Last night The Wuhan Hidden Talents Writers’ Platform held their second event of the year, this time dedicated to The Art of Poetry.
What is Poetry? How to write Poetry? Where to Start?
Ten writers/poets welcomed an audience of 40 people with poems in the English and Chinese language.
Luc Pauwels, the Founder of The Writers’ Platform, kicked off the event, as usual a bit nervous, but who wouldn’t be nervous reciting poetry or talking about poetry on a stage and in front of a large audience?
The main objective of the Poetry Event was to make people at ease with poetry, as well as to allow feelings to be turned into words.
Dason from Guyana (South-America) introduced Shakespeare in five minutes telling the audience that Shakespeare composed much of his plays in the form of poetry, using iambic metrical units (one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable) and pentameters (five iambs in a line).
Luc (Belgium) asked the audience ‘how many real Poets have won a Nobel Prize for Literature?’. Actually only one and his name is Tomas Tranströmer from Sweden, receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011.
I am wondering now if we should also consider Bob Dylan, the latest Nobel Prize for Literature winner as a Poet ‘Pur sang’?
Daniel (UK) shared with us his experience of reading love poems composed by female writers when he was 16 (The Virago Book of Love Poetry).
“What I’ve learnt from this book:
– Men can be downright bloody horrible
– Poetry can be sexy, interesting and even cool
– Poetry doesn’t need to rhyme
– Poetry can be confusing, it can be nonsense, and that’s still okay”
The atmosphere turned warmer, the audience relaxing, with the event moving towards creating poems in group. In the last six weeks the poets from ‘The Writers Platform’ have created several group poems and below is one that I would like to share with the readers of WuhanSocial.
Erasing the page of circumstances
Purple, girls’ favourite colour – I don’t understand why
I’m working in shades, drowning in textures
Refractions in my mind’s eye
And in my mind I’m the emperor of my world
I’m the captain of my destiny, the king of my soul
Sustained by the horizon of the sunshine sky
My mind is peeling, reeling, anywhere?
It’s so dark, a life without colour
So many grey hues to explore
The bag in pink lost in my dream, where can I find it?
My sunshine, with the depths of your shadow brings you serenity
Then the audience was invited to create poems in group with help from the Poets of The Writers Platform. How does it work? The Poets show a picture in the group to set off feelings; then give the first line of the poem; next each group member adds one line towards completing the poem. “Don’t think too much, follow your first feelings and speak out” I encourage the members of my group.
Result of this exercise: five groups, five poems, four in English, and one in Chinese.
It is a challenge to put English and Chinese Poetry together in one event, luckily for last night it all worked out wonderfully well.
In the following part it was time for the Poets of the Writers Platform to take stage – Poetry in English, Chinese and Serbian languages. The poets of The Wuhan Writers Platform performed in following order: Luc (Belgium), Jade (China), Alys (UK), Chetan (India), Goran (Montenegro), Dason (Guyana), Nile (Bangladesh) and Emily Pooh (China). Below you can enjoy the poems from Alys and Emily Pooh.
The pen is mightier than the sword
Isn’t that what we’ve been told
And so we turned our veins to ink
Writing out our hearts and soul
With sharpened nibs and pointed tongues
Painting rivers with our words
In purest innocence never fathomed
Our pleas might not be heard
We spilt our ink, it ran with hope
Yet no one heard our pleas
If flowed to pools of never mind
To seas of apathy
Years ago one apple fell
A man discovered gravity
Now everyday new bombs fall
Where is our humanity
We spilt our ink, we bled out sonnets
So blinded by our vanity
We wrote with hope
And what we found was a careless, cold reality
Did we ever really believe
That through our words, our cries of emotion
All the ink washing down our shower drains
Could ever change an ocean
In the last part the spotlights were on the audience, with a mix of Chinese and English poems, postmodern as well as traditional ones. For most of the poets at this evening it was a first-time-experience to recite their personal poems, to share feelings, and words. New hidden talents are being discovered.
The Wuhan Hidden Talents Writers Platform will continue to develop Poetry in the City, across nationalities and languages, with support from our sponsor – The Summer House, western restaurant and bar at Wuhan Tiandi in Hankou.
The Wuhan Writers Platform, with support from The Summer House and WuhanSocial, is therefore happy to announce the First Wuhan Poetry Competition.
How does the competition work? Complete – in English, French or Chinese – following couplet by adding three more couplets.
Send in your completed poem to email@example.com before October 30, 2016. Winners will be announced before November 10.
What can you win? First prize, a 500 Yuan RMB coupon for dinner and drinks at The Summer House at Wuhan Tiandi; Second prize, a 300 Yuan RMB coupon for dinner and drinks at The Summer House at Wuhan Tiandi; Third prize, a 200 Yuan RMB coupon for dinner and drinks at The Summer House at Wuhan Tiandi.
Of all lost pages
the blank ones remain
untouched by sun rays
De tous les pages perdus
il y reste seulement lesvierges
non touché par les rayons de soleil
Write the remaining three couplets and send the complete poem to firstname.lastname@example.org before October 28. Mention your name, phone number and email address. Good luck!