Excerpt from ‘A Poem of Gratitude Towards The Underestimated Moments in Life’ by Rosie, Young Writers’ Group
‘[…] Birds cheeping and chirping; tweet, tweet.
Twigs dry and snapping; crack, crack.
Life a privilege and a gift; thank you, thank you.
And as I step forward, I am grateful.’
By request, Saturday’s Young Writers workshop on Zoom found participants exploring narrative poetry. We started by talking generally about narrative poetry, and participants highlighted Tolkien’s work as an example, as well as making links to the Hunger Games books.
Our first exercise introduced an Anglo-Saxon poem entitled ‘The Battle of Maldon’. Much of the piece has been lost to time, and only a fragment remains. The portion that is left begins with the phrase ‘It is broken’.
Our first task for the young writers was to write freely for two minutes, using ‘It is broken’ as a starting point. They were able to take the text in whatever direction they chose, as long as they started with those three words. We then provided another excerpt from the poem for our writers to work with. Drawing on this and the phrase ‘It is broken’, we invited them to compose their own poetic verse.
Because our writers are very well-acquainted with three-act narrative structure, we decided to take the next exercise in a slightly different direction. We gave them an image prompt and invited them to come up with a narrative in five-act structure. This would then be expressed in bullet points, before creating two lines of poetry for each individual point.
Poetry is a useful tool for reflecting on what matters most. In preparing for the workshop, I discovered a poem called What You Missed That Day You Were Absent in Fourth Grade, written by Brad Aaron Modlin. We introduced this piece to the writers via a reading from the Irish poet Padraig O’Tuama.
Our writers then had to make their own list of small but meaningful moments, and use this to inspire their own poems. The pieces that emerged from this exercise were spectacular.
We are already looking forward to our next Young Writers session in May, which will be held on Zoom on the 21st from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Information on how to book can be found here
By Casey Bottono, writer