Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth


Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice and matches

Preparation for Activity

  • During Workshop 2, Alternate Activity 2, Designing an Opening, the group will have the opportunity to create a unique workshop opening. If your group has a traditional workshop opening, feel free to use that instead of the words provided here.

Description of Activity

Gather around the chalice. While a volunteer lights the chalice, ask the group to focus on the word "poetry" in silence. After about fifteen seconds, invite participants to speak freely into the space a word or two that they associate with the word "poetry." When everyone who wishes to speak has had a chance to do so, close by saying,

May the space we create here today be wide enough to hold all our

individual ideas and deep enough to allow those ideas to grow, to fruit, and to provide seeds for new beginnings.

To introduce today's workshop, say,

Welcome to a different way of interacting with poetry! You do not need to be a poetry expert to gain something from these workshops; you simply need an open mind and a sense of adventure.

Regardless of what your experience with poetry has been until now, the intent of this program program is to liberate us from preconceptions, help us become more curious about poems and how they are made, and help us engage with poetry on our own and as a group.

We will read and discuss many poems, but our primary purpose is not to simply analyze or decode them. Instead we will explore the ideas and language of the poems. We will try some activities individually and together and use poetry to be open to ourselves, our personal truths, and to one another. Because our discussions will center on our personal thoughts about poems, there are no right or wrong answers. At the end of the program, we will have an opportunity to present a Poetry Slam during which we will showcase our work and the work of others.

Including All Participants

In order to create space for less assertive participants to speak, allow several seconds of silence to pass before closing the chalice lighting.