‘I Can Call It My Own’
‘Poetry is so unique. It is something I can call mine, and at the same time, it can belong to everyone’, shares Anavi Akhauri, a budding Spoken Word poet from Shiv Nadar School, Noida. In the week that has just gone by, the school celebrated poetry – along with its many facets, and its inherent character which evokes the most raw expression out of people. Stretching from 28th August to 31st August, this Poetry Week saw writing, teaching, reciting, reading – all in action at Shiv Nadar School, Noida. In every manner that poetry can be explored and relished, the students made sure it was a part of their plan.
‘Some time back, I had watched a video of Sarah and Phil Kaye. They are internationally renowned Spoken Word poets. I thought of doing something similar in school, and thankfully enough, we were able to pull together a great poetry week’, says Harsh Jain. He, in fact, was so inspired by the duet video he saw, that along with Aishwarya (surname?), he wrote a poem on adolescent sensitivities. These are topics and concerns topmost on the mind of our youngsters – poetry often becomes the aesthetic vehicle, perched on which, these can be shared and expressed in front of multitudes.
According to the book ‘What is Poetry?’ written by Michael Rosen, ‘Poetry belongs to all of us; everyone can read poems, make up poems, or share poems with others. Though we often talk about poetry being dense or difficult, poems are able to present complicated or challenging ideas in ways that we can carry around in our heads. They help us ask questions about the world, how we use words and who we are.’ That makes poetry sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Let us take you through a brief journey of what happened during this week.
The Old and the New
Poems are a part of a continuously evolving tradition, which contains many great, classical poets, as well as some contemporary names which have just about begun emerging on the horizon. To create exposure, as well as a culture of appreciation, a board was put up in the school, wherein, two poets were featured each day – one old, one contemporary. Titled ‘Flair of the Feather’, this board actually afforded passers-by a moment of reflection or two, as they tried to read out the immortal verses written by legends like Oscar Wilde, John Keats, as well as the Instagram generation of Rupi Kaur, Christopher Pointdexter, etc.
Writing and Reciting
While a lot of us scribble little verses of glee and anguish at the back of our diaries and in quick access sections of our electronic devices, many of us don’t share it on a public forum. In a bid to encourage expressions and expressiveness among students, they were asked to submit their written work to the editorial board. Some poems from among these were then selected for publication, and a few others for a specific kind of recitation session, called ‘Spoken Word’.
The session saw 8-9 poems being performed by senior school students in front of an engaged audience, who spoke of issues close to their heart. ‘The spoken word session was amazing. My friends presented many different kinds of topics in their poems’, said Shifa Farooqi, a budding poetess. Upon being questioned about her poem, Anavi Akhauri said her poem ‘reflected her relationship with anxiety.’ The deeply felt emotions and experiences, all were verbalized beautifully through these raw verses composed by students.
Letting Creativity Flow On
While the Poetry Week was led mostly by senior students, they did not forget to include the junior students in this celebration of expression. As a part of the week, the student organizers conducted a workshop for fifth graders. They spoke about poetry, its many forms and figures of speech during the workshop. Not only this, each facilitator of the workshop is now mentoring a small ground of fifth graders. ‘We wanted to introduce this system of mentorship, in which the junior students can learn from their seniors. It is wonderful to see the exchange of thoughts and ideas between them’, shared Kirti Kaul, the teacher convenor for the Poetry Week.
Uninhibited expressions by students open gates of wonder, innovation and creativity for all listeners and readers, and poetry is a powerful vehicle for doing the same. The poems shared during the week stand as a testimony to the power held in the imagination of young voices.
Aug 4, 2017 by Shiv Nadar School