We were asked by Lisa Lorenz of NOUS magazine to run a workshop on the theme of Misunderstanding for their mini-festival, As We Are Away. We called this workshop Words and Snow, or Snow and Words depending on your mood.
We then homophonically translated Spanish love poems into English/French/somewhere inbetween. People had a variety of different ways of understanding this task which led to some really interesting translations, Lisa took the words that reminded her of German and translated them into English for example.
We looked at different poets for inspiration and setting the tone, including My November Guest by Robert Frost, we also looked at the effect of winter in terms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, using this poem by Tracey Herd as a starting point.
One of the workshop prompts was to take the last line of this poem by Emily Dickinson:
‘you’re straight-away dangerous, and handled with a chain’
As our starting line and include words from our Snow Mind Map:
morning, snowblind, cloud, thousand, bang…..to free write from for 4 minutes.
Here is our group poem:
WORDS AND SNOW
I am a snowwoman
I handle myself like a chain that
Cannot break and I’m back again to thoughts of what
Might make the snow stop
The clouds hang heavy but no rain, no snow,
Just dark when a thousand days have passed
The last red drop of my tears will break
Your chains and you will disappear
Taken away her fuckleties and made her eat ice cream
Cos she’s likely to be upset
Waiting for the clouds to clear so you
Can see the blue bird day in the sunlight reflection
Enter the cells
I am a snowwoman between a chimney and an oven
And I need help
I am a snowwoman who cycles in this dark and fears
I’m part of a snowwoman
And part of a snowman
But I’m forever full.
Thanks so much to everyone who came and took part, some really excellent writing was done which we hope to hear at some of our events next year :D. Our last workshop of this year is Poetry for Humbugs, find facebook event here.