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Taking It Home, Workshop 1: Listening and Speaking with Poetry: An Introduction

In "Exploring Our Values Through Poetry," a Tapestry of Faith program

Breathe-in experience,

breathe-out poetry.

— Muriel Rukeyser


We discussed our previous experiences with poetry and feelings about it in general. We shared what we hope this experience will be like, read a poem, and composed a poem from a newspaper article. We examined terms and questions we will use in future workshops to "hold poems up to the light."


In what way(s) is poetry different from prose (like the newspaper article)?


  • Look for books of poetry at home. Determine which family member owns which books. Ask how they obtained them. Do your family members have favorite poets?
  • Speaking of favorites, do you have a favorite fiction author? Does that author also write poetry? If you are not sure, search the web for poems by your favorite author. Compare her/his poetry to her/his prose. Do you hear a distinct voice in each form of writing?
  • Perhaps some of your family, friends, and congregation members are poets and you do not know it. For many people, writing poetry is a spiritual practice, much like journaling, and they may not publicly share their interest in the activity. Ask around and discover the hidden poets all around you. Tell them you are taking a poetry workshop. Perhaps poetry can become an interest you can share.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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