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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Bring Bards & Poets Back To The Woods

Through our 2014 season of Bards In The Woods, our third season, 
where have the Bards and Poets gone?

Through 2nd season, 2013, we explored some different things, went to new places and attempting to work out some kind of identity about what we are doing.



Our first season through 2012 was seemingly more straightforward. As I look back, it was an adventure of taking favourite poems and stories into the forests and reciting them to other people there. They were always a good listening audience.


Some of the people present, listening to these poems, were also itching to do some tree, shrub, plant and flower identification, and why not, because being in a forest encourages that.


Some people thought we were too slow and ambling. They preferred using the forest as ways for keeping fit and encouraging better health though power walking, jogging, and intense hiking. Public forests are a very good, safe and un-intrusive places for doing these assertive pumping up ventures.


A few people embraced an interest in Forest Bathing, after hearing and reading about Shinrin Yoku from Japan. This is all about spending quality time in the forest for stress releasing and breath enhancing relaxation. That's a perfect reason for being in the forest.


2013 was also a year of political motivation to encourage the government of Ireland to back down from any decision to sell of Public Forestry. There very busy moments of placard waving and protest chanting in forests accompanied by protests on concrete outside government buildings.

I had a go at that too, and was grateful for the front line of people who do this with passion.


I became a bit disillusioned with this though as I learned that this front line of protesters was like a mercenary group that moved to fight for one issue after another. One moment that would be protesting for public forestry preservation, next moment on a 'no fracking' protest, next moment on an 'anti-water charges protest and so on. 

All of these campaigns are vital and the front line protest groups work for all of them very well.

For me, it was back to our Bards In The Woods, especially for the most popular activity  ... the shared picnic :-)



How can we encourage more people
back to the Forests more often?


We need many more people to use the Public Forests around Ireland more often. To do this we need as many different activities as possible, in the forests, to attract people to do this.

The more people in the forests doing things, the more voters are there, and that is important currency.


I still do believe that a couple of hundred people in a forest regularly on Sunday afternoons could have more impact on a local elected representative than a few hundred pacing on the concrete with placards outside a government building. 


Poetry, Stories & Picnics


For this year I am personally promoting and encourage Bards In The Woods, as I originally intended and expand on the help and services for poets, storytellers and scribes from this.

Strangely very few are turning up in the woods this year so far? Can anyone advise why as our Sunday afternoons weather so far this year has been the best yet.


Why Poetry and other Bardic Crafts?


I believe that anyone can write or at least read a poem to others. It does not take any magic to do this, though listeners often feel that recited words listened to are magic dust poured over them.


Poetry and stories can be very embracing. For the writer it a way to express from the heart with freedom to express without reference to order, rules, language accuracy or even consider "is this good or bad, worthy or weak".

A three line haiku is often a good place to start, despite it have rules of formation and beat, but haiku is something that anyone can do masterfully. It can be as simple as

Look up that tall tree
Look at it reach for the sky
And I am so small

Conversation can be made into poetry very easily too. 
Here's one I have just rattled off instantly ...

Do you have a cloth to cover this table
So we can lay out the food to eat if you are able
Tea, sandwiches, salads, snacks and cake
Lots of food to share that our friends cook and bake

Writing and sharing words is a huge confidence and esteem booster anyone ... plus with Bards In The Woods there's a listening and encouraging audience too.

Its an amazing gathering for feeling like belonging, for feeling equal, feeling free to be who we are, and feeling connected and relaxed.


I have never found any indoor Open Mic Sessions or Poetry Club Meetings to be as responsive and fulfilling as our Bards In The Woods sessions. I usually sense some kind of elitist influence over such indoor events. They are also very competitive.

During our Bards In The Woods sessions we record video clips of performances to spread on YouTube where possible. We have a lot of clips online now.

I also have new ideas for live online broadcasts too
... plus compilation audio albums and books.


So please join us for Bards In The Woods through this year.


Bring The Bards Back To The Woods


Bring the Bards and Poets back to the woods and forests 
where they once were.

Back to the forests where we can breathe and feel free, rather than be poets trying to be heard in stuffy hotels, clubs, lecture rooms, stoney galleries and rule riddled libraries.

and do not forget something for the picnic table too :-)


Click here for our current woodland events listings

... and please do help us to expand these listing
    with more events inspired by you soon.



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