Saturday, April 30, 2016

"the pull of poems," a class in phoenixville.

in march and april, i taught a class called the pull of poems through the chester county night school at the phoenixville middle school. a small group of just three students, the class and its quaint feel worked very well because of the subject being poetry and how there is just so darn much that can be said about it when reflecting on a certain topic or poem across a few different people and their inquisitive, observer-oriented brains.

the class went so swimmingly that we all decided to continue meeting informally.

we first explored symbolism and the meaning behind all of our first names. some of the other subjects we navigated through poetry were identity-exploring and childhood memories.

we also adventurously made our way through examining interviewing to create poetry content, in addition to cultivating moon poems, river poems, and most recently list poems.

but during the class focusing on moon poems, we were fortunate enough to have a special guest who has a degree in creative writing and is also the vice chairman of the philadelphia unit of the herb society of america, holly cusumano. she is also an incredible encaustic artist, to describe her unique talent lightly. i interviewed her last year for an article about designing moon gardens. she shared a piece of her writing called "lunar landscape," which while written in full sentences, carried a lot of poetic snippets across and throughout its language. 

like the moon she admires so well, cusumano is pictured below, in a white sweater. it's nice to think of the moon wearing a white sweater, perhaps, in the tightly threaded look of its distant yet brightly illumined patches.

and while this poem below is not from the particular class above, but instead, the very first class we had, it's quite relevant to all of this moon-thinking talk, and i'm very grateful that this student didn't mind sharing it.


Kinship DNA
By Sam Traten

I bark at the moon
I am from a family of feral peasants
We love to squabble and spit
at one-another

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