Day two of the camp started off with a few energetic guest authors from The Poetry Project. Josephus Thompson, the lead presenter, began by performing a poem for the campers.
Thompson performing his poem.
After performing the poem once, he asked the campers to fill in the last word of each line from the previous poem. The group correctly filled in each blank, and Thompson used this exercise to point to the power of one’s words. After hearing his poem once, Thompson’s words had resonated in each of the camper’s memories.
A camper writing down the words she remembered from Thompson’s poem.
Following this introduction to poetry and its power, Thompson allowed a few youth poets from the Poetry Project perform two poems, one solo and one as a duo. These poems were delivered eloquently, using the effects of humor, figurative language, volume and tone to drive the poems forward. Both poems, noted by the poets as coincidental, discussed their experiences with relationships, and probed the feelings that those relationships had evoked.
Young poets of the Poetry Program performing their poems.
At the end of the presentation, campers were allowed to ask the poets questions, whose topics ranged from stylistic choices to personal ones about the authors and specifics about The Poetry Project.
In speaking with various campers after this presentation, elements of delivery, emotion and confidence, stuck with them from the poets, and many plan to utilize some of these strengths in their own presentations at the end of camp.
Today also marks the first day of the Weatherspoon Art Museum visits. Over a course of three days, each group will have the chance to go to the museum. The first two groups to go today were the high schoolers and the 7th and 8th graders. The groups visit the museum to view the art and to use it as an inspiration for their own writings.
A worker at the museum, first, gathers the campers together around a piece of artwork. Together, the group makes observations of the artwork and applies it to create a poem.
The high school group gathers around a vivid piece of artwork to observe it.
The museum worker asks the campers for descriptions of the artwork,
and writes what the campers reply with onto a board.
The inspired campers begin to write their own interpretations and start to create the group poem.
After the poem is complete, the campers are allowed to roam around the gallery room and look at the other artwork. Once the hour-long visit is over, the campers head back to their classrooms to continue writing.