East Coker Poetry Group

About The Group

East Coker is a picturesque South Somerset village of around 1800 inhabitants, a few miles south west of Yeovil. It is famous for being the birthplace of the navigator, pirate and botanist, William Dampier, who explored the west coast of Australia, and as the burial place of the great 20th century poet, Thomas Stearns Eliot. The village was immortalised in TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, published in 1943.

In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
Wait for the early owl.

Although the poet was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1888, he moved to England as a young man and remained here until his death in 1965. His ashes are buried in the churchyard of St Michael’s Church, and there is a commemorative plaque in the church. With this heritage, there is an understandable enthusiasm for poetry in the village and we decided to form the East Coker Poetry Group. Meetings are entertaining, informal and sociable. Membership is free and everyone is welcome, including visitors to the village.

Forthcoming Meetings
Full details will be on our Events page

Tuesday 30th July ‘Ash Wednesday’ A study of T.S.Eliot’s poem

Meetings are normally held in the Village Cafe, East Coker, Yeovil. BA22 9HY on the last Tuesday of the month. The Cafe opens for us after 7pm with the meeting starting at 7.30pm.
The Village Cafe is almost opposite the school in the village.
Parking in the evening is available behind, or on road at the front of the Cafe.

Latest news will appear here

For information about our meetings please contact the group via our website contact form

30 Jul

Ash Wednesday

7:30 pm

Bernard Holiday will explore the poem ‘Ash Wednesday’ by T.S.Eliot.  As a poetry group based in East Coker it can seem odd that we do not often feature Eliot’s poetry.   I hope that this meeting will help to redress this and provide an insight into what is considered to be one of Eliot’s most important yet ‘difficult’ poems.

This will be more of a ‘seminar’ type meeting with an opportunity to discuss the poem in the second half of the meeting.

Covid Advice

Please follow any government and NHS guidance.

If you have any cold-like or flu symptoms please avoid coming to the meetings even if you have a negative flow test. Do wear a face mask at meetings if you wish to.

Please check this website before attending any event, just in case we have to cancel an event at short notice due to changes in the COVID situation or rules.