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September’s Stories and Poems

Written by Rachael Norris, 7th September 2021

As the season starts to change, September’s batch of Stories and Poems take us on journeys of all kinds, where things may not be quite as they seem from the outset.

Relationships are a key feature of this month’s prose selections; in particular, how relationships can be altered by the actions or absence of one person. What happens to the people who have to deal with the consequences? Can bridges be mended? Jealousy, neglect, betrayal and the not-so-simple task of getting by are all explored, as well as the more unusual situation of dealing with a member of the family who is literally invisible.

Some of us may have relations who are going back to school after the summer break, but many of us are likely to find something to relate to in another extract, that centres upon parents rallying at a children’s piano recital.

September’s stories and extracts are:

‘Where was my father?’, from The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West

‘Turned’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

‘The Annual Recital’, from The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot

As You Like It, Act 1 Scene 1 by William Shakespeare

‘The Invisible Child’ by Tove Jansson

September’s selection of poetry brings forth ‘the firstlings of autumn’ – an evocative phrase all on its own. As we travel with these poems there are many adventures to be had, as well as a sense of uncertainty and beginning again, and again. Courage is needed to take such journeys, and also in allowing ourselves to be introspective and feel the things we feel.

Amongst this month’s poems is a Reader Leader recommendation, which was enjoyed by a Zoom group in Barnet, and also offered some reflections after the group had taken place.

‘Departure at Night’ by Abdel Raheem Abu Zikra (translated by Adil Babikir)

‘To Speak’ by Denise Levertov

‘In The One Eyed Giant’s Cave’, from The Odyssey, Book 9 by Homer

‘The Horses of Meaning’ by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

‘Golden Retrievals’ by Mark Doty

If you're a Reader Leader head to the Online Community Hub to download this month's selection.

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