Poetry Workshop at Lights of Soho

On Saturday I co-hosted a poetry workshop with Danielle Allen from Indigo Poetry at the gallery and members bar, Lights of Soho.

Our theme was The Feminine Principle, an area we had chosen to explore with both genders to create a dialogue on the feminine and masculine energies that we all naturally possess and the qualities that reflect these energies.  

Source: cherieroedirksen.com

Source: cherieroedirksen.com

“We are beginning to become aware that what it means to live as a woman does not mean to be lock-stepped into a culturally-defined gender role that embodies and ensouls feminine attributes, and that to live meaningfully as a man does not mean that he must submit to a stereotyped ideal of masculine qualities. The emerging level of our current collective consciousness, regarding this issue, recognizes that each individual’s creative and unique soul-making process is an ever-evolving dance of change and renewal between yin and yang, masculine and feminine, male and female.”
— - Carol Wolf Winters, Ph.D

We had seven participants at the workshop, five female and two male.  We began by introducing the Dialogue Guidelines in accordance with David Bohm's theory.  Our first exercise was constructed poems.  Each participant was given a text relating to the feminine principle and a poem reflecting a feminine quality, and asked to construct a poem with alternate lines from the article and poem.

The results were very interesting and the text and poems provoked different reactions in the participants.

After we performed the poems to each other and had a short break, followed by an energising movement exercise we started the next exercise.  We asked participants to select three words that we provided, either two masculine qualities and one feminine or two feminine and one masculine and write a haiku with each word in one line.  Some found this exercise more challenging but there were some great results and we discussed our reactions to the words, whether we thought they truly were 'feminine' or 'masculine' and any other feelings they provoked in us.

'my own awareness,
penetrating your structure,
becomes protective.'

Our last exercise was to ask the participants to select a natural object that we provided a write a love poem or ode to it.  This exercise produced some incredible results, reflecting the power and beauty of nature and our relationship and connection to it, and what we can learn when we take the time to stop and give our full attention to something we previously did not consider or thought to be insignificant.

'The most important reason why we are out of balance with Nature is the fact that we have lost complete sight of this unifying aspect and have made the feminine principle as well as Life and our Earth our enemy'
-The Whole Elephant Revealed, Marja de Vries.

Some participants feedback...

What did you find most interesting about this workshop?
"Uncovering my own potential to write poetry! The exercises and prompts were very good at easing us into it."

What did you enjoy most about this workshop?
"A chance to write with other people rather than in isolation.  Poetry can be a lonely activity."

"Sharing our thoughts that came from the exercises in a 'dialogue'"

Did anything we discussed during the workshop change your thinking in any way or particularly resonant?
"Feminine, masculine principles; a big debate.  Pleased that the event was open to all genders."

"Creativity, relinquishing control."

"The idea of principles and exploring that."

Any other comments?
"It felt like a hug from the universe."

"So good.  I am less of a cynic now."