Welcome to our Advent book group forum!


Advent Book Group

This is the place for discussions about our Advent Book.
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Jae
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Jae » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:22 pm

Hello everyone and welcome :bye:

This is the place to continue our discussions by adding our thoughts, impressions, feelings and questions about any of the poems and Janet's reflections in 'haphazard by starlight'

We are hoping that Janet will be able to join us for our final meeting on January 6th but this is not certain at the moment.


Please can I draw your attention to an important difference about our book this year.

It was not possible for the publishers to give us permission to post excerpts from the book as we usually do because of the different authors of each poem and the varying copyright status they each have.

Therefore, if you want to add a part of a poem that you would like to comment on, please would you keep the quote to a minimum of just a few key words that have caught your attention.

Equally, please would you remember that Janet's reflections are subject to copyright laws and a lot of work on her part so use the same mindfulness if you wish to include part of these in your comments too.

Thank you :)


We really hope you enjoy this beautiful book and that it gives you much to think about and inspire you from Advent to Epiphany.

Our meetings will be on Monday nights

in the Café

from 8pm to 9pm

Beginning on Monday 9th December 2013
and
Ending on Monday January 6th 2014


Enjoy!!
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Jae
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Jae » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:28 pm

I now declare this forum open !!

:balloons:
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Joyce
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Joyce » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:05 am

It's good that we kick off with the explanation of a poem by someone so erudite and emminent. Mrs Morley certainly hits the ground running.
We are reminded that although Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation, in our hemisphere it's in darkness and discomfort that we look forward to a time of celebration.
I'm afraid I can't think of much of an answer to the question at the end. All I can say is that if ever I am afraid,the hope that the fearful situation will end does not balance the fear.

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Emle
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Post by Emle » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:04 am

Hi Jae :bye:
Just to say I hope to be with you this evening but I have been experiencing connection and power problems since our storms and we have more to come I believe..... :sad:

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Jae
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Jae » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:04 am

Oh Emle .. I was wondering how you were getting on up there!

Hopefully you can join us but if not, catch up here later :reading:

Book group is at 8pm tonight in the Cafe and everyone is welcome :)
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Caroline
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Caroline » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:54 pm

I wanted to join you all, but an annoying sequence of events prevented me from coming (starting with a can of fireproof paint that should have arrived last Friday, but got here at 6pm this evening, and a cooker that's being installed at 8am tomorrow morning). :rolleyes:
Kindness is underrated.

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Emle
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Post by Emle » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:24 pm

If only everything in life could be so predictable :hair1:

I am afraid my internet connection let me down again yesterday afternoon/evening....so frustrating as there does not seem to be any reason and it returns just as quickly. My sincere apologies Jae and I hope to be with you next week :biggrin:

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Pam
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Post by Pam » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:11 pm

Oh Emle, how frustrating for you!

We had a great discussion about the first week of poems - you didn't need to be at this week's to be able to take part in next weeks.

Isobel
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Post by Isobel » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:03 pm

I'm enjoying reading the poems, good choice of book :)
Sorry I couldn't join you last night.

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Jae
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Post by Jae » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:55 pm

Thank you to all who came along on Monday, there was a really good discussion and it's so interesting to see what people are enjoying and finding helpful.

One of the things that seemed quite prominent was the focus on the darkness as we head into winter and Advent which the poems for this last week caught the mood of really well, though there was a lot of hope and promise of light to come too.

The next meeting is on Monday at 8pm and everyone is welcome ... if you don't have the book you might still enjoy the discussion so do come along if you'd like to and for everyone that couldn't get along last week, we missed you but Pam is right and you can easily pick up from week 2's poetry and reflections.

If it helps you at all to think ahead (I know time is limited and there seemed so much to say at times) coming ready with some thoughts about which poems stood out for you and why, how or where the commentaries by Janet resonated and also how did you find the suggested reflections, did any of those touch a chord ... and of course any other thoughts, views or questions :thumbs:

Thank you for a great start to our Advent reading and see you on Monday ... oh and don't forget you can post anytime here too.
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Jae
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Post by Jae » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:30 pm

Thank you again to everyone who came along last night ... it was another brilliant discussion and I am finding it so interesting how different poems are reaching out to different people and at some of the memories that are being evoked.

I did really love Philip Larkin's 'Church Going' from last week ... it captured for me the irresistible pull that God sets in us that somehow, however much we puzzle and rationalise and resist we are drawn back to God's heart and are always searching for it even when we are disillusioned and rejecting.

For me I think it is the 'mystery of faith' that draws me to the church.
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Beth
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Post by Beth » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:35 pm

I liked it too. I had many favourite lines last week.

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Jae
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Post by Jae » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:04 pm

Oooops ... didn't get to say goodbye!

Thank you everyone for coming tonight ... really good discussion :thumbs:

Just to say for those that couldn't make it tonight, the final meeting on the 6th January will begin half an hour later at 8.30pm and Janet Morley will be kindly joining us.

Meanwhile, see you next week at 8pm :reading:
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

User avatar
Jae
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Posts: 1271
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:59 pm
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Jae » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:26 pm

Hi everyone

Tomorrow is our final meeting of this years Advent book group and just a reminder that it will begin later than usual at 8.30pm and that Janet Morley will be joining us too :thumbs:
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Emle
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Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Emle » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:57 am

Jae , thank you so much for inviting us to study Haphazard by starlight by Janet Morley, over Advent - Epiphany.
I must admit at first I thought it seemed a tall order with all the other distractions we have at this time and there were days when finding the right moment to sit and digest a poem a day and give it the attention it deserved were fast running out of hours before I found my quiet corner!.. but I am so glad I did!!

I owe Janet Morley a big thank you for introducing me to such a delightful collection of poems ...many I have never heard before and some more familiar but even then never understood to the extent that Janet explains them. I am amazed at the depth a study of a few lines which seemed like innocent trivia could produce such profound meanings.

As with everyone, I should imagine we have our favourites and they will probably differ greatly.

Personally (although this list could get longer as I think about others that reached out to me) my favourites, in order as they appear in the book not personal choice, are :-

Autumn's Fall by Kerry Hardie
We grow accustomed to the dark by Emily Dickinson
Church Going by Philip Larkin
The bat by Jane Kenyon
At the winter solstice by Jane Kenyon
Christmas by George Herbert
Winter Paradise by Kathleen Raine

I think all these stand out from the rest because of the beautiful location I am blessed to live and the fact that I am in the Autumn days of my life. I have more time now than in the past to spend in thought, contemplation, and prayer and I have the very much sought after 'sound of silence' to accompany me on my solitary walks.

I thank you Janet for opening my vision through poetry and look forward to reading more in the future.

Isobel
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Post by Isobel » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:58 pm

I also found it challenging to make time but managed to read most of it. I wouldn't normally have picked up a book of poetry but I found them very thought-provoking and varied. There were a few I knew already but mostly they were new to me.
I liked the references to nature too and also found a variety of specific resonances with my life because I am expecting a baby in a couple of months. I would like to read the poems again next year when I think different aspects of them would jump out at me.

Good choice Jae :)

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Post by Jennifer » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:29 pm

Thank you Jae your choice and hard work you have done in guiding the book group. The choice of book was excellent.

Some of the poems were new to me and some were very familiar to me, as Emle wrote that some of the familiar ones were "never understood to the extent that Janet explains them", with such deep meanings, they were very thought provoking.

I agree with Emle about the choice of favourite poems, I also liked:

Northumbrian Sequence, 4 by Kathleen Raine
Journey of the Magi by T.S Eliot
A Christmas Carol by Christina Rossetti
Autumn's Fall by Kerry Hardie
We grow accustomed to the dark by Emily Dickinson
Church Going by Philip Larkin
The bat by Jane Kenyon
At the winter solstice by Jane Kenyon
Christmas by George Herbert
Winter Paradise by Kathleen Raine

OK, I admit it, I liked them all!!

Thank you Janet for the collection of poems and your thoughts and explanations of them, they were very thought-provoking.

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Caroline
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Post by Caroline » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:19 pm

I'm delighted to see that people liked 'We Grow Accustomed to the Dark' by Emily Dickinson, which was also in our Advent Calendar, quite independently of the book!

Great minds...? :cool: :lol:
Kindness is underrated.

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Beth
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Post by Beth » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:41 pm

Sorry it's taken me a while to post my thoughts since our book group. I am planning on adding a reflection or two. I made January my organizing month and have been trying not to look back at Christmas heavily. Now we're almost in Feb I'm happy to fully engage!

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Jae
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Post by Jae » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:22 pm

no problem Beth ... we'll look forward to your reflections when you have the time and thank you :)
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Beth
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:32 pm
Location: Coastal UK

Welcome to our Advent book group forum!

Post by Beth » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:47 pm

I enjoyed making time during advent to have poetry and people in my life. We know little of each others' lives outside of i-church when we chat and meet here together. Finding out small details and discovering how themes big and small were meaningful to fellow journeyers was a pleasure.

Christmas is such a big season, which seems to take up half the year once you factor in buying presents before hand and dieting afterwards (although I don't think I put on a single pound this year. Hurrah!), it's easy for genuine connection to get lost in the anxieties of trying to make the festivities memorable.

I welcomed the opportunity during advent to explore my fears about Christmas and the coming of Christ. Each year I feel Christmas changes me and raises my expectations. Yet often the gap between what I'd like and what is widens. For that reason, advent is perhaps particularly worrisome.

Christmas is all for fulfilment of trust, and yet New Year often brings my hopes crashing down with a timely dose of reality. It's been really nice for me, in 2014, to look back on the poems and tease out meanings from them, and remember we are all in different life stages, and next year new or different poems from the anthology might be important to me.

I happen to have mislaid the book, which I'm still flicking through from time to time and is thus apt to be put down in strange places. I thought I put it close to remember to post here, when I can grab it again I'll add my fave poems to the lists. One word: scatterbrain.

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