April is National Poetry Month and so it seems the perfect time to share a poem with you. A number of poems were created during a recent Family Fun Poetry Night that was hosted virtually by Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo. Before writing their own poems, students, family members, and CIS staff first learned about ekphrastic poetry, in which a poet describes a piece of art. They studied “Clouds over Miami” a painting by local artist Mary Hatch and then the poem written by local poet and CIS volunteer Elizabeth Kerlikowske who was inspired by the painting. [You can view that artwork and poem from their book, Art Speaks: Paintings and Poetry, by going to this website.]
Everyone then reflected on CIS students’ artwork about community and wrote their own poems. After participants shared some of their efforts, they then worked together to generate this poem:
HISTORY HAS ITS EYES ON US
Community poem inspired by Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”
History gallops into Kalamazoo.
Wearing a suit and tie and fur coat,
History eyes our community and rumbles deeply
in a British accent, “Diversity wins!”
History returns two days later and never leaves.
-written by CIS students & their families
Hungry for more poetry? The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival will be holding its annual festival this coming Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17. All events are virtual and free. To learn more and register in advance to participate in any of the events, go here.
And if you didn’t get the chance to see Amanda Gorman recite her poem, or you just want to listen to it again, you can do so by going here.