Poetry project finds random readings
April is National Poetry Month and Nevis sophomores in LouAnn Muhm's Fundamentals of Writing class have just completed a unit on poetry. As a final project, students participated in the Academy of American Poets' "Poem in Your Pocket" project. Th...
April is National Poetry Month and Nevis sophomores in LouAnn Muhm's Fundamentals of Writing class have just completed a unit on poetry.
As a final project, students participated in the Academy of American Poets' "Poem in Your Pocket" project.
Thursday, people nationwide were encouraged to carry a poem they love in their pocket and share it with others throughout the day. For Nevis sophomores, this task was assigned as a challenge to them for the timeframe of April 15-17.
Students chose from their poetry assignment journal a favorite poem, sharing it with others (not other sophomores) and collecting the signatures of those with whom they shared.
The challenge was to collect at least 10 signatures each to help the class earn a poetry reward event. Poems chosen to read were open to both original poetry and favorite poems by other writers. In addition, a table was set up in the school media center with poetry journals created by students for staff and fellow students to read.
Following the reading challenge, students held a classroom poetry reading time, sharing their favorites and discussing many of the poems' themes and underlying meanings together.
Three students, Becca Gunkel, Shelby Simi and Amber Hall, discovered they had all chosen the same poem, "Eyes of Paradise," from "Teen Ink Magazine," a journal of student writing from across the country.
Gunkel indicated her motivation for choosing this poem was because, "It really tells about how you can feel on a bad day."
Annie Albright explained why she liked to write and read poetry because, "It (poetry) expresses feelings that are otherwise sometimes hard to say."
Amanda Allman echoed this thought. "Poetry is a way to say something that can be uncomfortable to say out loud otherwise in a way that makes sense to me," she said. "Everyone should try writing poetry at least once; it is a good feeling."
Cassie Kyllonen has written a lot of original poetry, and suggests, "Don't hold back when you are writing poetry; just sit down and start writing like a conversation or letter. Poetry is more feelings than other writing, so let yourself just enjoy the process."
The passion many of the students felt about writing poetry was summed up by Claude D'Amico's comments on poetry, "I like writing, especially poetry, because it helps me cope with all kinds of stuff, both good and bad in my life.
"Sometimes I just sit down at home and find myself writing more and more because it is such a great way to express my feelings. Then I stop and can't believe how much I have written. Feelings just sometimes flow out in words," he said.
"It is important not to hold back when writing poetry. Don't worry about if something will sound stupid, let the words just come. If you hold back you might miss the best million-dollar words you need to say just the right thing that will make sense to yourself or someone else."
D'Amico added that when reading poetry for others, "Don't just read it, feel it in your soul and tell the story to others."