What a wonderful group of kids. Already very artistic as they have been attending Artlore’s Art Camp. Lena and Stephen invited me in to give them a taste of poetry. I told my story about how in 7th grade this woman came into our classroom carrying a clip board and said she wanted us all to write a poem. “A poem” I thought. I don’t know how to write a poem. So our teacher suggested that we all just try to write about something happy or sad.
My neighbors older brother had just died in Vietnam. So I put pen to paper and wrote
We go to our hill
where the wind blows the still
Straight and tall for a world so small
Our men in Vietnam
coninue to drop bombs
Dropping the ball
on finding peace
Won’t wars ever cease
The men are tired of
the fighting, dying, and
ever lasting crying
So we go to our hill
where the wind blows the
Still Lavender flowers
It turned out that the whole exercise was for something called the City of Erie student writing sampler. My poem was included.
Out of the mind of a seventh grader because she was asked to write about something sad. Knowing that day, started my love and continued writing of poetry, compelled me to work with youth and help them start a lifetime of writing. Writing poetry for me has been such great therapy for the bad times, and joyous for the great times.
It was an honor yesterday to work with those fun kids. I asked if any had heard poetry, gone to readings, and then who wrote any poetry. Several of the fifteen raised their hands for each question. Then I asked if anyone was sure they couldn’t write a poem and several others raised their hands. I said I would take that challenge and used a Portrait Poem to get them started. six out of the fifteen read what they wrote out loud. And all but one did write a poem.
All in all it was a superb morning.
I hope you all have a blessed day.