J&K 2023

Milton In May

What better place for poetry than a town named after the poet John Milton and lined with streets named after poets?

There is nothing that making men rich and strong but that which they carry inside of them. True wealth is of the heart, not of the hand.

— John Milton

Lo and behold! Upon researching the town, we came across a link to a writing group. Milton had a writing group! Who knew? One that meets in the community rooms run by the community’s Project Bruce. We got talking with them and were invited down to meet the group who meet on a Saturday afternoon.

They then invited us to hold a reading, followed by a discussion session with them sometime in May. We opened, as we always do, with the invite to those attending to share their writing. We were hoping to hear some creative and interesting work and (of course) and we were not disappointed. As always we are astonished at what writers come up with in the small towns of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The painted wall outside Milton’s community centre on Shakespeare Street.

We enjoyed our time with this group of enthusiastic writers. We will always remember the the group for its interest in writing, its enthusiasm, charm and warmth. Our time with them will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Thanks to the remarkable Tina who organised promotion of the event, and also to Kim from Project Bruce

Afterwards, we had fun ‘losing ourselves in paradise’ as we chased down street signs.

All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost

Read up about the town Milton HERE

from the Wiki link above; Michael Palin describes Milton in his 1997 book Full Circle as a “small inconspicuous town”. He goes on to say “Yet nowhere has looked more like Britain. A gothic spire rises from a red brick parish church. There is a Salvation Army hostel, A Cosy Dell rest home and an advert for ‘Frosty Boy’ lollipops – ‘Often Licked, Never Beaten’. The gardens, and fields beyond could be straight from my Yorkshire birthplace. At around the time of my birth.”

Apparently the saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining” could well have come from John Milton’s line: “Was I deceived or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night?”

May Milton and poetry continue to prosper.

Another link: Things to do in Milton. Might be an idea to add Poetry to that list.