Fishtown Summer Poetry Program

Hello Art Sphere Inc. Enthusiasts :-),

I wanted to write a bit about my experiences so far teaching poetry to a few excellent Penn Treaty High School students. There is Martin who has great insights and points of view. Reinalee, charming with a lovely dry sense of humour. And Mohammad, always willing and enthusiastic and brings a lightness to the group.

Each lesson we read and discuss a piece of previously published poetry. We’ve enjoyed works from W.B. Yeats, Alfred Tennyson, Matsuo Bashō, Paul Simon, and others. Our theme in this summer’s program is James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and creating your own world, which ties in wonderfully with poetry in general. I have tried to select poems with the particular thematic elements of each week’s topic as well, e.g. boats, islands, faerie’s… I have particularly selected pieces with vivid imageries and metaphors.

After each piece we read we engage in a writing exercise, sometimes composing a whole poem other times practicing one particular element of writing poetry. I am delighted each week with the creativity and imagination that our group expresses. They all have a great openness to take on each exercise I assign even when they aren’t sure how their piece will turn out. I try to do the same, and of course I participate in each exercise. When we have all had some time to write something we take turns reading what we have out loud to the group.

Perhaps one of my favourite aspects of the whole experience is getting to be witness to the creation of something new . Each time a small drop is added to the well of art, culture and knowledge of humanity. It’s a wonderful experience, I highly recommend it.

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