Budding Poets

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Part of the Humanology course for the girls included a morning of writing poetry with Shanti Kaur and myself, Japjeet Kaur. We did a lot of fun exercises that made poetry easy to access. Many of our students write poetry regularly but for some this was a new activity. Everyone that participated did really well, producing really interesting poems and phrases. Here’s a really limited peek into some of the poems produced that day. 

Alliterative Sentences

In this exercise, the students wrote the numbers one through five down the left side of the page and followed those numbers with an adjective, a noun, then the rest of a sentence, using alliteration. 
 
One omnipotent otter organized obsessively
Two treacherous tigers taught Taekwondo 
Three traumatized turtles thought tediously
Four flirty fish furiously flipped
Five flexible foxes flew frantically 
 
One orthodox orangutang opened ovens
Two terrified turtles turn to tarts
Three tortuous tigers tip toe to Tibet
Four ferocious ferrets fart for fun
Five fabulous foxes feast fairies. 
 
 

Experimenting with Language

In this exercise, the students made a list of five adjectives, five nouns, and five concrete nouns and then put them together in the following format ‘The + adjective + noun + of + concrete noun’ to produce really interesting combinations that make you think. 

The empty table of hope
The lucky tree of truth
The scary socks of sadness
The holy blanket of fear
The lovely computer of sadness
The pretty speakers of excitement
The sad water bottle of fear
The extravagant cloak of lust
The fearless river of ecstasy
The wise tree of hope
The therapeutic turban of enlightenment
The radiant sunflower of joy
The brilliant bag of envy
The graceful chola of pity
The joyous jutti of gluttony
The titanic turban of rage
The orthodox apartment of truth
The overwhelming river of anxiety
The beautiful pit of courage
The optimistic rock of shyness
The depressed tree of hope
 
 

Structured Poems about an Emotion

For this exercise, the students chose an emotion and then followed the following format: The first line of the poem was open; the second line describes the emotion as a colour; the third line starts with ‘It happens when’; the fourth line starts with ‘It sounds like’ and the final line is open. 
 
Sadness
Sadness is my deepest emotion
Sadness is as black as a hole in your heart
It happens when you close your eyes and remember
It sounds quiet, loud and painful
When you are sad, you are vulnerable like a feather
 
Joy
The immenseness even the fish long for
Joy is as yellow as a ray of sunshine
It happens when you realize the ecstasy of I am I am
It sounds like giggling wildflowers
Joy dances in all our hearts like leaves in the rain and dragonflies in the sun
We think only of its absence but once we open our eyes, we can’t help but realize its abundance
Joy is in all our hearts, even the lonely fish that got lost from its school
 
Gratefulness
An important feeling of fulfillment
It is as bright as shocking neon yellow
But warm as the sunset, orange red
It happens when a little child hands me a caramelized candy
It sounds like the deep sound of the sea
Indeed, indeed my heart swells with gratitude. Vast, vast, vast. 
 
Anxiety
Anxiety is as deep blue as the ocean
It happens when fear of the future and past uses its hands to squeeze your heart in two
It sounds like the tears of an abandoned child
It is a locked door
You just have to let the hope seep through
 
 

Black-Out Poetry

Finally we tried our hand at ‘black-out poetry’. The students were given a page from a novel or magazine and then had to circle the words that stood out for them or phrases the liked. Everything else was ‘blacked out’ producing surprisingly interesting poems that often expanded our vocabulary. Luckily, Shanti Kaur was really quick with her iPad, looking up the meaning of complex words. 
 
Chide me
Linger longer
God, I breathe again
In my heart I wish, 
I believe that I will
Think of you, 
You are the hero
A dreamy moonlight lover
Chide me
 
 
Timelessly regal
The masterpiece of time
Completely natural
A light-weight dream
Never ending
A scope so warm and integral
The depth, vintage like
The inevitable tradition

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