BE A BARD Workshop

Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 2:30pm - 4:00pm

Be a Bard CELTIC POETRY WORKSHOP (Sunday 2:30-4PM; REPEATED MONday 4:00-5:30) 

Instructor: John Beaton

It is the word, blossoming as legend, poem, story, secret, that holds a community together and gives meaning to its life. If words become functional ciphers merely, as they are in white papers and business letters, they lose their 'ghosts' — the rich aura that has grown about them from the start, and grows infinitesimally richer every time they are spoken. They lose more; they lose their 'kernel', the sheer sensuous relish of utterance. Poetry is a fine interpenetration of ghost and kernel.  (Orkney poet, George Mackay Brown, 1921-96)


In the old days, bards created and recited whole histories in verse.   Burns was a master of poetry and many of his poems made fine songs.  Most of the best Celtic poetry is written in meter and rhyme.  

The art of the bard is reviving.    Be part of its renaissance and experience the joy of making wonderful sounds with words alone, a talent you can put to many uses such as:

  • ·         compiling your own poems for enjoyment or publication;
  • ·         reading poetry for pleasure with a deepened understanding of its art;
  • ·         writing lyrics for songs;
  • ·         sending messages to loved ones; and
  • ·         marking special occasions in memorable ways.

In this workshop, you will:

·         learn the rudiments of metrical poetry — meter, rhyme, and the main forms used in Celtic poetry;

·         using some beautiful Scottish poems as examples, learn how to “hear” the structure of the poems and understand how the poets crafted their sounds and rhythms;

·         with examples, learn which poetic forms lend themselves best to song-writing, and why; and

·         take away

o        written materials documenting what you have heard,

o        pointers and prompts to get you started on writing your own poems,

o        notes of recommended Celtic poets and poetry for your reading enjoyment, and

o        other useful resource lists to which you can later refer.


This course was very popular last year, and is expected to sell out, so please go onto the Pay Pal cart and book your seat ahead of time so as not to be disappointed.

Admission:       $18.  By pre-booking          

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BE A BARD Workshop