Performance Poets Swing by SMUS

Montreal poets Carolyn Souaid and Endre Farkas came to SMUS last week to share their work with our Writing 12 students. The campus café, the Daily Grind, hosted the first SMUS Intimate Evening with Poetry, which Mr. Terence Young hopes to make a regular event.

Five students kicked off the night by reading their own work, which touched on many of the themes contained in the selection read by the visiting poets, including violence and longing. Both read numerous poems, some eliciting laughter from the crowd and some, with particularly visceral imagery, making the students squirm. A particular hit was Endre Farkas’ poem on Canada’s history and confused identity.

As a finale, the two poets did a performance piece of poetry, read in overlapping segments with each other, based on the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Student then had the opportunity to ask questions about how poetry can be performance art and how it can be written in collaboration. Guest Endre Farkas mentioned Grade 12 student Kaeleigh Fletcher’s poem as work that touched on one of the same ideas in the Lebanon/Israel piece, which is how children view war.

Bang Bangby Kaeleigh Fletcher

Children construct
games,
talk about
war as a
plaything,
like Facebook,
a new phenomenon,
high-tech and
shiny,
running through
a labyrinth-
neon city
with candy guns,
peals of
laughter,
proclaiming

BANG BANG YOU’RE DEAD

while the victim
collapses,
letting out a low
sob,
jumping up
resurrected,
a zombie soldier now,
off to hunt the enemy
down bare streets that
double as a warzone,
cars as tanks,
skytrains as battleships . . .

But what if it
were real?

Not a game,
no candy guns,
no zombie soldiers,
just death,
bodies lining streets,
decomposing,
putrid,
their sightless eyes saying
welcome.

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