A few weeks ago I used it as the starting point for a poetry workshop at St Chad's summer school. It was an opportunity to reflect on life and identity, as well as to learn some new English vocabulary along the way. With both a great desire to learn and a great willingness to share, a disparate group of people from around the world came together to create something beautiful.
Sometimes with very little English, but always with a great deal of honesty, the workshop proved to be about more than just writing: it became a place for the expression of pains and joys, of hopes and fears, of normal, everyday experiences and of horrors I can't begin to imagine. But after collecting ideas, sharing, developing and refining them, it culminated in the writing of a poem together.
I think the final result deserves an audience beyond that group who gathered one morning in July so I am sharing it here.
I can love in many, many different ways
I can dance when the music plays
I can help people who need me and show that I care
I can live my own life in a place of fresh air
I will learn always, every day, every time, forever until death
I will know about love, about life, about how the world works
I will share ideas for a better future together
I will go to new places and change my life
I am sometimes lost but I hope to be found
I am always surprised by the joy of life!