Interpreting Poetry Through the Visual and Performing Arts ☆

| April 14, 2011

It has been said that poetry is meant to be performed. When we deliver poems out loud, to an audience, they take on a whole new life. The energy and emotion that a live poem exudes is altogether different than that of a poem read silently to oneself.

As one of the Symposium’s Thursday evening experiential workshops, “Interpreting Poetry Through the Visual and Performing Arts” will engage participants in bringing poems from the page to life.

Participants will learn how to use the arts in interpreting literature and elicit student performances of their interpretations. Pat Zumhagen, a lecturer in TC’s English Education department, will facilitate the workshop, sharing with attendees the process by which she has enabled students to interpret and perform poetry. The process combines graphics, video, slides, and the participation of the audience in interpreting the literature through a  chosen art form, all of which will culminate in a performance.

A central idea behind Prof. Zumhagen’s process stems from William Faulkner’s notion of encouraging the reader to become a partner with the author in the creative endeavor. Referring to a poem by Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” Faulkner said,

“When a reader has read all these thirteen ways of looking at the blackbird, then, he has his own fourteenth image of that blackbird, which I would like to think is the truth.”

This workshop will explore that “fourteenth image,” the individual’s interpretation, inimitable and singular.

“Interpreting Poetry Through the Visual and Performing Arts” will take place from 7-9pm on Thursday, April 28th.

Register for the Symposium here.