Poetry Retreat – Sat Aug 7th

You’re invited! to the pre-CYM retreat for 2021. Continuing Meeting of Ministry and Counsel has asked several published Canadian Quaker poets to lead a retreat that is meant to be thoughtful, inspiring, and fun, and will bring us together across our enforced distances. Six options (within two sessions) will have us thinking and feeling about nature, learning about minimalist poems, writing from present experience or remembered past, exploring rhyme and metre, and no doubt more, as participants bring their own ideas to the sessions.

After registering for the retreat (in addition to the gathering registration) you may be contacted by email for additional information (see text below).

*** The late addition of two sessions (E and F below) is deliberate! If you are already registered and would like to change your preferred options please return to the registration form and update your requests. ***

Session 1: 1 – 2:30 pm Eastern

A. Carol Leigh Wehking will lead one of the three earlier sessions.
Title: Exploring Haiku: Seeing the World 17 Syllables at a Time

Description by the leader:
Carol Leigh does not pretend to be an expert, but will lead like-minded Friends in an exploration of the discipline and focus of haiku. We will be sharing and writing as well as studying.

Maximum number of participants: twelve

Upon registering, registrants are invited to send 2 or 3 haiku of their own or favourites by someone else prior to the retreat, so that we can share these if time allows.

To the actual session: Bring your creative selves, ready to be open to inspiration, and to submitting to a careful discipline.

B. Beverly Shepard will lead one of the three earlier sessions.
Title: Metre and Rhyme: Formal and Old-fashioned, or Fun and Classy?

Description by the leader:
It’s not just sonnets and limericks! Do rhyme and metre have a place in modern poetry? We’ll discover and discuss varieties of both. There may be more than you think!

Maximum number of participants: sixteen

To the actual session: If you wish, bring to the session a poem (by you or someone else) that’s an example of metre or rhyme or both that you particularly like — or dislike!

E. Caroline Parry will lead one of the three earlier sessions.
Title: “I Am From…” Writing poetry about our own origins

Description by the leader:
During this session we will write poems in a defined form about where, and what, I am from, you are from, and we are from. This simple yet rich 5-initial-lines pattern of poem-making can lead one into deeper communion with Spirit, with an appreciation of the sacredness of each moment. I look forward to what we may create and then share out loud.

Maximum number of participants: sixteen

To the actual session: Bring blank paper and pencil, and your good selves!

Session 2: 3:30 – 5 pm Eastern
C. Alison Lohans will lead one of the three later sessions.
Title: Finding Poems in the “Now”

Description by the leader:
In this workshop we’ll play with crafting poems that come of “experiencing”. We’ll talk a bit about concrete images, as opposed to abstractions, and will attempt to stay in the immediate “now” of working with concretions. In some simple exercises, we’ll pay attention to tangible things around us, and within us. Freeing ourselves from the constraints of sentence structure, we’ll jot down beginnings of poems generated from “the experiential now”. In a relaxed environment, we’ll share our “beginnings of poems”, which can be completed later.

Maximum number of participants: Ten

To the actual session: Please bring writing implements: pencil or pen, and paper. Please ensure that you have some space to move around a bit!

D. Lynne Phillips will lead one of the three later sessions.
Title: Reading Poems about Trees and Nature

Description by the leader:
What poetry has captured your experiences with trees, wilderness, or nature? Bring your favorite poems to share. The Ojibway poet Richard Wagamese was caught by a “motion of the heart” where “you feel yourself a part of the great wheel of benevolent energy that is spinning around us all the time. This is what it means to be spiritual.”

Maximum number of participants: twelve

When registering, please send titles and authors of poems you’ll be bringing and, if possible, a source where others can find them to enjoy again. There are many websites with poems that can be found on the internet.

To the actual session, participants should come to the screen with 4 or 5 short poems by different authors, yourself included if you wish. Practice reading them aloud to the cat with clarity and expression.

F. Caroline Parry will lead one of the three later sessions.
Title: Worship sharing with poems which have been inspiring during the pandemic

Description by the leader:
Bring a poem or two that has had particular significance for you during the pandemic. The session will include time to read aloud each offering, perhaps twice, and sit together letting them each ripple over us.

Maximum number of participants: sixteen

Upon registering, you may give the title and author of the poem(s) you intend to share.

To the actual session: Bring the one or two poems that have had special meaning for you in the last 17 months.