An update from our sixty-seventh Writing Workshop
A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, June 4th, plus some of the output published below
In this workshop, students focused on the rhythm and sound of their writing and looked to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Klingon poetry, and J. R. R. Tolkien's Elvish languages for inspiration. William introduced the concept of anaphora, the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses, as a way to add rhythm to writing. Similarly, he showed how assonance, consonance, and alliteration can be used for the same purpose. As a tongue-loosening mini-challenge, William prompted students to let go of meaning and grammar and just focus on sounds, whether they be flowing, not flowing, rhythmic, or chaotic.
The Challenge: Let the words flow with rhythm and pattern. Keep your mind open, read aloud to yourself. Be exuberant!
The Participants: Benedetta, Delight, Lena, Pearl, John, Madisen, Peri, Anya, Agatha, Jolene, Aimee, Eric, Amelia, Nysa, Aditi, Advika, Yueling, Elbert, Sally, Liam
Peri Gordon, 12
Don't Be Afraid
Don’t be afraid and come with me.
Don’t be afraid and do as I do.
Don’t be afraid, and know that you are in good hands.
Relax and breathe.
Relax and smile.
Smile and don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid and face down your fears.
Don’t be afraid and face down your foes.
Don’t be afraid, and don’t forget my words.
One and the same are your fears and your foes.
One and the same are my values and yours.
Smile and don’t be afraid.
Be the cocoocha
Of our shetoocha
No need for globeil or flitchak or thuba
Hoblosochey, the war cry of the day
Resounds from the hills and the poikamarey
Hee, shee, don’t be a clee!
Awake and hoolachoo, we will rise from the glub
And take back the gley that they left in the shub!
Layers of Say-ers
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your shoe
Let down your bracelet
Your necklace too
But never you dare
Let down your hair
For care I do not
Cried the boy to the girl
As she told him to help
On a hot summer day
In a hot, stuffy room
With a hot-headed boy
And a hot-headed girl
And a hot hair curler
And a hot stove
And wet, salty sweat pouring down their backs
And wet, salty tears coating their faces
And wet, salty water crashing against the house
Flooding their space and flooding their minds
And then all was cold
And the cold, wet room
With the cold-hearted girl
And the cold-hearted boy
And a cold glass of water
And a lifetime of cold smiles
Was no more
Said the man to the kids
As he taught them to care
Warm, cool, and just right
And just right was the mood
And just right was the temperature
And just right was the time for the kids to grow up
Then stress crashed down upon them
Like weights on their backs
Weights on their arms
Weights on their legs
Pinning, and trapping, never to escape
Never to see the sunny day
For death and despair had darkened their vision
With a cumulonimbus perspective
And years went by in weeks for a while
And then they were no more
Said the fox to the ant
As he taught how to block
All the stress and dark thoughts and the fear and whatnot
“Just be free,” said the fox
“Just give in to the bliss and think sesa and fosa and shandy and clist”
And the ant and the fox went along hand in hand
Wrote the author
As the arc of her story did land
Liam Hancock, 14
“Pish-posh,” Penelope pressed playfully, picking and pickling powerfully pickled pickles per pound. “This simply won’t do,” proclaimed Penelope. “These pickles are turning blue and practically stew! A picking of pickles is long overdue!” And so Penelope penned a personal paper to the Pickling People’s Prefect, professional pickler Peter Piper, who previously perfectly picked a peck of plenty pickled peppers in the Pre-Pickle-Picking Period. Peter Piper penned a paper back to Penelope, but she was too preoccupied with her percolating pickles to pick up his paper and pen a paper back to Peter Piper. “Oh, dear,” Penelope said sadly, sunken in despair when she turned around after tending to her pickles and saw the letter waiting there. “It’s much too late to write back now!” She wiped the sweat from off her brow, and she turned to go and sit back down, but her pickles were practically pungent and Penelope figured that the Pickling People’s Prosecutor had done it. And so, feeling as if she was perpetually penning one paper or another, Penelope penned one last paper to the Pickling People’s Prosecutor, Percy Presto, and he promptly penned a paper in response, proclaiming that all pickles in the providence had been put to rest, and that all pickle-picking was to be promptly replaced by pepperoni packing plants. Penelope was appalled, and so she packed her pickles and paraded to the Pepperoni Providence and planted her pickles beside the pepperoni plants. Soon enough, a garden of gherkins had grown just beside the pepperoni plant, and every morning the pepperoni personnel purchased a peck of pickles and pickled peppers. The procession of pepperoni personnel purchasing Penelope’s peppers became so prolonged that very few were able to get to work before the day was done, and the pepperoni plants of the Percy Presto’s providence began to perform poorly, penny-pinching just to produce enough pepperoni to stay afloat. “Pish-posh,” Percy pressed, perceiving a powerful privation of pepperoni personnel. “This simply won’t do! Perhaps due to that proud Penelope, our pepperonis are turning blue and practically stew! A planting of pepperonis is long overdue!”