My Pencil is Music: 18th February 2020


Whenever we mention poetry in class there is a groan, but teaching creative writing without poetry makes no sense to me. I decided to tackle this in a roundabout way today in class and try to generate poetry without the dissent.
I asked the class to write down lists of unconnected words – nouns, verbs, adjectives, whatever. They passed their lists to their neighbour who was tasked with putting the words together either with or without conjunctions.
The results were a wonderful mix of profound sense and some nonsense and we all laughed – no groans – about the poems that emerged from the chaos.
Apart from the work, which impressed us all, everyone agreed it was yet another example of the creative power of the hive mind of the class.

Here are a few examples: -

Our new student S. wrote the following: -

Happiness is nothing
in this lonely room
sad and worried
friends disappoint
but my pencil is my music

Two students shared a list of words but came up with very different poems: -

It is quiet
The all silent fire
burns brightly
Not a fair night
cold and eerie
useless to try                       By J.M.


Quiet he is
or is it cold?
No! Useless

Try to go
to him, be fair
Why? He is fire                     By B.K.





Creative writing class from Langata Women's Prison, Kenya



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