Fire and Ice Drop-In Delights

We had a really jolly evening Tues 6th at the Poet in the City monthly poetry Drop-In, which was hosted again by John Mole, Poet in the City’s beloved Poet in Residence. There was ice in the air outside, for sure, but fire in the hearts of the poets and poetry lovers who packed the Poetry section of Waterstone’s. It was our best attendance yet at the new venue and we had to get in some extra chairs during the evening as people kept on joining us!

The original idea of the drop-in was to honour Robert Frost and the American poetic tradition, but the theme of Fire and Ice evoked some delightful tangential associations in many of us and we heard from several British and European poets as well—including some poems originally written in Lithuanian, Portuguese and French!

At least three of us made valiant attempts to note the poets quoted and the poem titles. With some comparing of notes afterwards, we have produced the following list, but it’s not complete, due to names or titles misheard or missed! Please inform us in comments below this post of any poems that were read and are not listed, any mistakes made in the transcription, or any links to transcripts of the poems or poets’ bios on the web where we have not already included one.

Have a good holiday and thank you for the poetry!

NOTE: To give everyone a chance to recover from the holidays, the next drop-in will be on Tuesday 10th January, rather than our usual date of the first Tuesday of the month. The theme, aptly, is “Resolutions”! I urge you to make one to be there… and let it be one of those resolutions that lasts longer than the first week of Jan! :)

When: Tuesday 10th January 2012, 6.30pm (wine, browse and chat); 7.00pm (poetry)
Where: Waterstone’s at 203-205 Piccadilly, London, 1st Floor, Poetry section
RSVP: Phone Waterstone’s 020 7851 2419 or Email

Poems read at the Fire and Ice drop-in on 6th December

Robert Frost – Fire and Ice
Frank O’hara – A True Account of Talking with The Sun At Fire Island
Richard Wilbur – A Courtyard Thaw
John Crowe Ransom – Winter Remembered
Elizabeth Bishop – The Armadillo
Bob Kaufman – Results of a Lie Dectector Test
Robert Lowell – Ill Wind
Gerry Skeens (poet in attendance) – I Could No Longer Call Her Name
Robert Hayden – Monet’s Water Lillies
Katherine Lockton(poet in attendance) – September The Third
? – Grand Fine
Paul Laurence Dunbar – A Warm Day In Winter
John Berryman – Dream Song 14
Charles Olson – A Scream to The Editor
David Neita (poet in attendance) – Cremation
The First Adventure
Wallace Stevens – The Snowman
Marianne Moore – New York
Ruth ? (poet in attendance) – Winter Solstice
Gérard de Nerval (translator Timothy Ades in attendance)Horus – read in English
Herberto Hélder – ‘a knife doesn’t cut fire…’ – read in English and in Portuguese
Wallace Stevens – The Poems of our Climate
John Mole (poet in attendance) – Ragnar Rock; A Conflagration
Natasha Morgan (poet in attendance) – A Polar Carol; Wonderland
Mira Nehta (poet in attendance) – A Commonplace Story
Antanas Skema – Request 2
Carol Anne Duffy – The Duke Of Fire And The Duchess Of Ice
Michael Low (poet in attendance) – Not Quite The Truth
Anne Hébert – Snow
Anne Compton – What Light Decays
Andy ? (poet in attendance) – Smoke Without Fire; Slanted Rain; The Internationale
Louis McNeice – Snow
Derek Mahon – Antartica
Dante Alighieri – Dante’s Inferno – sinners in ice section
Thomas Carew – Mediocrity in love rejected
Jennifer Johnson (poet in attendance) – Uncomfortable Times
Sarah Hesketh – Suzanna Ibsen Is Cold
Robert Lowell – Skunk Hour
Robert Hayden – Those Winter Sundays
Theodore Roethke – The Waking
Robert Frost – Storm Fear
Billy Collins – Christmas Sparrow

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About Jamie

I am an aspiring poet and ex-journalist who writes regularly for PinC. I am passionate about poetry and Bob Dylan.
This entry was posted in American poetry, Poet in the City events, poetry, poetry drop-in and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fire and Ice Drop-In Delights

  1. Pingback: Thomas Carew had it right: Lukewarm is icky! « TiaTalk

  2. Jamie says:

    Herberto Helder’s poem has no title, but the first line is ‘a knife doesn’t cut fire…’ and comes from the following book : Herberto Helder, in A Faca Não Corta o Fogo, súmula & inédita, pp. 66-67, Assírio & Alvim, Lisboa, Setembro de 2008. The translation is by Ana Hudson

    The other poem by Wallace Stevens was ‘The Poems of our Climate’ from his book ‘Parts of a World’, 1942.
    Thankyou Ana

  3. Gerry Skeens says:

    The Fire & ice Drop-in was a delightful evening! Warm, cosy, moving, funny and informative.
    John Mole was so welcoming and inclusive – and what a wonderfully mellifluous voice!
    I will certainly enjoy uncovering the wonders of the American poets – and others – about whom I was hithertofore ( is that actually a word?) woefully ignorant..

  4. Alice N says:

    I love the serendipitous nature of the drop-ins, where happy surprises occur both with individual poems and the juxtaposition of the readings.

    It would be great to read or hear Andy George’s own ‘Smoke Without Fire’ and ‘The Internationale’ again; very witty writing with tightly woven puns.

  5. Rehan Qayoom says:

    I attended the one before this. Was rather amused to be referred to as a “veteran”. I enjoyed myself so much even though I didn’t read that I made it a point to attend this one, but in the interim I moved out into a new studio flat. It isn’t new but it will do, for me and really couldn’t make it. I’ll try to attend the one in January.

  6. I read two poems: ‘Cremation’ and ‘The First Adventure'; my reading was videoed by two Lithuanian ladies who attended the event

    David Russell

  7. Rosalind Carpenter says:

    Ros Carpenter Winter Solstice

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