a MASTER CLASS in POETRY
for Grade 9 students
SPRING IN THE TIME OF THE CORONAVIRUS
- This class is limited to 5 or 6 students.
- An application form will be filled out by each student, with some interpretive questions.
- Each student will exemplify an understanding of and a commitment to poetry.
- There will be 1 class a week, held on Zoom – starting Thursday, May 7 @ 4:00.
- Ellyn Peirson will be the mentor of this class.
- The purpose of this class is to come to a personal deep enjoyment and appreciation of poetry… remember: where there is no vision, the people perish. Poets are the voice of the people.
Who is Ellyn? Ellyn has had a number of poems published over the years and two poetry books: cancerwords, a mother’s journey with a son, and Orchids and Neurons, molecular poetry. She has also written two novels and a meditation on death and beyond. Ellyn was the manager of a six-physician clinic, a Grade 3 teacher, a social worker and life coach. As she says in the intro to Orchids and Neurons, Ellyn is passionate about poetry:
We live on a planet that is a thin place – a place where time and light continually intersect. And yet we are taught to experience life as thick. When we move intentionally through the thickness that surrounds us and perceive Light, we can begin to punch peep-holes into and through Time.
This is my journey with the partners of Prose, Poetry, Photography and Prayer. In my journey of Time and Light, I’ve learned that I can free myself from the ballast of ordinary Time and soar in the Light. This is Time Travel for me. The most redemptive partner of my four is poetry. The process seizes me, and I become consumed by the emerging poem until it is complete. Poetry and prayer are closely related, at times with a loss of boundaries. That is why, I suppose, the sharing of poetry is an intimidating process.
For me, poetry is molecular and metaphysical. If it is not experienced in those two right hemisphere spaces, let it go. As T.S. Eliot said in “Tradition and the Individual Talent” in 1919,
The poet’s mind is in fact a receptacle for seizing and storing up numberless feelings, phrases, images, which remain there until all the particles which can unite to form a new compound are present together.
For the record, there are five poets who have deeply affected my feeling, thinking and writing – indeed, who I am – over many years of immersing myself in their work: William Blake, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot and Mary Oliver. But the one who woke me up to the power of poetry when I was in Grade nine was e.e. cummings.
Why the title of this course? Well, we’re living in a time strangeness, invisibility, science and fear. Completing the course with a book of our poetry seems most appropriate!
If you would like to take this course, from now until the end of June, please visit https://www.ellynpeirson.com/mastercourse. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know why you want to take the course and why you’re curious about poetry.