Further to my last post: in the morning of the conference, my friend and I attended a workshop run by Christian Foley (for more information, go to this link: http://applesandsnakesblog.org/blog/christian-foley-spoken-word-an-education or watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9OGJpEaRbk
A little more context: I have previously been something of a classicist when it comes to literature – you know, Jane Austen, Dickens, that kind of thing. This workshop was WAY out of my comfort zone. I’m English (and therefore chronically embarrassed), middle-class, (dare I say it?) middle-aged: I don’t DO slam poetry. But the rhythm and energy of this kind of poetry was something else.
Christian took us through a number of exercises to build confidence, explaining that this is what he does with a number of the kids that he works with, who often see school / learning as a very negative place / idea indeed. Their response to what he does? ‘That ain’t poetry, man, that’s LIFE’ : rather inspiring.
The last exercise was introduced by one of Christian’s own poems called The Bridge, where students / we in our turn were introduced to a bridge between our reality and somewhere else. And the rest was up to us: what would each of us be able to see …?
(Cue more free writing. This is obviously my ‘happy place’!) …
A beautiful world. Full of sunlight,
Full of delight. No night scares,
No stairs to climb. I’m free.
A beautiful beach. Just out of reach,
The palm-trees beckon. I reckon
They’re taller than a skyscraper,
Taller than me. I’m free.
The waves glisten in the light. I listen
To the roar of oceann against land
As the water kisses the sand
That trickles through my hand
And now I understand: I’m free.
And I close my eyes, feel the rays with surprise
(This is England, guys!
But not as I know it.) I don’t want to blow it.
Want to seize my opportunity,
Reach out to my community,
Not just do my ‘duty’.
Can’t escape my responsibility
And yet …
Inside my head there remains the possibility.
Is it real or is it fantasy?
And I close my eyes: it is still there.
Wind blowing through my hair;
I can go there
Pic. 1: http://pulptastic.com/30-enchanting-bridges-need-see-believe/
Pic. 2: http://quotesgram.com/tropical-beach-quotes/