Look at what my Grade 7 kids wrote about their POETRY fest two weeks ago.
Wouldn’t trade what I do everyday for anything.
So so so stoked that I am teacher.
I thank G every single day.
grateful slice: Teaching poetry and the kids.
Poetry is for the emotions too raw to put on display on your face. It is a symbol; an art, to show the passion one has: those thriving thoughts, words and phrases for everyday objects, feelings, or events. They are written about so that people can see them in a new light.
The smallest, most over-looked item in the toolbox, the constantly under-estimated little boy, or that annoying piece of lint that got stuck on the bottom of your favorite pair of supple black leather boots. This is what poetry is. It isn’t something new, or unknown—if it always was, then it would be completely confusing. It doesn’t just appear brand new everyday; it’s the same things we see every morning when we wake up; the same feelings that bounce around every night when we try to go to sleep.
Poetry is what poetry is; it’s completely up to the poet. There is no solid definition for something that does not have a set form. Poetry is just poetry. It is a reflection of how we all see things. It’s never the same, because no one on earth sees things exactly the same way.
The paragraphs above are only a few of the responses you’d get if you were to ask one of this year’s 7th graders what they thought poetry was. On the other hand, you could also ask them what they thought about the Poetry Fest, and I can bet that they’ll proudly say it was absolutely fantastic.
The Poetry Fest, which took place on April 8th in the auditorium, is the final project in the well-loved unit of Poetry. After practicing for around a week on our own pieces of poetry, the night had come.
Each of us walked towards the auditorium not sure about what to expect, anticipation rushing through us, the glow coming in from the open door making our gait a little faster. Walking into the room in a single file line, each of us had our own individual moment of wonder and delight once we were able to take in the room. The auditorium had been transformed into a cozy looking hideout. Blankets covering the floor, pillows forming a large circle, with candles placed around creating a warm homey glow. Plastic chairs were pushed against the walls, spots where the rest of our audience would be seated, observers of our celebration of words.
Each of us was seated in the order of how we were going to recite our poems; our opening segment was the group poems we had done some time before. Once everyone had calmed down, Liam Madamba opened the night with his free-verse poem titled “Autumn Day”
A lantern was passed to the person seated beside you, signifying that it was now their turn to speak. As the lantern got closer, most of us got the thrilling yet utterly terrifying feeling in the pit of your stomach as you realize it’s your turn to read your poem.
While most of us got off at a shaky start, soon enough our voices begin gaining in confidence as we read, and finally, our minds relishing in the noises of the audience’s approval.
But that wasn’t the end of our job, now that we had finished reciting our poetry, it was our turn to act as the audience and really listen to what the others had to say.
While some of us may have initially been reluctant towards this part of the Fest, it truly added to the magic of the night. Being able to lose yourself in the worlds and ideas rendered in your friends and classmates words, and along the way realizing, that while some may not seem it; everyone has it in them to make great poetry.
After all, that really was the point of the Poetry Fest itself, to celebrate the students’ achievement in manipulating language and sharing who they are.
All in all, the Poetry Fest was a magnificent experience, one that I hope every 7th grader in the future will have the gift of experiencing.