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18 January 2022

Posted by Tabby Hayward


18th Jan - 12 attending
25th Jan - 10 attending

For the past two weeks, we've been looking at love poetry, working towards the latest YPN challenge: https://ypn.poetrysociety.org.uk/workshop/the-love-poetry-challenge/ 
However, love poetry doesn't need to mean romance!

In the first session, we started by listing things/people which we love. We then chose 3 things and wrote about why we love them/little details that other people might miss – these could be memories, and extra points to those who used different senses (not just sight/sound) and/or a simile/metaphor to describe these things too!

Next, we looked at the poem 'President' by Danez Smith, and used this as a starting point to write a list poem, using the little details about the people/things who we love/who could be our 'president' (other metaphors, such as getting a gold medal/being crowned king/queen were also welcomed!)

Next, we looked at the poem 'Names' by Mary Jean Chan, which begins with the line 'I am trying to talk about you without mentioning your name.' While Chan is talking about a very specific, personal situation, we used this as a starting point to challenge us to write about something/someone we love without naming them/it. 

Finally, we wrote love poems to ourselves, inspired by Foyle Young Poet Cia Mangat's winning poem 'Love Poem to Myself.' Gene's was particularly empowering!

Your hair is soooooo soft after using a handful of conditioner. You love it.
Your eyes are the colour of a chocolate bar ready to melt any time soon.
Your legs are tired after doing cross country on Monday the 17th.
A perseverer, is that even a word?
You mindset is fixed which is a good thing.
No school teacher can change your personality or your common sense.
I am right because 1 I just am and 2 you are not going to get a job for knowing what a drumlin is or knowing what provides energy for a leaf. Follow my wisdom and repeat to yourself, “I am an amazing person with an amazing personality and amazing hair. And no one can change this.”

In the next week's session, we looked at another approach to the love poem challenge, this time looking at a traditional form for a love poem - the sonnet. 

To warm up, we filled in the blanks of a 'template' sonnet, following a Shakespearean structure and rhyme scheme.

here's Aurora's very accomplished Shakespearean sonnet:

 Look up at the stars – they’re shining bright!
The moon is like an eyeball in the sky,
yet your gleaming eyes put them all to flight -
angels envy you from their home on high.
And when I see the stars, I think of you;
I think of all the memories we’ve shared,
the days we were close, when love sang so true,
the days reckless and silly, like we cared.
Tomorrow, as I’m going through my day,
the memories of us will keep me strong.
Oh, north star! Guide this pilgrim on her way,
sing the truthful verse of the siren’s song!
But most of all, let me hold you near me,
because you are my lighthouse over the sea.

After looking at Shakespeare's famous sonnet 118 - 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' the young writers were challenged to write their own poem, in sonnet form or otherwise, comparing someone they loved to something unexpectedly ordinary/not traditional romantic - such as a potato! Here's Gene's poem, comparing a friend to a frog!

shall I compare a friend to a frog,
yeah she wears
everything green but instead of hopping she likes to jog.
She likes to be
called froggy and one time she swallowed a bug,
she also laughs like one, o my
ribbit my friend is like a frog!
Like a frog her tongue is pretty long this
skill is pretty minor,
Although frogs liven a tree in a rainforest my friends
comes from china.
If you think comparing friends to animals is mad mad as a
well wait to you hear my story of comparing a friends head to a

And here's Tabby's sonnet, using the simile of a radiator!

Shall I compare thee to a radiator?
You are as warm and comforting to me.
By which I mean to say that I don’t hate ya.
You heat my home, my heart, so beautifully.
On frosty mornings when I long to hide
nestled in my bed, not face the day
I know that you will be there at my side,
your warmth and strength will help me on my way.
Though, of course, we’ve had some hard times too
the challenges, when you turned hot and cold
i didn't know what to expect from you -
but that's the past, and now, at last, we’re gold.
You are the one that I could never hate,
with all the loveliness you radiate.


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