Back in my elementary school I had a wonderful teacher named Ms. Sofie Jorstad. She quoted Robert Frost for me, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
From a humble, middle-class background I found myself amidst these firangs from all sorts of cultures around the world. Few couldn’t even speak English, making conversations with their expressions and body language.
Poetry Club was the solution.
Ms. Jorstad opened a window for us to help us understand each other better, not by direct conversations but though poetry.
We would first collect our favorite poems in the language of our choice, and then on the assigned day we would recite and put forward our perspective. Some kids took to bringing props to explain their interpretation of the poems. Kids sat in a circle; nibbling aromatic waffles prepared by Ms. J and conducted discussions on their own.
And this is how friendships flowered and distances reduced. Such is the power of poetry.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race and the human race is filled with passion.
HelloMeets recently came up with an experimental event — Poetry with Breakfast. And it reminded me well of what I learnt during those years:
1. Books provide the opportunity to reflect on our lives and think of the lives of those who came before us. Cultures and traditions from across the world and teachings of great women and men.
2. Poetry builds resilience in kids; it fosters social and emotional learning. A haiku, 3-lined poem, can give us such an insight that usually would evade us. It’s unbelievable! It is full-bodied literature which activates your body and soul.
3. Poetry club moves you out of your comfort zone. Trust me; there will be many texts that you wouldn’t have heard of! It is through poetry that you can cross borders and stand in someone’s feet.
4. It makes you think actively than passively. Every time you read it, poems tune themselves to the present situation, like you sitting in a coffee shop having a conversation with a stranger.
Poetry calls forth our deep being. It frees us from safe strategies of a vigilant mind.
So how about another weekend over Breakfast??!
“Sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?”
“Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
Looking forward to meet you at our upcoming events:
Blog credits: Sakshi Kaul