Salutations, fellow writers and poets!
At our first meeting of the semester, we were honored to have the lovely poet Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley leading a workshop on the infamous love poem. Dr. Wesley hails from Monrovia, Liberia and is a Professor at Penn State Altoona.
Being a well published and award winning poet, Wesley explained that love poems are the hardest to write. "Why?” you ask? You may remember writing poems as a child: writing little adorable poems about your mom for mother's day or about your pet goldfish, "Mr. Tickles". Back then, it was easy to bare all your feelings but now you're older, wiser and most likely have fallen in love before. Things are much different now and you’re more guarded, not wanting your heart to be broken. But Wesley tells us that "the heart is meant to be broken over and over again." Isn't that comforting?
In the workshop, Dr. Wesley handed out a packet of all types love poems from different poets such as William Carlos Williams, Syl Cheney-Coker, Robert Desnos, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and more. Allowing us to read our favorites out loud, we were able to see love poems in a different light from all the angles a love poem can be written Who knew love poems could be bitter and angry?! Wesley tell us that good love poems stray from the sentimental feelings we wrote as children and lovesick high schoolers and focuses on the more concrete things or imagery that actually express love.
The workshop taught us that love can be concrete. Love is often described as abstract since its a feeling that seemingly can't be seen. The simple fact that love can be destroyed proves that love is concrete and can be shown through imagery and symbols. Dr. Wesley gave a great example from one of her students thinking of his mother meeting him at the bus stop and giving him a big hug. Later when they would get to their home, there would be a tall glass of milk and a big chocolate chip cookie waiting for him. As childish as it may seem, that glass of milk and chocolate chip cookie was an image of his mother's care and love to always treat him to a snack after a long day at school. That's love.
3 AM society then got the chance to write and read aloud our own love poems. With many different images of love and unique angles of writing about how we feel about love, the workshop was lively and lovely altogether.
We'd like to give big thanks to Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley for coming down to see us and spreading the love! We'd also like to thank the Center for Creative Writing for setting up the Workshop for us. For anyone interested in reading Dr. Wesley's poetry and other work feel free to visit her website.
3 AM Society