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Poem by John Donne inspires poetry workshop at Polesworth Abbey

By tracyrobbins  |  Posted: March 20, 2013

By Tracy Robbins

Renaissance poet John Donne's poem about Polesworth Abbey is inspiration for Easter poetry workshop.

Renaissance poet John Donne's poem about Polesworth Abbey is inspiration for Easter poetry workshop.

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A work by one of England’s most celebrated poets will form the centrepiece of a poetry workshop to be held at Polesworth Abbey this Easter.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of John Donne writing Good Friday 1613: Travelling Westwards.

Donne wrote his poem in a letter to his good friend, Sir Henry Goodere, who was then the landowner of Polesworth Hall – which became Polesworth Vicarage in the 1930s.

Vicar of Polesworth, Father Philip Wells said: “We are very excited to be celebrating this 400th anniversary with a series of talks and giving people a chance to reflect on Donne's poem in the wider context of the Abbey site and the Christian faith which inspired it.”

A workshop exploring Polesworth’s rich cultural heritage of modern-day poets and writers is to be held at Polesworth Abbey on Tuesday, April 2 – the date on which Good Friday fell 400 years ago in 1613.

From Shakespeare to Michael Drayton, links with many famous poets and writers have been found at Polesworth, and the workshop will also look at other writings, including a new, previously undiscovered piece of writing from the medieval period.

This new piece, which is written from a female nun to a younger woman, links with the history of medieval mystics across the country, such as Julian of Norwich.

As Donne's poem Good Friday 1613 was not written with the intention of publication it offers a very personal look at the meaning of Christ's death for him and for the restoration of the whole universe.

The day’s activities will include a masterclass on Donne's poem, an overview of his body of work and the chance to explore the Polesworth Poetry Trail.

There will also be a chance for those attending to pen their own lyrical response.

Workshops, talks, walks and discussions will be from 2pm on Tuesday, April 2 with a gala performance of poetry from 7pm.

The cost is £10 for the whole day, or £5 for either the afternoon or evening activities.

Contact Father Philip on 01827 892340 or email polesworthabbey@aol.com

In the meantime a Good Friday service will be conducted at Polesworth Abbey at 2pm on Friday, March 29.

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