Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Teen Poetry Happens - What It's All About

What an awesome first meeting of the school year for Teen Poetry Happens on Tuesday, September 10! 18 incredible teens joined Ms. Duncan, Ms. Is, and me to enjoy the company of other artists, writers, poets, photographers, and musicians. Reformation Lutheran Church has graciously offered their fellowship hall for our use this year.  Their space is much closer to the school to help those who will walk.  Thank you so much, Reformation.

We were also visited by Ms. Is's sweet baby girl, Searcy. We're waiting to see if she gets Mom's artistic ability or Dad Isaac Stewart's awesome musicianship. :)  She just might have it all!!
We also worked to describe what this group's mission is and, as is tradition, we created our first poem of the year to do this. It will be included in the 5th edition of The Alexander Muse teen art and literature magazine which will debut in April 2014. More on that later, but take a look at what wonderful 5 - 7 - 5 works the teens came up with below. 

What is a 5 - 7 - 5 work, you ask? Well, many folks think of the Japanese form of poetry, haiku, as having a 5 - 7 - 5 syllable template. Alas, it isn't so.  Thanks to a workshop with Lenard Moore, executive chair of the North Carolina Haiku Society, I was made aware of this. If you would like to see some examples of modern haiku, take a look at the Haiku Society of America's online journal, Frogpond.
Haiku Society of America - Frogpond - click on the link.

BUT! We like the idea of succinctly capturing a thought in a 5 - 7 - 5 format. So here you go! 

“A World In Your Mind” 

5 7 5 work 
formerly known as haiku 
T P H is back 

drawing and pictures 
music and writing and art 
true meaning of gift 

apple bites for me 
coffee and cookies for you 
poetry for us 

hi I am Heather 
I am completely confused 
how do you do this

difficult writing 
phenomenal poetry
tougher than it seems 

my love for music 
beautiful writing and song
coffee for our soul 

my sweater is warm
it will hide us from the storm 
don’t fret, not here yet 

TPH is cool 
musical ability
magic in hearing 

words create wonder
imagine the beauty of 
a world in your mind 

smooth fall of leaves let 
calm wind paint the trees colors 
until he comes back 

I can read the words
they flow through the open air 
emotion set free 

the happiest sounds
set to a beat and then sung 
played by the awesome 


I woke with a dream 
not yet reality but
hope to make it so 

burning creations 
fellowship in our writing 
change the world with words

          - by TPH Teens 2013-14

We also had some fun drawings...

Finally, I post this prose piece by one of our TPH teens. On this anniversary of the September 11 attacks, let us remember freedom of speech and to write are rights many take for granted.  We are blessed to be able to put pen to paper.

"I Am A Writer" by Kira Call

I feel the story build within me, bubbling just below the surface.  It whispers in my ear, murmuring softly, comforts like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. Yet, it’s also terrifying…

Is it acceptable?  Is it entertaining?  What if no one likes it?  What if…?

I shake my head, scatter these doubts to the wind.

This is who I am.  This is why I am here: to write, to be bold, to lose myself in the beauty of flowing words, to release my mind from the confines of society.

I am a writer.  I seek no one’s acceptance, for I am free.



  1. Thanks for sharing this, Mel. It looks great. The NC Poetry Society contests will open for submissions later this month. There is no entry fee for students, and the student categories always draw the least submissions. Encourage them to give it a shot. Also, encourage them to come to and participate in Poetry Hickory, Writers' Night Out, and The Art of Poetry. If you think it would be well-received, I would be happy to come up and talk with them one night.

    1. Oh, it would be greatly received to have you come, Scott! We'll work on it. I will direct them to your comments regarding the NC Poetry Society contest. I urge them every year, but if they read it from you, it might spur them on!