Poetry Beyond Escapism

People have stories to share, some share and some don’t. Poetry is one way of sharing those stories. Powerful hard hitting imagery captured with words captivated the audience’s attention, making them visualize and almost feel the poet’s emotions.

Ms. Rashmi Gurung Shrestha performing her poem.

“Words String Together: a Slam Poetry session” was conducted by Ms. Nasala Chitrakar, a faculty at Thames, with the support of Word Warriors and students of Thames. She has been working on poetry and traveling around Nepal providing various introductory workshops to introduce the art form and to work on the craft. The poetry session was a part of the Nepal Social Work Symposium held at Thames International College on 27th May, 2019. She started the session with a recitation of one of her poems, which the audience found very inspirational. Talking about her introduction to poetry, Ms. Chitrakar said that she found the act of creating art cathartic and that poetry was more than just an escape for her. Adding a little humor she said, “Poets just needs an excuse to write.”

It was informed that prior to preparation, a workshop for 3 days had been conducted before the final event where many participated but only 4 were selected to perform the spoken word poetry on the main session “Words String Together”. She added that it was a mere coincidence that all the participants were female turning the set “unintentionally feminist”.

Ms. Nasala Chitrakar performing her poem.

The four participants were namely Asmika Subedi, Roshani Tripathi, Krizan Khawas and Rashmi Shrestha, all students of Thames. The work that they portrayed were immensely powerful as one in the audience could feel their passion and love for poetry. The essence of this session was to show the power of words elevated through one’s emotions.

Altogether the session was an outlet for rookie poets working on their craft. The event was both very intense and emotional as it was filled with their stories dealing with sexual assault, physical violence, and loneliness. Along with Ms. Chitrakar and the rookie poets, the audience also realized that females no matter the age group they fall in have all experienced some sort of sexual harassment at least once in their lifetime.

In an interview after the session, when asked about the thing that surprised her during the poetry session, Ms. Chitrakar replied that she was amazed to see the effort students put into their poems, and that the ones who were rather inattentive in her class were the most dedicated while creating poetry. Adding to this she said, “What is it about a classroom setting that is failing to engage them in that level?” She says setting does make a difference.

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