IMPROVISATIONAL POETRY

Improvisational poetry is the art of writing in poetic form the first thing that comes to our mind.

It’s about capturing that first impulse and writing it down on whatever is available or reciting it in the moment.

It’s possibly one of the highest personal forms of creativity that we use every day when we converse face to face with others.

Improvisational poetry is just one of the many improvisational art forms that stands tall amongst many others, such as, improvisational visual arts, i.e., painting, photography, sculpturing; improvisational eating, dressing, Love making, dance and music.

When improvisational dance and music are combined with improvisational reciting, it becomes a festival of the sub-conscious! …but more about that later.

This improvisational form of writing, poetic reciting, or just plain composing in any medium, requires a method that is able to capture and highlight, in real time, the individual’s subconscious. This is said to be highly therapeutic. In today’s world of constant external stimulation, this approach of creative expression offers an opportunity for an interesting look at what’s happening just below one’s conscious thoughts! This form of writing also offers the opportunity to build trust in one’s ideas; and in the form of reciting. It helps to build confidence in one’s ability to verbally share unedited ideas amongst a group of listeners, an individual, or by themselves…and that’s huge!

This type of writing improvisationally can work well in the growth and development of youth in the area of self-esteem building. Whenever a young person, or older person for that matter, has the an opportunity to share and celebrate one’s own ideas, as well as the ideas of others, it helps to give that individual a sense of value, thus nurturing a sense of maturity that grows in the direction of a deeper understanding of themselves and a tolerance of the different world around them.

When improvisational writing, i.e., poetry and reciting, are combined with improvisational music, and dance, the results can be a re-generation of the collective imagination for people who have been fossilized in an artless spoon-fed society. The combination of these three major art forms in presentation together can create such a tremendous energy that involves hearing, imagining and seeing, that the individual who is fortunate enough to experience that energy will be transformed in a positive way whether they’re aware of it or not!

Methods:

Here is a possible method that can be used as a workshop exercise.

  1. The facilitator should write a word or a fragment of a sentence on a 2×3″ catalog card, and explain before handing out to each participant that they are not to look at what’s written on the card until they are said to do so.
  2. The facilitator will explain while handing out the cards that they will be given exactly 3 minutes to write a poem using the word(s) on the card, and they are to write the first thing that comes to their mind, even if it doesn’t make sense…and do not edit!
  3. Start the exercise, then collect the cards after exactly three minutes.
  4. Shuffle the cards, then hand the cards back to the participants, then call on each to read the card that they received, making sure that it’s not the card they had written on.

 

Additional educational programs may be presented by group members. Steve Cohn presents an improvisational workshop using advanced techniques for piano, Japanese shakuhachi and/or non-Western musical instruments. Cohn is a published composer and recording artist with more than 30 years’ teaching experience: master classes, workshops, and private instruction in jazz,  improvisational  and classical piano, shakuhachi (bamboo) flute, conga drums, and other international instruments.

         Sifu Charles Fertal has studied martial arts for an extended period of time and is now a Sifu, “an educator for the past twenty years teaching kung fu, Tai Chi, Zen meditation, piano and drums.” He is also prepared to provide instruction in these areas.

Michael Moss would concentrate on composition of modern music of the 21st century including jazz and world music. Moss can provide lecture-demonstrations on the integration of the sax, clarinet, flute, and non-western instruments into jazz rhythm sections.

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