poetry for the senses

poetry for the senses

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last week, my friend tracy, one of the peace corps volunteers in the area, invited me to teach poetry to one of her classes. though i didn’t major in english, i can barely speak proper english, and i’m just a free-spirit when it comes to writing poetry, i thought it would be fun to be back in the classroom again, but this time in the college setting!

so i decided i was going to teach the kids some spoken word, some performance poetry if you will. the students were education majors, so there were two poems that came to my mind. for some reason, the first one was “hands” by sarah kay (cause it’s creative and she is a great writer with beautiful rhythm) and then of course “what teachers make” by taylor mali. downloaded those pieces, shared em with the class, talked about them a little bit, shared with them some of my personal poetry, and then it was time for them to take a shot at writing some spoken word poetry!

and what was their prompt?

well, after looking at some poets’ blogs and taking a stab at some of the prompts, i came across this one: “mythology of someone” – so i adapted this a little bit to fit the students, but basically, they were instructed to write a poem about someone who they admire or someone they are inspired by…now, being here in the philippines, if someone says you are “inspired” that pretty much means you’re superrrrr into this person. so i said, imagine that person is going to walk into the room. what is the situation like? what is the weather like? how does your body react? your stomach? your heart? and so off they went writing…30 minutes later…

some shared about their boyfriends, some about the boys that they wished they were dating, others wrote about their fathers or their mothers. it was a nice mix and the students were pretty much all game! i was inspired, most definitely!

then, tracy comes up to the front of the class to wrap things up…and then!! she shared a poem that she wrote!!

here it is:

OH
EM
GEE!
These stairs!

As  you climb them, the day’s
      frustrations fell
Right off my shoulders
One…
Chip
At
A
Time.

Your cheerful greeting
Between caught breaths
Drowned the sound of the relentless rain
Your bright smile illuminated the dim hallway
As we scurried off to the anxiously awaiting class.

Inspired
Challenged
Heard
Understood
Entertained

Even if 90 minutes lang
They can feel the force of your friendship
That I’ve been fortunate to bask in
Now you’re leaving
And soon I won’t be able to ignore
        the rain anymore.
It will still be here, but you won’t.
Without you, who will do the
        job of the sun?

OH
EM
GEE!
GIRL!
I wish you didn’t have to leave me!
SHOOT!

tracy ended up writing her poem about me!!! it was sooooooo nice, she started tearing up, having to stop a little bit here and there, in the midst of laughing too, and i started tearing up too, and i just had to run up and give her a hug! what was so interesting is that some of the students were starting to tear up also! it was such a sweet, sweet moment, and i am so blessed to have such supportive, loving community here. what a gift!

despite the rain, it was a beautiful day, running around trying to get things done, saying goodbye to people that i may not see for a very, very long time, and enjoying this city…this baguio city!

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