As most of you will already be aware, we were visited by three professional poets last week on Thursday, October 26. Luka Lesson, Omar Musa and Bodhan Piasecki performed for grades 5 to 11 in a 90-minute assembly last Thursday morning. It was a thoroughly entertaining performance. From the opening exhortations of Lesson’s, “May your pen grace the page,” to the love poetry and Polish word-play of Piasecki and the concluding rhythms of Musa’s raps, the audience was rapt (pun intended). The three poets’ styles varied significantly but each had something unique to offer the listener–and they clearly love what they do and enjoyed working together to plan and present.
Following the assembly, several teachers made a point of thanking the library for arranging this performance, many saying that they thought it was the best outside performance they’ve seen in their time at IST. Students, too, made their feelings known but with fewer words—the “awesome” s and “pretty cool” s abounded—high praise for poetry! Perhaps the greatest testament to the day’s success is the experience of the workshops that followed and the work that was produced. Each group brainstormed words upon which to build their poems. They then worked on a few lines and walked and delivered—often using different volume, voice and pace. There was never any judgement, only giving voice to their ideas.
Here’s a sampling.
Abstract art can be anything
the voice of the colors telling me things
spontaneous colors energetically jumping of the canvas
the voice of their souls whispering softly
the flow of it all, the feel of it all
to express the way you feel
the violence, the kindness everything from A-Z
just let it all out
now what do you see on the canvas?
Esther, Grade 6
The Grade 9-11 group worked with a 5-line formula that looked like this: Line 1 verb/action; Line 2 metaphor; Line 3 color; Line 4 place; Line 5 verb. Here are two pieces that came out of that session:
In the city that never sleeps
there is a bench is in the centre of the park.
There was, on the bench next to the girl—
a bowl with a gold fish.
She took the bowl, never returned.
There it was—an empty bench in the centre of the park.
Lawrence, Grade 10
The sea is a blank that covers all the darkness and
grief with its surface.
Under the turquoise blue hides the darkest of navy and
The beach in Sydney is a paradise for people who
want to forget about all their worries.
The tourists will lie there sun-bathing while watching
over their kids swimming and laughing.
Their concerns will flow into the sea, making it
The sea is a blanket that covers all the darkness and
grief with its surface.
Under the turquoise blue hides the darkest of navy and black.
Huge thanks to The Bookworm Beijing
and Kadi Hughes for bringing the Poetry Project to IST. And thanks, also, to the PFO for generously supporting this event. We’re hoping to see IST get slammed
again when poetry month comes along in April!