by Masonic Service Association US
Masonic poems can be maudlin or marvelous, but critics must concede that Rudyard Kipling and Robert Burns cannot be accused of being amateurs. In short, the poetry of Freemasonry is a very mixed bag. It often is on show at table lodges, which are ceremonial meals that follow the formal lodge meeting and where special very heavy cut glass, often engraved with Masonic symbols, is used to drink toasts and thump the table in prescribed rhythms. Then a lodge member will spring up to declaim one or another favorite verse.
This practice got its start in the eighteenth century or even earlier, when lodges often met at a coffee house or tavern, and when learning poems for public declamation was part of a gentleman’s portfolio of social graces. It is refreshing that the tradition continues, and these poems are proof that Masonry has had its bards.