So I attended a poetry workshop recently. I wanted to experience how it was going to a poetry workshop and it was pretty interesting.
It was hosted by If Walls Could Talk – Poetry Open Mic, organized by the amazing Ms Melizarani (I love her poems too!).
TL;DR: PRETTY EPIC. YOU SHOULD GO FOR THE OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS BY IWCT-POM.
Zohab Khan from Australia was the one who helped us hone our art of writing poetry that afternoon. He was a really cool guy, and I enjoyed the session tremendously!
Zohab Khan is pretty epic and amazing.
Pearls of wisdom from Zohab during the workshop.
Confidence! You’re amazing, and you can do this!
One of the things that Zohab reminded me of that day was how confidence mattered. I loved how he liked to emphasize on self. Being someone who doesn’t have the greatest self-esteem, it was pretty scary to walk around, confidently saying my name out loud (It’s scary to shout my name! What does that tell you, really.) He made us walk around, reciting our poems. To go up front to recite them. It was really scary, and I did tear up at some point. The thing is, he was teaching us slam poetry, the art of going up there and telling the world the words that we have painstakingly crafted. It’s a work of art, it’s something we worked hard to produce, and we’re proud of it. It shows when we go up there, bravely telling stories through melodious words. Writing poetry, and merely reading them, is not the same as going up front to recite them in front of an audience. It takes a lot of guts, and courage, and Zohan had us practicing that. Slowly but surely, a few of us came out of our shells to recite beautiful poems. Thank you for that Zohab!
Braindumps every morning is a really great idea generator.
Another advice that I really liked was to do a braindump every morning. Just to get out whatever’s lurking in our heads. Ideas, stories, are generated then. Zohab made us do a 5-minute brain dump before we started anything and well, the things that poured out on my notebook surprised me. Perhaps one day I’ll write poems on that.
Anyway, great idea: 5 minute braindumps every morning.
Poetic Techniques! Time to study some basics.
Seriously, I’ve never considered writing poetry before this. So yeah, I know next to nothing about writing poetry. It’s a good thing I went for this workshop cause Zohab reminded us of some techniques that we could/should put into poetry writing.
- Extended simile
- Extended Metaphors: subject, object, doing something.
Example of the extended metaphor:
My love is a broken vase
That everyone remembers differently.
Zohab also told us that using our basic senses were a plus point too, to allow the audience to feel as we do when we’re reciting the poem. Evoke the senses! Evoke emotions!
Basically here’s my poem using the five senses and all the basic things he taught. It’s not great, but hey, I’m a work in progress!
My beloved was a wild rose
A rose that blooms and pricks all the same
Her voice was nectar
Attracting me like a bee to the flower’s core
Her scent was heavy and rich
As if I had walked through a garden of roses
Her thorns were words that pierced through me
Her leaves danced all around me laughing
I can still remember how she tasted
Like she was the dew on leaves
On an early morning’s walk
Untainted and pure.
Pretty sure that’s one of the cheesiest poems out there, but yeaaaah, I’m trying! Trying here folks!
Poetry Writing Prompt!
Zohab had several amazing writing prompts for us. One of the coolest one that we ended the day on was this: Write a poem titled IF POETRY WALKED THROUGH THAT DOOR.
- How would poetry move?
- What colour is it/she/he?
- What is the texture of poetry?
- What sound does poetry make?
- What is poetry’s intention?
- What shape does poetry take?
- Make up a word about poetry.
Okay awkward photo of self reciting the following poem.
If Poetry Walked Through That Door
One day, unlike any other day,
Poetry walked through my door.
Ta-thump, ta-thump, poetry walked,
and suddenly ta-ta-thump-thump it changed.
Sometimes poetry walked with purpose
and sometimes without a care
And then again it flowed
and it was music without rhyme.
Poetry was white
Until I threw a prism at it
With my hands I twist the light
All at once it changed
Colours turn to what I liked.
I touched poetry,
And where words rose up
It was hard and rough
Much like scars or callouses
They were memories
Poetry came to me,
A rectangle that day
The shape I knew it best
Since my primary school days
Today I learn that poetry
could in fact
be triangle, oval or even round in shape
It is how we mould it
How we shape it.
Poetry opened up my heart
To say the words I could not speak
It was my dreams, desires and past
Dancing across a paper
Telling me to speak up, be heard
Poetry doesn’t judge,
You are safe here.
Poetry taught me that day
That poetry was what I make of it
It was malleable and flexible
And yet. Universal.
Tada! Okay, pretty much embarrassed by crappy poems and shall end this post now.
Essentially it was a really wonderful evening. I met a lot of different people; some so confident, flowing with such beautiful words. And some shyer ones, who had beautiful words locked up inside them as well, until they spilled it all out with a little nudge. My goodness, everyone had such lovely words to share with the world.
One of the best things that day was meeting Meliza as well. I was pretty shy but she motivated me! I’m grateful for that. She told me this as well.
“When you go up there to recite your poem, it isn’t yours anymore. it’s a poem shared with the world. It’s out there now.”
I can’t quote it word by word from memory, but yes, that’s the essence of it. I really appreciate those words, because they gave me a little hope that maybe one day I could go up there and truly share my poems with the world and be brave about it.
Also, the only way to know you’ve improved, is to keep practicing! Keep reciting them to others, to the public! Read more. Read and read and read. You can’t write without reading.
Live life, experience it! Write about it!
Basically yeah. Awesome experience, and one I’m blogging about to keep close to my heart.
The above is a photo of the notebooks of all the participants that day.
And here are all the participants that night!
Thanks Zohab for the amazing time!
This turned out to be more like a diary sort of post instead of a review. i would say though, do try to attend any other future workshops. It’s always great to improve the craft by attending awesome workshops that are led by crazy cool poets.
Thank you for reading.