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

Taking It Home

With my poems, I finally won even my mother. The longest wooing of my life.

Marge Piercy


We drew pictures of our own fairy tale romances. We discussed popular notions of romantic love and our own ideas about what that might look and feel like. We read a poem about lovers being together as one and examined that concept for its desirability.


Which couple in your life exemplifies your notion of ideal love?


  • Use the medium of your choice to explore the tug-of-war between maintaining a separate self and merging oneself with another person in a love relationship. You might ask a friend to join you. Here are a few suggestions:
    • Write your own love song that pokes holes in the popular, fantasy image of the super-merged couple.
    • Write and illustrate a children's book that portrays a hero or heroine who is both a strong individual and a generous, loving member of a relationship (romantic or other).
    • Write a love song to your best friend; talk about what you appreciate in your similarities and in your differences.
    • Write a love poem to yourself.
    • Create a drawing or a collage that shows yourself in the middle, surrounded by aspects of your life that are shared or "merged" with others.
  • How about creating valentines for people you love? You do not have to wait until Valentine's Day; after all, you love them the other 364 days, too, right? Write short love poems or use favorite lyrics from love songs for your valentine. Did your mom or dad ever put surprises in your lunchbox? Return the love. Put a valentine in your mom or dad's briefcase. Put one in your sibling's lunchbox.
  • Have you ever wanted to turn a fairy tale on its head? Many authors have done this. Read any of the works by Gregory Maguire. He wrote the book Wicked, which was turned into a hit Broadway musical. (Be forewarned: the book is quite different from the musical!) Search for other authors' twisted fairy tales on the Internet or at your library. After reading a few, try writing your own.
  • Retell a popular fairy tale in verse. You might want to read the poem at the Poetry Slam, a school talent show, or a coffeehouse at your congregation. You could tell the story in more than one voice and have others help you recite it or act it out.