"If I was someone else, I'd be Nelson Mandela,
'Cos he was one cool fella.
If I was someone else, I'd be Taylor Swift
And sing in the lift.
If I was someone else, I'd be Charles Dickens
So I could write about chickens..."
I'd thought initially I might talk about the power of words, since the title of the workshop was; "What's the point of poetry?" I'd imagined discussing that old chestnut idiom: Sticks and stones...and how actually, even though words can't physically hurt you, they can cause plenty of other damage. I never liked that annoying little saying because even as a child I felt it to be hollow; a feeble, rather desperate retort to painful verbal taunts.
There has been a bit of funny business with some of the girls in the class recently; the usual friendship stuff I suppose, but unpleasant and tricky to negotiate. So even more reason to talk about how powerful and upsetting words can be, perhaps. But I didn't go there because it didn't feel quite right in what was supposed to be a fun poetry session.
My finale was going to be; choose your words carefully, because words can change the way you think and if they can change the way you think, they can change the world. Look at what happened to Nelson Mandela and Invictus; now that's the point of poetry!(Bit much for a class of 9-year-olds, maybe...)
But here's that very notion in practice; an audacious, heartbreakingly beautiful and shocking poem by Shane Koyczn articulated in a hypnotically ecclectic animation. While the ripples caused by verbal sticks and stones continue, here's to fighting them with the power of new words…
Back in the year 5 poetry workshop, If I was someone else finished along the lines of:
"But I'm ME,just me.
And that's exactly who I want to be."
To This Day by Shane Koyczn
Thanks for the link, B x