As a long-time published poet and lover of other people's poetry, too, I am totally committed to encouraging people to write poetry. For me, it is the greatest, most versatile, and most accessible art form.
On the front flyleaf of WITHIN THE GLADE, the late and great Sir Patrick Moore's poems for Children (of all ages!), I incorporated a mini-lecture!
The poems (we compose), whatever our age, could never have been written by anyone else They are ours, out of our own thoughts: unique. However, they should be written not just because we have to, but so that they may be read by others It is the sharing of our thoughts that give them universal value.
If our poems are good enough (and we can work on them to make them so) then others will enjoy them - as they will, without doubt, enjoy Patrick's own special offerings...
They are lovely, lively, happy events. One springs easily to mind. I gave two mornings of Readings and Workshops at ACE - Arundel C of E Primary School. I began by reading from WITHIN THE GLADE. Suddenly, there were children all round me. They snatched the book from my hands (I didn't mind a bit!) and read poems for themselves. In the second part of each session, they wrote poems for me. All had merit; some were extremely beautiful as well as original.
On the second day, I noticed a little girl tucked in the corner of our room, trying not to be seen. I asked her to come over and read a poem. Reluctantly, she got up and stood beside me. "You don't really want to read, do you?" She shook her head, hard. At break, suddenly I found her standing before me, eyeball to eyeball (I was sitting). Then, firmly, she said "I've unzipped my lips"!!! I made a guess at what it meant. After break, Hannah was the star of the writing session. She was helping other children with words and phrases. I might just as well not have been there!
Hannah made those two days so rewarding for me. The fee was nothing compared to the sense of success I felt; the ultimate compliment for my work.
Another compliment was a second request from the Head Teach of ACE (one of the top primary schools in West Sussex) to go back in February and give more Poetry (and Prose) Workshops, to two groups of children, aged 7-9 and 9-11. Fantastic fun, with lovely poems - and prose written by the children!
Let me know if you would like to book a Poetry Reading and/Poetry Workshop. I don't charge the earth!