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Poetry Groups Throughout The Ages





If you want to start writing poetry, you'll need a good group of like-minded people around you. This can be hard to find in today's world, where everyone is so busy and spread out across the globe. But don't worry! There are plenty of ways you can connect with other poets online or even in person if you know where to look. Luckily, you have stumbled across the world's most extensive poetry community right here! The Poetry Cove!


But, being part of a collective of poets is nothing new, in fact, some of the best art has come to us from poets and artists being part of a society, movement, or group. That's why I wanted to take a look at just a few of the different groups of poets throughout our time on earth in the hopes to inspire you and fellow Covers to become more involved with one another and what we can offer you moving forward here at the Cove!


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Poetry groups have been around for hundreds of years!


Poetry groups have been around for hundreds of years, with new ones forming today! Poetry groups are still a great way to meet people who share your interests and may even become lifelong friends.



In addition to the traditional poetry group that meets in person, there are also online communities where writers can share their work, get feedback on it and interact with other writers. Much like what we offer here at The Poetry Cove.


The importance of poetry groups


We have an entire blog post dedicated to this here, but to briefly recap: Poetry groups are an important part of developing a poet's work. They can provide valuable feedback on the quality of a poem, and help to shape it into something more complete.



The group also acts as a sounding board for ideas, allowing members to bounce ideas off one another before putting pen to paper (or fingers on the keyboard).


London, 1714.

It is generally agreed that the first group of poets formed in London, 1714. The group was called The Scriblerus Club and included Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. John Gay, John Arbuthnot and Thomas Parnell were also members of this club. Their goal was to publish their writing anonymously to avoid getting caught up in any controversy or disputes over authorship. The club disbanded in 1745, but the members continued to write and publish anonymously. Some of their works include the Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad.


The second group of poets was formed in 1775 by Robert Burns, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This group was known as the Lyrical Ballads, and they were later joined by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The members of this club wrote poetry that reflected their rural surroundings.

The third group of poets was formed by Leigh Hunt and John Keats in 1816. The group included Lord Byron, Shelley, William Hazlitt and Thomas Love Peacock. Their works were published in a collection called The Indicator.


Boston, 1855.

The next group was formed in Boston in 1855. It was called the Saturday Club and met on Saturdays to discuss poetry and literature, with many of its members being some of the most famous writers at the time. The group was very influential in developing American literature.


The group was founded by Thomas W. Higginson and other literary figures such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., James Russell Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier, and William Dean Howells. The Saturday Club was known for its gatherings at the Parker House in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighbourhood. At its peak it had about 100 members.

The club was founded on December 5, 1855, at the Parker House in Boston by poet and writer Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The Saturday Club met every Saturday from 1855 to 1888 in the upper room of a tavern called “Parker’s Restaurant” or “The Parker House.” The club's original purpose was to provide a forum for discussion on literature and other topics of interest to its members.



The Saturday Club was also one of Boston’s first venues for African-American writers such as William Wells Brown, George T. Downing, and John W. Cromwell; all three were active participants in the abolitionist movement prior to and during the Civil War period.


1892 - ILS.

In 1892, a group formed by the poet and playwright Edward Stephens. It was called The Irish Literary Society, and it's members included some of the most important figures in Irish literature: William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory (who founded the Abbey Theatre), Thomas Moore, Robert Emmet and others.


James Clarence Mangan was a contemporary of Stephens' who also wrote poetry but was less well known than him at this time; however, he became famous later on when his work was rediscovered by W B Yeats who admired his style very much.


Stephens and Mangan were both friends with Yeats, and the three of them often met in Stephens' house to discuss literature. It was there that Mangan first read some of his poems to Yeats and Lady Gregory who were impressed by what they heard. Mangan became a member of The Irish Literary Society after this meeting but continued writing poetry in secret for a time before deciding to publish it himself.


The Walt Whitman Association was founded in 1892.


The Walt Whitman Association was founded in 1892. It's purpose was to promote the work of this very prolific and influential poet, who had died just five years earlier at age 73. Born in 1819 and raised on Long Island, Whitman wrote poetry throughout his life but only published one volume before his death: Leaves of Grass (1855).


Whitman was also known for his influence on American culture; he helped establish free public libraries across America by donating many of his own books from time-to-time as well as encouraging others to donate theirs too!


Whitman's poetry was very influential in its time and continues to be today; it helped shape America's literary tradition. The Walt Whitman Association celebrates his life, work and influence by holding annual conferences on various topics related to this great American poet.


Other groups followed throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century.

Other groups followed throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century. In the United States, a group called the Poetry Society of America was founded in 1910 by such poets as Edwin Arlington Robinson and William Vaughn Moody. Today, there are many poetry societies throughout North America--some focused on specific genres or styles (like Haiku), others focused on specific topics or themes (such as social justice).


Poetry has also been written collaboratively since ancient times; examples include The Battle of Frogs and Mice by Homeric Greeks (8th Century BC) and The Song Of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1855). There are still opportunities today for people who want to write together rather than alone; just look online!


Today, there are many opportunities for people who want to write poetry. You can find a group or class at your local library, community centre, or college campus; you can join an online forum or message board where people share poems and discuss them; or you can simply start writing on your own and post it online (or in the form of a book).


Poetry can be a solitary act, or a communal one. You can write alone in a room by yourself, or you can share your writing with others and get feedback on it. There are many resources online where you can find people who want to discuss poetry; some of them are even moderated by professional poets.


Other notable poetry groups and movements:

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

The Beats

The Bloomsbury Group


The Poetry Cove is here for you!

The beauty of poetry is that it can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their background or education. Poetry groups are an excellent way to connect with other people who share your passion for writing and reading poetry. They also provide a great opportunity to get feedback on your work as well as meet new friends!


That's the whole reason we created The Poetry Cove. We wanted to form a space for poets to come together and revolutionise the craft! So next time you have a spare moment, stop by the forum and leave some discussion topics behind... you never know what may come of it!


This article was first published in The Poetry Cove Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1


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