Our President welcomed members and guests to another great meeting at Viking Voices Toastmasters on the 8th September. We had a full agenda with lots of members taking on roles to contribute to the success of the meeting. 

We enjoyed a wide-ranging Table Topic session from Áine and were transported back to the Victorian era by our Poet Master Patricia with an Oscar Wilde poem. Our speeches section got off to a great start with a very entertaining first speech from Aoife with such amusing descriptions of cat behaviours.  We had a through-providing speech from Fionnuala as we heard about the experiences of a boy living though the North Strand 1941 bombing and 1954 floods. A very well researched speech from Karthik  got us thinking about the ups and downs of the COVID pandemic. The quick responses to our Listening Post questions posed by Diarmuid towards the end of the evening  showed just how closely everyone had engaged in the  meeting. A great start overall to our autumn 2021 sessions.

Below you can find poem that our Poet Master shared with us during the meeting:

Oscar Wilde – “The Harlot’s House”

We caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot’s house.

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play
The ‘Treues Liebes Herz’ of Strauss.

Like strange mechanical grotesques,
Making fantastic arabesques,
The shadows raced across the blind.

We watched the ghostly dancers spin
To sound of horn and violin,
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

Like wire-pulled automatons,
Slim silhouetted skeletons
Went sidling through the slow quadrille,

Then took each other by the hand,
And danced a stately saraband;
Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
A phantom lover to her breast,
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

Sometimes a horrible marionette
Came out, and smoked its cigarette
Upon the steps like a live thing.

Then, turning to my love, I said,
‘The dead are dancing with the dead,
The dust is whirling with the dust.’

But she–she heard the violin,
And left my side, and entered in:
Love passed into the house of lust.

Then suddenly the tune went false,
The dancers wearied of the waltz,
The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl.

And down the long and silent street,
The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl. 

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