Poetry Workshop

Dr Catriona Ryan delivered a poetry workshop and fulfilled her promise that we would all have a poem at the end of the two hours. And were those two hours delivered at a pace! Catriona may be a small person in stature but she filled the room, dancing around the tables and speaking with a richness of language (yes, I do mean lots of good hearted f”**ings) her Irish brogue delighted me. ‘Tell me, yes, you, yourself, what have you written?’

The group was invited to write random thoughts using our non-dominant hand. Physically it was hard and it had the effect of slowing down my thinking – part of me was concentrating on how to form the letters.

Caterpillars breathe tomorrow
Back to school
The cigarettes, Turkish, wander amongst grain
Which way?
Octopus in the loo
Anita Ryvita sucked a concertina
The road to ruin said the meter maid
Magic farts

It reminds me of writings I may have done years ago under the influence of … shhhh, better not say. But in those days I thought I was being profound, meaningful, insightful. Now I know its not very poetic but an excellent method of thinking.

The next exercise consisted of us being split into groups of 3 – I was with Catherine & Matt – we had to describe the moon in 10 words (4 physical and 6 metaphysical). These were written down then the paper torn so each word was on its own. Up into the air with them…… onto the floor and we took it in turns to pick a couple which went together.

Silver witness
Silent goddess
Man in the moon ghosting
Iridescent heavenly
Pitted tranquillity
Beaming lunacy
Crescent testimonial
Beautiful witness
Ritualistic stone
Silent ritual
Scared romance
Dust swept gibbous
Warning eyelet
Shining time-marker

Now I saw the poetic qualities emerging. Using the material here and in the previous exercise we had about 5 mins to compose a poem ….  I found it easier than I’d thought to place the words together in order to make poetic sense.

Where is my poem???          Lost.

The third stage was to draw a visual representation of our poem. I took the line ‘The scared romance’ and wrote a love letter. (To/ from a male/female?). The romance could no longer be – no reason given but with deep regret it had to end. I then tore up the letter and damped the paper with metaphorical tears.

The final part of the day was taken up making a short video in response to the poem Howl by Allen Ginsberg. The three of us chose

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

Matt led us to recesses in uni and found a darkened room – soon he spotted great shadows as we were moving about. I was elated with the result as it took us about 10 mins to make…. we could have had a worst result, with huffing and puffing on all sides, if we’d had all of the afternoon to make the film.    Great camera work Matt and  HERE it is!

But the next few days will be filled with me preparing for Made in Roath – a break from uni work.


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