The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Saint Mary’s student launches poetry club

Alex Winegar | Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sophomore Claire Bleecker had an idea to create the first Saint Mary’s Poetry Club this year because she wanted to discuss new and different poetry with her fellow students.

Now, her idea is starting to catch on.

“There wasn’t a poetry outlet at all at Saint Mary’s … I’m sort of ignorant when it comes to poetry and I wanted to learn more about it and the club is forcing me to learn more about it,” Bleecker said.

Bleecker said the club meets at Dalloway’s Clubhouse on Sundays at 6 p.m. She said she sends out a weekly theme via email before every meeting.

“This week’s theme will be Irish poetry, last week it was imagery poetry and the first week was pick your favorite poet,” she said.

Bleecker said she starts the meetings by introducing the theme and why it is relevant to the group. One by one, each member reads a short summary of her chosen poet’s life and then reads a selected piece. Club members discuss the meaning of the poem afterward and then the next person reads until everyone has read, she said.

“It’s very intimate,” Bleecker said. “I think it’s easier to understand the poetry when the group reads it together.”

Bleecker said she has big plans for this year’s meetings, including a William Butler Yeats night. Saint Mary’s professor Sr. Rosalind Clark will be a guest speaker that night to help the group discuss some of Yeats’s famous poems, Bleecker said.

“I am also planning on having a poetry of the world night where I will bring in people to read from different countries to read poetry in their native language so that the night will be about listening to the sounds and rhythms, even if you don’t understand it, of the native language,” she said.

Bleecker said one member in particular was excited to join the club because she had been introduced to authors such as Emily Dickinson and John Keats at her school, but now she has much more access to poetry that she would not have had in her home country.

Bleecker also said the member was eager to learn about new poetry and the other member’s favorite poems.

“And I felt the same way,” she said. “I’m going to be introduced to all these new things. I’m excited that other people are excited about poetry because I didn’t think they were going to be. I’m excited that other people are excited.”