Lifting Poetry Off The Page

“Many poems use words to paint a picture in your head”.

“If normal sentences are orange squash, poetry is like the syrup before it is diluted”.

CBBC Newsround.

Poetry provides us with the vehicle to use and enjoy the magic and power of words, including the  unconventional –  sounds we construct and share in those moments of expression.

Communication is generally understood to be the spoken word but it also includes gesture, noises and sounds, augmentative technology – ‘all of us’.

The ‘ooohs’, ‘aaahhs’, ‘grrs’, ‘mmmmsssss’, ‘rrooowwwwssss’, ‘ahchahchch….’

Movement and action; musical instruments; light and colour; dance…

Chris.  uses a wide variety of written poems, the children’s own and  a  range of resources as an inclusive  means of communication, expression and enjoyment for children and young people  ‘providing them with opportunities to explore and experience their own and other’s different voices’.

His work includes  St. Anthony’s School Chichester ; Queen Elizabeth the Second School Horsham; West Park School Worthing; L.V.S. School Hassocks.

‘James Bond Car’; ‘Pow! Er ful Sound Effects’; ‘ The Cloakroom Argument’; ‘The Dinosaurs Dance’ ‘The Alien’   are  amongst many poems used in his work.

The choice of poems depends on:

  •  The age group
  •  Individual needs.
  • Environment and working space available.

By using children’s and young people’s own poetry, the possibilities are many and varied.

The key elements include:

  • Accepting the words and ‘sounds’ each child or young person gives.

This is about valuing the contribution of each member of the group and acknowledging their part in the poem.

  • Using other forms of expression to shape and form the poem. This means integrating movement, gesture and other external sounds ( i.e. ‘musical instruments’) .
  • Using ideas from the group to decide on the subject.
  • Using a broad framework for a starting point – feelings, film, story, the world…..

Depending on the individuals in the group, to talk about what they think about poems and what different forms they take.

Chris’s initial  ‘Lifting Poetry Off the Page’ project was generously funded by The  ‘Clore Duffield Foundation’.

Lifting Poetry Off The Page