Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Poetic Relief - Beach Treasures

Wednesday 13 March saw my return to the Arts for Health Workshops.  This week I worked with the Back on Track group in the morning and the U-Create group in the afternoon.  

The morning group have been working together for months now and they are as keen a group of writers as a poet could wish to meet.  They were a little surprised to see me as they had been expecting the marvellous Suzanne Batty.  Unfortunately Suzanne has been unwell and Sarah asked me to lead a poetry session in her absence.  I was delighted to work with this group again as their enthusiasm is really inspiring. 
In the afternoon I met the U-Create group.  We started the session by looking through the stunning printed images they have created with the wonderful Gemma Lacey.  The range of textures and shapes the group had captured was impressive and a real credit to Gemma's tuition.

Both groups took part in the same poetry workshop this week.  We began by looking at Ales Steger's Stone and Sylvia Plath's Mirror.  Both poems feature objects which are either personified or used as metaphors for a human emotion, e.g. pain.  As the theme for the week was beach treasures, and to kick-start our poetry, I produced my box of articles collected from the beach at Starr Gate.  Using the sense of touch, and harking back to the printed textures, the group observed their seaweed, shells, pebbles, old rope, driftwood etc. and started to work through a series of exercises which required them to use their imagination.

The group brought their object to life by likening them to items with similar textures which they could then use as similes in their poems.  They gave their objects emotions and a personality.  They gave their objects names.  Finally, we pulled together the results of the exercises to create a series of poems with the personalities which they had created at the core. 

It was exciting to meet with all the imagined characters which the groups created.  Some memorable examples included S/Andy the hermaphrodite razor clam, Lancelot the stag-like piece of plastic fence, Mary, the motherly egg sack and Dave the free-spirited piece of driftwood. 

I will upload some examples of the surprising and entertaining poetry which was produced after the session on 20 March.  In the next session we will be staying by the sea and exploring nonsense poetry by creating collaborative poems with exercises in alliteration, assonance and rhyme.

Edit - 20.03.2013

And here is an example of the poetry created.  This was inspired by a grey stone.  Its shape resembled an egg cut in half lengthways.

A Pebble off the Beach

by Chilled

Worn smooth with life at sea
Tossed and thrown with the tides
Moved from shore to shore
Echoing life around the world

I look like
A speckled starling's wing
A granite rock
A boulder on a mountain side
Miles away from the sea shore

I like to sit upon a beach where children play with joy and fun
Making castles and using me in
Imagination beyond my understanding

Remember, I'm not just a pebble
I'm a lady sitting serenely on a beach
Where people pass me by
And I sink into the ever changing sand
Them someone picks me up and tosses me back
Into the sea
I feel the bubbles around my body
And the sway of the tide when I come to rest
And wait for my next adventure to begin.


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