Updated: Jun 24, 2019
Many years ago, when we first moved to Bangalore, we gathered a group of people at this beautiful cafe in Ulsoor, where we read out poems on the rain and also did some painting ! It was a beautiful experience and when I saw that the rains were approaching yet again, I knew I had to recreate the experience for the children and adults of my neighbourhood.
Yesterday, the 22nd of June, we had a group of children and a couple of adults, gather around, just to celebrate the rains, in a very 'poetic'way, so to speak. The poems we had selected for the evening were selected to ensure that they would appeal to children and also help them express themselves. We also included a few funny ones. The poems read out were,
* Last night the rain spoke to me by Mary Oliver
* The Flower School by Rabindranath Tagore
* Raindrop by Ruskin Bond
* Who likes the rain by Clara Doty Bates
* Like to see a thunderstorm by Elizabeth Coatsworth.
* Dancin' in the rain by Shel Silverstein
The evening started out by asking the participants to associate each poem to a colour or a mood. We were pleasantly surprised to hear a lot of profound observations on each poem, even from those we would normally write off as 'too young' to be thinking along certain lines. The children expressed themselves beautifully on how each poem made them feel, which made for a very interesting discussion.
Following this, we made three different groups, where each group was assigned a colour and an emotion. One group got the colour Brown and their emotion, Courage. This is what they came up with !
Reminds you a lot of Blake's Tiger, tiger, burning bright, isn't it? Another group was assigned White and their emotion, Gratitude. We had a lot of contributions here, with gratitude being expressed to parents, to God and to Nature itself. It was truly a delight to read their poems. Here they are :
Beautiful, isn't it? One of our main goals for this evening was to create a genuine love for poetry, often made trite during a regular English class. Looking at these poems made me feel that the goal was achieved, at least in a small way.
The last group was assigned the colour Blue and their emotion, Hope. The group struggled initially, but finally managed to produce a gem of a poem. Here it goes,
An idea pops inside your head,
it gives you hope,
like one leaf on a bare tree
like one word on a sheet of paper
one flower in a bouquet.
To get hope, we should just be happy
with the details to make that one
in your head.
By Krithi Hemmige, Grade 5, Untitled.
Such vivid imagery, such detail ! I was very glad to see them take pleasure in writing. There were many silent participants, but I am sure they carried home something too, in the form of an idea, an imagery or just pure joy.
I think it would be apt to end this post with a lovely, lovely quote by Rumi, the Persian poet, that blends in beautifully with the situation,
I sincerely hope the Learning Hut is able to create that many more opportunities for these children and adults alike, to raise their voices !