Archive for the ‘Ideas’ category

Portrait Sketch Poem Conversation

December 20, 2006

Hi all:

This poem definitely looks like something we could work around. I remember that the last time we did this session on portrait sketch we used a vignette by Sandra Cisneros. Although it was a moving bit of literature, it wasn’t a terribly good model for the generation of a workshop poem. Hence, we do not have a single workshop poem from this session.

The portrait poems that I have come across in Bengali books of poetry are either esoteric or “meant for children”. I like this poem that Sahar has put up simply because it has a ring of truth and lack of pretence.

We can break the intended portrait poem into sections like ‘Appearance’, ‘Habits’, ‘Things (s)he says’ etc. and devote three/four lines to each section. And then maybe round it off with one line stressing on the writer’s relationship with the subject of the portrait.

Will try to come up with a sample poem.

What do you think?


Thinking Portrait Poems

November 17, 2006

I’ve been exploring possibilities for a session on Portrait poems. In DIKSHA and Sanlaap we facilitated a Portrait Poem Session which didn’t fly too well with participants. The discussion was good and enjoyable, but the the entire session didn’t insitigate writing as well as we hoped.

I’ve been looking around in books and web resources for inspring poems that we could model after. I found a poem written by a young person on a random website I came across, which is something that we could possibly be used as a model poem. (Note, the context of the poem is very “american,” but I’m interested in the thematic structure as a model.)


The man with the black pants

Is the one with a voice like brass

He is baseball and lottery tickets

Board games and bricks

He says do your homework

But after a quick game of catch

He reads the paper and works today

He is stocks and pens

A closed door and a phone

He says work hard

Get a good job

Who used to play and sing

Who screams and shouts

Whose eyes are big and wide

Who remembers the time

He is laughter and salt water taffy

An old brown car and a baseball mitt

Who asks me,

Who’s up for a game of catch?

by Andrew Hill grade 9

However, at the same time, I’m wondering if there are poems in the vernacular (Bangla or Hindi) that we could find use as a example poems and then try to build a session around it. Of course, its always been challenging in the past to locate such poems. But lets keep searching.

Folks faciliating workshops on the ground, do you guys have thoughts or ideas?