I am happy to be surrounded by creative and talented people, who have lots of interests and ideas for spending their free time. That’s why I was not at all surprised when during lunchtime in the working kitchen some of my colleagues asked me about the possibility of organizing a day of Poetry in the office. I was not surprised, that’s true, but I was not quite aware of how to organize it, in what way to do it and who can assist me. We came up with decision in September 2013, but were ready to realize the idea only a year ago, in April 2014. As I have promised my today’s post is about Poetry Day.
From the very beginning, when we came across the idea, I decided not just give an opportunity to recite favourite poems, but make up a story out of this idea and write a worthwhile scenario. (It was written in Russian, so there’s no use in posting it here, but just in case you are interested, let me know). My number one idea was to let people choose poems themselves, whether in Russian or in English. We had too many volunteers to contribute to Poetry Day, and I made up my mind to let all of them participate. In this case we found partners who were willing to recite the same poem, but in different languages.
The first part was devoted to ancient English poetry. It is a wonderful thing, that so many well-known poems for children are originally English. We all remember ‘Three Little Kittens’ or ‘The House that Jack Built’, translated by Soviet poet S.Y. Marshak and other outstanding poets. Some of the poems came from one more famous book ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’, the thing I love very much, personally. Participants recited poems in English, then with their Russian translations.
As for the second part, we decided to include William Shakespeare. No doubt, this poet is somehow the symbol of English poetry. We also included some biography data about him and one of the participants read it aloud to the audience. Moreover, we used a projector and a simply media player, so we were well-equipped enough to show the portraits of poets accompanied by musical plays. After biography note the participant recited Sonnet with English translation.
Taking into consideration the English Poetry as it is, we could not forget about Robert Burns and William Wordsworth as famous poets, too. The third part was devoted to their poems with Russian and English translations.
Talking about poetry in the framework of the Russian language we could not help mentioning great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. With his bio data presented by the participants, we tried to concentrate on his outstanding poem ‘Eugine Onegin’ and the history of its translations into the English language. During the preparation stage we succeeded to find out an interesting fact: there are more than 15 famous translations of ‘Eugine Onegin’. This part of the Day was presented perfectly.
I believe, if an English teacher once decides to organize Poetry Day with his students, he might organize it in a different way, and he will be blessed with it. I remember a sense of creativity during preparation stages and during the Day itself, though they were not difficult to achieve. I would be delighted to know what you think about the idea of Poetry Day. Have you ever organized anything like that? Would you love to?
Thanks for reading! Hope to hear from you soon!