EE Cummings wrote of "our touching hearts loving one another." Asking us to notice the world around us, he wrote about "the convulsed orange inch of moon/perching on this silver minute of evening."
From his heart, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote dozens of odes. He praised a simple onion for its luminous "beauty formed/petal by petal" and described a hummingbird as "a tiny animated lightning flash." In contrast to these well-known lyrical poets of the 1900s, current U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan writes short poems packed with meaning. She asks in one, "How can/you tell/at the start/what you/can give away/and what/you must hold/to your heart?"
In writer Beth Paulson’s “Write Your Heart” poetry workshop in Ridgway on Feb. 6, students will read together and discuss poems that speak to the heart. They will also learn and practice together some ways to tap into their own deep feelings and unique experiences, writing in the simple, clear language of the lyric poem. The three-hour class will culminate in a sharing of work among the group.
“When we write from the heart about the people, places, and events we know well, we do our best writing because it is honest,” says Paulson. “Then we can put our energy and imagination to work to tell others about the sunset we saw, the symphony we heard, the child we held in our arms."
Paulson taught college writing for over twenty years at California State University Los Angeles and now lives near Ouray, where she teaches writing and creativity workshops. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and her work is included in anthologies published by Houghton Mifflin Press and University of Texas Press. She has two published collections of poems, The Truth About Thunder (2001) and The Company of Trees (2004), as well as a CD of nature poetry, By Stone By Water.
Paulson’s work was nominated for 2007 and 2009 Pushcart Prizes. Her new collection Wild Raspberries was published by Plain View Press in 2009 and is up for the 2010 Colorado Book Award for Poetry.
Weehawken Creative Arts’ Write Your Heart poetry workshop takes place Saturday, Feb. 6, 9 a.m.-noon in Ridgway. The class is open to ages teen through adult and is for all levels of writers and poets. Cost is $50 for Weehawken members and $55 for nonmembers if enrolled by Feb. 1, after which tuition goes up by $5.
More information on this and other Weehawken classes go to weehawkenarts.org or call 970/318-0150.