene to currently be flourishing. To an extent it is, with monthly poetry nights being held in the Chintz Symposium and the café Espressini, but is that enough?
Having asked around campus, only one of fifteen was even aware that today is World Poetry Day. The one student, Jacob Bull, studying English at Exeter University Falmouth Campus said “In regards to my coursemates, poetry is like marmite, a lot of people love it, and a lot also hate it. I for one love it. Sadly there is no FXU Poetry society, and it’s hard to know whether it would get a lot of members until it’s been made, though given that this is Falmouth, I’m sure it would thrive.”
Bull went on to highlight that within his course, there is no active encouragement to study poetry, there is room for them to explore the subject, but it definitely isn’t a main focus, with no modules directly relating to poetry. It’s because of this that Jacob believes there’s a need for World Poetry Day.
“Anything that actively promotes poetry should be encouraged.”
Creative Writing student at Falmouth University, Freddie Ensor, has had a seemingly different experience with poetry when it comes to what his course entails. “Yeah they’re pretty on it. We had an optional poetry module going into second year so if you wanted to pursue it then the option is there. There’s also great opportunities to get your work put out there in various university publications like With and Falwriting. The overall emphasis is more on prose, but there are plenty of opportunities for poetry here and there and the module on it was a really good introduction to the topic.”
Despite there being a Creative Writing society, which admittedly focusses largely on the WRITING of poetry, there is little spotlight on the reading of celebrated poets, and the appreciation of their works, emphasising a need for a standalone poetry society.
Writer in residence of the school of writing and journalism Wyl Menmuir, a novelist and short-story author by profession, still dabbles in writing poetry, wholeheartedly encouraging it’s reading with the belief that there is something out there for everyone. “It’s like different forms of visual art, at one end of the spectrum you have instillation art, and then you’ve got the fine art of the Renaissance masters. In some ways they feel completely unconnected, it can be so broad and varied.”
As far as it goes, personally I’m not much of a poetry fan, but as Wyl rightly explains, poetry can be the catalyst for change in many peoples’ lives. “There’s something about the clarity of thinking in poems that is so condensed and rare, the fact that you can be taken somewhere completely new in a just a few words or lines.”