My goal is to write and perform poetry. For the major assignment for ECI 831, I have decided on option B – to learn something complex, worth learning and of great interest to me. I am intrigued by spoken poetry with a social justice message. This blog post documents :
- my assessment of my experience and skill in poetry writing and reading
- my digital exploration of poetry resources
- my chosen pathway to poetry
- and finally my Poem #1
Down the garden path of childhood verses: self- assessment
I don’t recall studies of poetry or creative writing from high school English. I just don’t think I connected with our teacher or the Shakespearean sonnets. I realize that everything I learned about poetry was from elementary school. I remember memorizing poetry to recite to the class. Why does one poem in particular stick out in my mind? Someone by Walter de la Mare is particularly memorable. We also had choral speaking competitions at the music festival. I remember dressing in a black skirt and a white shirt, lining up shortest to tallest, walking on to the big stage at the Tisdale Civic Centre, while Miss Pearce in haystack hairdo, stood down at audience level conducting while our Grade 3 class recited in unison.
Do children memorize poems nowadays? Do you have any poems committed to memory from your school days?
My internet exploration and discovery
These past few weeks I have been cruising the internet, fishing around on Google, YouTube and websites to find the pathway to achieve that lofty goal of writing and performing poetry. There are some excellent videos that can provide short lessons on the structure of poetry, different forms of poetry and examples of poets reciting poetry.
Becoming overwhelmed by the vastness of digital advice, and realizing my tendency to get easily distracted by the bells and whistles of the world-wide web, I narrowed in on a few digital tools and sources that may be helpful in my quest to write and perform poetry.
- Poets.org delivers a poem a day to read via email – so I may learn from the published poets
- B-Rhymes is a free rhyming app to help me sweeten the melody of my poetry
- YouTube poetry teachers and poets will help me to understand the structure and components of poetry
- Websites such as Penny Kittle provide dynamic examples and specific guidance with spoken word social justice poetry. Thanks James Jones.
My chosen pathway is…
Coursera – Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop
Ultimately, I signed up for free “self- directed, on-line experience”. Sharpened Vision: Poetry Workshop is delivered through Coursera and brokered from the Californian Institute of the Arts. For $61 I would have received a certificate upon successful completion of the course but I opted for the free course. I will have access to the curriculum and participate in all the activities. I just won’t have a fancy certificate to frame.
I have just started and the course seems like it is structured to keep me on a productive poetry path to believeing that: “The best writing happens after the first draft.” I am excited. I have never taken a MOOC. The course creators seem to have a good recipe to guide the success of their 65,000 + students taking this beginner poetry wiriting course. I am also confident that my poetry writing will improve with Coursera’s MOOC’s guidance.
Have you ever used Coursera or other MOOCs? What did you think? Were you satisfied that theplatform helped you achieve your learning goals?
Poem #1: My first few stumbles
Poem #1 is the grande finale of this blog. I wrote then created an audio file of Poem # 1 as a record of my first few stumbles toward my goal of creating and performing meaningful and dynamic, spoken word poetry.
Please listen. Critics, feel free to rate it as corny, cringy or cool or just a valiant beginner’s attempt.
Poem # 1: Poet? You know it! by Brenda Ives
Am I right? To say I’ll write
A poem sententious, ernest, not pretentious?
Am I sane? To feel the pain
And put to words the world absurd?
I’ll explore curiously and write so seriously.
This voice of mine has too much rhyme.