In August, Roma ran the session on how to portray our identity through poetry, as part of our anthology project, which is all about the theme of ‘Identity.’
We looked at some of the ways poets use poetic techniques to demonstrate their identities.
· Language & form – traditional forms or writing in dialect
· Relationships – writing about how the poet interacts with people
· Things you love – what’s important to the poet
· Values and traditions – what rituals define their culture, family or self?
· Important memories – key moments in the poet’s life
· Fears – a look at vulnerability
· Accomplishments, hopes or wishes – who or what the poet aspires to be
· Home – the poet’s place – physical or mental
We looked at an example of a poem which uses some of these techniques. Early In The Morning by Li-Young Lee describes a memory of a family ritual and explores the relationships between the poet’s mother and father.
Exercise 1: Think of a person in your childhood. It could be your parent, childhood best friend, school enemy. Write a short poem about that person, exploring what you most remember about them. Try to write concrete images. Explore what you feel towards them.
Next we looked at a poem called Jade Mountain Peak by Marjorie Evasco. It describes a place (which may be familiar or unfamiliar), and the poet learning and growing in that place.
Exercise 2: Write a poem that starts with your journey to an unfamiliar place. Where are you? What can you see? Try to include concrete images, and use your ‘zoom in lens’ to spot small images. What do you discover about yourself?