Stirred Echo Workshop was a part of People in Communities events.
We used echo shaped forms, forms that use repetition such as pantoums, sestinas, and sonnenizios. Also a form of repetition that is found poetry in the case of centos.
We began by making sonnet cento’s out of Shakespeare, John Donne, Tennyson, Robert Frost, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Sir Philip Sidney, John Milton.
We deliberately used traditional voices in the form to make sonnet centos to begin exploring ideas of how to re-establish a modern voice by manipulating forms, especially as forms can really put poets off writing, when you freeze because you feel intimidated by the history of the form or feel like it is outdated. This theory is interesting from this perspective:
‘Finch observes that unlike male poets, women poets do not have a canon of established female formal poets against whom to define themselves. Rather, a contemporary feminist formalist has only a few models. Finch sees this dearth of imposing voices as an opening, stating, “Formalism presents us not with big stale husks but small growing seedlings, not the discouragement of huge closed books but the challenge of open, relatively empty pages.”-Female Tradition as Feminist Innovation (2005)-Annie Finch essay.’
We then moved onto looking at pantoums, paradelles, and sonnenizios.
Here’s my broken pantoum on the theme of Echo:
Echo, you fell into my arms
As liquid and living as a breathing snake
These days pass fast and we forget your name
You tell where the sun is as well
As liquid and loving as a biting snake
Wrapping their hate around a woman’s head
We live to tell the sun of our mistakes
Hissing at men who march to their stone graves
Balancing their hate upon a woman’s head
Send her to the well, where she will lean
Hiss at the drop into a watery grave
The echoes there are tales we can’t unmake
Send her to the well with her dreams
To drown her wishes in the bucket’s drop
The echoes know the tales we can’t unmake
Her footsteps take us back to Eve’s mistake
Thanks so much to all who came, was some excellent writing done! Next Stirred Workshop is on Wednesday 18th February, 6pm at Kim by the Sea, facebook event here:
We also have a Stirred workshop as part of Mary Wollstonecraft Series at the People’s History Museum, find full line up of events here, more details will be forthcoming nearer time!