This blog title is a quote from Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate Carol Rose GoldenEagle. She also said: “I encourage those who embrace the written word not to censor their thoughts and feelings, and experiences. It is the purging of truth and wisdom, often in the form of poetry which can be ingested and shared by those who read and thereby experience and remember.”
My digital learning project for EC & I 831 is learning to write and perform poetry. My desire to learn to write poetry is compatible with my desire to communicate transformative ideas with the potential to transform – or at least make people stop, think and feel. My poetry writing project will focus on Spoken Word poems which are intended for performance and typically about community, issues and social justice.
Creative commons photo by THINKGlobalSchool
I have been fascinated by poetry that vividly paints a picture of mood and ideas through the clever, yet parsimonious use of language. A neighbour, my friend’s mom, who lives down the road from my childhood home in rural Saskatchewan is a poet. I remember reading her poem about emptying her teen son’s pants pockets before she put them in the washer. In the poem of this simple, ordinary act she was able to capture a mother’s wonderment, joy, and pride in her son as well as fear and worry over what the future may hold. Such a talent!
Spoken word poetry is particularly fascinating. Watch Maya Angelou reads an emotional poem about racism and the black American experience. This is a performance poem by Canadian Katerena Vermette as she flips the common negative narrative about Winnipeg’s North End.
Of course, I can only aspire that eventually a poem of mine may have that type of impact. But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So today, I will take my first step in spoken word poetry writing.