Session 2: Inner Vision of a Poet

For a printable version of this session,
click on Session 2: Inner Vision of a Poet


  1. Literature: “Kabita Aamon” by Al Mahmud

  2. Arts Supplies (Crayons, Paints, sketch pens)


Circle of Similarities

The group stands or sits in a circle with one person in the middle. The person in the middle says, “I stand on common ground with people who….” and then says something that defines or describes them. Everyone in the circle whom that statement also describes has to leave their spot and switch with someone lese, and the person in the middle finds a spot in the circle. The person left in the middle starts again. This game can be made as deep or as silly as desired, depending on the statements people make.


1. Ground Rules and Contract

  • Discuss importance of functioning as a community. (Self-respect/mutual respect)
  • Talk about how Kalam is about sharing ourselves through writing with each other.
  • It is important to start out with a shared understanding of how we will respect each other and our ideas.
  • Brainstorm Ground Rules (Do this on a Chart paper).
  • Write out all the ground rules every participant comes up with.
  • After all ground rules have been explored, vote on each of them as a group.
  • Write all finalized rules on a new piece of Chart paper.
  • Have all participants sign the paper. This is Kalam’s contract.

Some Ground Rules Kalam should include:

  • Don’t laugh at each other’s art, ideas, thoughts, etc.
  • During Poetry Sharing Session, give full attention to the poet.
  • Be pen to constructive criticism (in order to ensure improvement of poetic craft.)
  • Cell Phones Off

2. The Writer’s 1st Step: Know Yourself — Discussion

Where does poetry come from? Poets write from their hearts about what they deeply care about or about what deeply affects them. But sometimes we don’t even know what is in our hearts because too often other people tell us what should be important to us. Explain to the group that we feel the first step a writer needs to take is to revist their heart and see what is hiding, lurking, beating inside. It is a poets job to know the interior of her heart.

3. Heart Mapping

Note to Facilitator: Heart Mapping will allow the poets to visualize and concretize what they really care about, as well as, help sharpen their inner vision.]

  1. Pass out blank sheets of paper and plenty of art Supplies.
  2. Tell the group that they are to make a map of all the important things that are in your heart – visible and invisible.
  3. Keep this activity as an in-session activity.

Thing to include in activity:

Memories, People Places, Things you love to do, First time you learned something,Trips/Holidays

Questions/Prompters to instigate heart mapping:

What are some experiences or central events that you’ll never forget? What happy or sad memories do you have? What secrets have you kept in your heart? What small things or objects are important to you – a tree in your back yard, a trophy, a stuffed animal?

Something to Consider as Maps are being created:

Should some things be outside of the heart and some inside? Do you want to draw more than one heart — good and bad; happy and sad; secret and open — and include different things inside each heart? Do different colors represent different emotions, events, relationships?

4. Sharing Heart Maps

Go around the room and ask participants share parts of your heart map – parts that you feel comfortable sharing.

ENERGIZER (Optional)

All participants stand in the middle of the room and facilitators announce two contradicting/opposing/dissimilar statements (Night/Day or Auto/Bus or Bus/Telephone Booth or Blue/Red). In a split second, the participants decide which statement resonates true to them run to the opposite sides of the rooms, each side representing a statement as designated by the facilitator.


1. Read aloud “Kabita Aamon” by Al Mahmud. Pass out copies to participants.

2. Ask the group how they feel after hearing/reading this poem? Do they seem images, feel sensations from the writer’s heart in the poem?



Go around the room and ask the group to “sign” how they felt about this session. Thumb up, Great Session. Thumbs Down, Bad Session. Thumbs Sideways, So-so session.


  1. Explanation taken from “Group Games” provided by Pipeline Project, University of Washington
  2. From Heard, Georgia. Awakening the Heart. Page 108

Not to be used or reproduced without written permission from Kalam: Margins Write unless it is for educational purposes.

Explore posts in the same categories: Craft, Sessions

3 Comments on “Session 2: Inner Vision of a Poet”

  1. queer3779 Says:

    yeah, so…
    the initial warm-up works really well. it’s one of the best we have.
    the reception of the first activity however is varied. i remember we had such an interesting discussion on ground rules at DIKSHA and Sanlaap. but in bosco, the boys were not interested at all. especially after the hit warm-up. but then, it is an important activity and we must not underestimate it.
    the heartmapping is always a great activity, and the participants are immediately immersed into the self. they take it really seriously, making the process fruitful. that is what happened at don bosco as well. i wonder if there is a need to list any more questions as prompters than what we already have. i mean, the facilitator should be able to understnad what other questions should be asked if the group is unable to comprehend the exercise.
    the second energizer should be optional. i remember that in the bosco session, there was no time to really hold the second warm-up. and it wasn’t quite needed. the heartmapping activity flows directly into the “kabita emon” reading.
    at the bosco session, the boys were touched by the poem, and they themselves pointed out how vivid the images were. they also had questions about certain words used in th poem, questions that i weren’t really prepared for. i actually did not know the meaning of teh particular word thiis one boy asked, and that was a little embarrassing. it’s good if something like that doesn;t happen again.

  2. Sahar Says:

    You are right about the Ground Rules…. The discussion about Ground Rules was also a super hit with the workshop at Save the Children. With Vikramshila, it seemed like a process which was needed for the participants to understand workshop protocal. On the other hand, when we faciliated a similar process with the boys living on the railways, the whole process seemed absurd and rather plastic. As a matter of fact, I think we decided to skip the entire activity! I guess this all depends on what the space and dynamic each group is in. Its always good to establish some sense of rules or ethic in order to create a safe space — but facilitators should be varied as to how they should do it depending on each gorup. What we have outlined in our session plan is probably a very thorough and interactive way to define ground rules. But each facilitator should read the pulse of the group and “casualize” or “formalize” the process accordingly.

    Heart Map: Do you suggest we add more context to the activity in our session plan for the faciliator?

    Glad to hear the poem works well in the end of the session. I guess it really did take us a few workshops to figure that out. Also, maybe in the session, we should include some guided questions about the poem for the facilitator to ask the group? Or we could include some points the facilitator can highlight about the poem, in case a group struggles in responding to the poem.

    Revisions, revisions…endless 🙂

  3. queer3779 Says:

    the groun rules are important, and i think they should be repeatedly stressed as we progress through the sessions.obviously, the facilitators should have the discretion of how to do it with each group.
    as for the heart map exercise, you’re right: a little more context should be added for the facilitators. after all, this toolkit is made fr people we do not know, and will perhaps never even get a chance to speak to. so we have to be as clear as possible. you know, in visualizing the toolkit, i feel that these important exercises, or at least their contexts, should be put in little boxes or something.
    the poem: yea, we should have some points highlighted for the facilitator.

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