POEMS OUT LOUD is a monthly gathering at The British Club, its purpose to promote a love of poetry. Each person shares a poem they like with the rest of the group by reading it aloud. We normally follow a different theme each month to give us a focus and it’s amazing how the same theme can produce such a wide variety of poems from amusing to serious and traditional to modern.

Who can come?  It’s a meeting open to members and non-members of The British Club of whatever nationality. At present as well as a good number of British contributors we have people from Germany, France, America, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and, of course, Spain and Gran Canaria.

English is the main language used but you can read in your own language. Just give us a hint what it’s about!

Do you have to read a poem to attend? No. You can just come and listen. We appreciate an audience and your comments.

Do I have to read well to take part? You don’t have to be a trained verse speaker but please do try to communicate. It’s a good idea to stand or sit up straight and take a deep breath before starting. Try to look up from your book (paper, phone or iPad) from time to time. Practise your poem at home if possible. Advice: Try to make us interested in the poem you have chosen. Vary your pace but don’t read too quickly.

When does it take place? At present we have afternoon sessions from 4.0 to 5.30 p.m. We offer an optional lunch first at the British Club at 1.30 p.m.with a choice of dishes. Price 10 or 15 euros depending on your appetite. The lunch includes bread, water and coffee.

Not sure if it’s your sort of thing? You’re very welcome to come and give it go.

When is the next session? Wednesday 21st February. We usually meet on a Wednesday towards the end of the month.

What is the theme this month? Special Relationships.

The group is run by Jeannie van Rompaey. Here are her contact numbers:


602 621 236

I look forward to welcoming you to the group.


POEMS OUT LOUD Wednesday 15th March 2017, Run By Jeannie Rompaey

The last Poems out Loud was held on the 15th of March. We had a smaller group than usual – eight people. The winter folk had gone back to their own countries and others were working or on holiday. Nevertheless we had an interesting intimate session.

We began by talking about our own thoughts about home. Many of the group now regarded Gran Canaria as home, although still appreciated trips to the their countries of origin. It seems we’re all enamoured by this beautiful island and when we fly back feel we are coming home. That must have been good for our Canarian friend Lucia to hear. .

The choice of poems were varied. We began appropriately with “Home Thoughts from Abroad” by Robert Browning, read beautifully by Heather Robertson. Several poems were about Spanish speakers living in the United States, read in both English and Spanish. Greta-Lil read about Wales as well as about her home country, Norway. Poems by Gace Nicholls reminded us that foreigners living in England have memories of their home countries too. Food, sounds, smells predominated.

By the end of the afternoon, prompted by the response to the poems, I decided we were, as Betty’s poem suggested,  Europeans, possbily internationalists.

The theme for the April meeting of POEMS OUT LOUD will be NATURE. Date to be confirmed.


February´s Poems out Loud

The February POEMS OUT LOUD was held, for a change, in Maspalomas, in the garden of Jeannie and Tony van Rompaey’s house. We met at 1.0 p.m. After greeting everyone and making sure everyone had a drink, we sat on the back patio in a circle and read poems while Tony prepared a snack – various kinds of cheeses, bread and dry biscuits, plus a little greenery, salad and tomatoes. We moved to the front for lunch and chat and then returned to the back for more poems. Fifteen people attended and a very pleasant afternoon was had by all. We did have a few spots of rain but not enough to drive us inside.


As it was the day after Saint Valentine’s, the theme was Love Sweet and Sour and, as usual, the members of the group presented a variety of different poems, both traditional and modern. Pepita treated us to a poem by Tomás Morales and Heather to Sonnet 43 “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Both poems were beautifully read so that the meaning, rhythm and meaning shone through whether in Spanish or English. Danuta read a short poem in Swedish, which we all appreciated even though none of us knew the language! It’s one of the joys of these sessions that poetry is seen to transcend the boundaries of language.  Sonja read Pablo Naruda’s “I do not Love you except because I love you” in a good English translation and favourite poets such as John Donne and W.B. Yeats were also well-represented with choices tending to favour older lovers. I wonder why? We were pleased to welcome back Julie Elphee and enjoyed her rendering of Seamus Heaney’s “Scaffolding” while Melvyn gave us a poem by A.E Houseman and acted as Jasper’s ghost (Jasper there in spirit but not in presence) with the latter’s choice, “Love and Debt” by Sir John Suckling. Marilyn read a telling poem with an interesting history by Leo Marks. Last but not least, Chris and Philomena Winn read an amusing but telling poem, “Valentine” written by John Fuller, Professor Emeritus of Literature at the University of Oxford, proof if needed that professors are not all stuffy academics.


I’m afraid to report that the session ended with a very badly sung version of “My Funny Valentine.” We just didn’t seem to be able to grasp the tune and the result was a fiasco that ended in giggles. My neighbours have been looking at me very strangely ever since.

Next month, March 1917, we hope to be back at the British Club as usual. I haven’t a date yet, but it will be circulated at the beginning of March. The theme will be “Home Thoughts from Abroad.”Nostalgia for one’s own country is normal, but it’s also worth looking for poems about immigrants and refugees forced to leave their countries of origin. And what about people of various nationalities who spend large parts of their lives in countries other than their own? Search far and wide for stimulating poems to fit this theme. All are welcome to join us. It’s a friendly, open group.

Poetry 25th January

Once more we had a very successful session of the monthly POEMS OUT LOUD, held at the British Club, Las Palmas on 25th January 2017. The theme was DREAMS, appropriate for the reassessment of our lives that often accompanies the beginning of a new year.
Twenty-two people attended the poetry session and poems were read mainly in English but several in Spanish and Norwegian as well. It’s fascinating to hear the rhythm and cadences in different languages. Ten of us attended the lunch that preceded the poetry and I’d like to congratulate the chef because the food was exceptional – even better than usual! I had pescado empanado and it was delicious.  Thanks too to Mario, our genial, hardworking waiter.
As for the poems chosen, a variety of styles and periods were covered. Choices included poems written by members of the group, including Betty Burgess, Chris Winn and Bente Clod who all showed how talented they were. Other members of the group chose work by poets as diverse as William Shakespeare, W.H.Auden, Robert William Service, William Blake and Mohamed Ali, among others. We were also reminded of the inspiring 1963 “I have a dream” speech by Doctor Martin Luther King.
It’s also becoming a tradition to have a few songs whose lyrics take a poetic turn. This time, we sang as a canon, “Row, row row your boat gently down the stream”  followed by the Simon and Garfunkel classic “Last Night I had the strangest dream” and even a tribute to me, “I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair!” Unfortunately we had to forgo the pleasure of hearing Melvyn singing “The Headache Song” by W.S. Gilbert from Iolanthe as we ran out of time. We hope to hear that on another occasion.
What a talented bunch the members of this group are proving to be. It’s great to see the results of the research that everyone does to find stimulating poems.

Poetry 12th December

We held another successful poetry session on 12th December. it’s called POEMS OUT LOUD because we read our favourite poems to each other.
Some of us had lunch at the club first, which was a lively social occasion. Good food and good company. About 10 lunchers and 10 more poetry readers joined us at 4.0 p.m.
The theme this time was FOOD and DRINK. Members of the group had done considerable research as usual and a good variety of poems had been chosen, from the light-hearted and amusing to the more serious.
The range of poems included one by an American Indian and a dramatic excerpt from John Milton’s Paradise Lost to a more modern piece by English poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy Other modern poets, Maya Angelou, Wendy Cope and Nina Vivanca were also represented plus, hot off the press, a short story called Christmas Dinner by Bente Clod. Among other offerings we were treated to a piece by P.G theouse, and a boisterous rendering of Food Glorious Food from the musical, Oliver. Most of the poems read were in English, but we welcome readings in other languages as well. This time was no exception with Marisa giving us a thoughtful Spanish poem.
A cultural and fun afternoon was had by all. The theme for January’s POEMS OUT LOUD is DREAMS so please start looking for poems now to stimulate and entertain us. The date of the meeting will be on the 25th January with lunch as usual.

Poetry 16th November

Organized as always by Ms. Jeannie Van Rupuey.  The theme on this occasion was Youth and Age. There was a record number of participants, in total 24 people. Interesting discussion and business as usual.

Another enthusiastic and varied afternoon was spent in November. It was good to see so many people there. Great to see some “new” faces both visitors and prospective regulars. We hope to see you again when on the island.
The assortment of poems on Youth and Age was an eclectic mix including The Beatles, Roger McGough and some amusing children’s poems to Shakespeare via Stevie Smith, Carol Ann Duffy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mickaei Limonto, Mathew Arnold, Coleridge, CK Williams, Henry van Dyke, Ogden Nash and a certain Oodgeroo Noonuccal. I hope I’ve got her name right. And thank you to Bente for her own very special poem, The Blue Room, and to Marisa for some snippets from Spanish poems. Oh, and to Tony for just being there

Poetry 19/10/2016

After an excellent lunch we gathered in the Green Room to talk about, and read poetry.The subject for today was solitude and companionship which gave rise to an animated discussion  which concluded that solitude that was sought after was good and even necessary but forced solitude caused isolation and introspection… and we all need interaction with others. We then read a variety of poems we had chosen to illustrate the theme.