Poetry Project – Maya Pawley and Lauren Gunster

For this project, we were assigned the task of finding a way to uplift our community through the works of poetry. Brainstorming with my partner, we both shared the concern that with our current situation our healthcare workers must be feeling slightly more depressed or negative than usual. From this point on we decided that the object of our project should be to bring positivity to these amazing people’s lives. Luckily my dad is the owner of the restaurant OEB; a breakfast and brunch restaurant near the waterfront. OEB has partnered with “Feed the Frontlines” an organization that works with restaurants to donate meals to our healthcare workers. We decided that we were going to attach a poem to every donated meal. From here it was pretty easy to determine an overall theme for our poems since we knew it had to be something uplifting in hopes to brighten the day of these workers. Soon after, we designed the poems to look a little more appealing to the eye. We then printed out thirty copies of each handwritten poem to match the sixty meals that were going to be delivered to the workers. On Thursday we handed off our poems to the restaurant to be attached to the meal containers. From here all we could do was wait until we received a response. A few days later we were overjoyed with the responses. We were told that all of the nurses were quite emotional while reading our poems and that even some tears were shed. Hearing about how impactful this small movement was, made us motivated to continue on with the theme of this project in our daily lives. Doing whatever we can to help brighten the lives of the deserving people.

Lauren’s poem: 

For us

For us,

You risk your lives.

Day in, day out

You fight for humanity,

Battling this oh so powerful enemy.

 

For us,

You continue to push through,

Coming to our rescue.

Never giving up

Or letting your efforts letup.

 

For us,

You are the definition of selflessness.

A trait many desire, but very few will ever acquire.

The need for this kindness is now stronger than ever.

The willingness to help whoever.

 

For us,

You stand tall,

Always ready for the next patient to call.

Superman has got nothing on you

Being the real hero for us to look up too.

 

From us

To you

We thank you.

 

Maya’s poem: 

We Walk Together 

We stay sitting sweetly,

Resting in our homes-restless to go out.

We sit lingering, waiting for the gates to be unlocked

The fresh air to be released and our hugs to be de-virtualized

 

But then we realize, we aren’t bored, we’re confused.

Left wondering why we feel so useless?

Left fruitless, futile and deflated.

 

Then we remember.

We remember we are here for a reason.

Rather we remember we are here for you,

To support each step you take.

 

As you walk by ou picket fences,

A colourful speck gleams through the sparkled windows,

Our posters, hearts and hugs are gleaming through.

Our freshly cooked meals travelling towards your hospital doors,

And our tightly protected packages prepared to give you armour.

 

We can’t be there with you, beside you, helping you,

So, we support you and encourage you.

We struggle and strive to do our part,

Because in the end, we are a team fighting one single battle.

Video of our process:

Questions: 

What are some of the things that we can do to help those that have been impacted by a previous or current conflict?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of people all over the world are feeling the mental and physical drain of self-isolation. One of the main things we have lost is the ability to support one another through communication. Many people relied on the daily conversations and face to face contact they had with friends, family and neighbours to keep them positive and in a good mental state. When this got taken away, many people spiralled into sadness, having to live without any other human contact. A way to fill this lost part of people’s lives is through the power of words. Reading the writing of someone who is also suffering through the same conflict can have a huge impact on a person’s well-being. Just knowing that they are not alone, and many others are feeling the same type of negativity or discouragement. This is why this project was so important to us. If we were given the ability to uplift someone’s day or thoughts, we knew we wanted to help and support as many people as we could.

How and why we made the choices we did?

Ultimately, we decided to focus on uplifting the frontline workers because of the work they were doing for our wellbeing and safety. These workers are risking their lives and lives of their loved ones for the health of our country. While writing our poems we knew we wanted to stick to the themes of uplifting and appreciation in hopes of having the greatest positive impact on these workers. We chose to deliver our poems alongside OEB’s meals because it was the safest and most efficient option. After receiving responses from our poems, we were overjoyed with happiness that we were able to make this difference in these people’s lives.

What is the message we are trying to get across?

 The message we were trying to get across to the workers was appreciation. We wanted them to know how thankful we were for them and that the work they were doing wasn’t going unnoticed. Our main goal was for them to have a sense of happiness and honour after reading our poems.  We hoped that these poems were something they could hold onto and read whenever they were feeling discouraged or sad, as a reminder of the amazing people they are.

What did you do to try and persuade the audience to agree with your position?

Our position within our poems was that the health care workers deserve our support while they risk their lives to help us. In the poem “We Walk Together” we reference how many elementary school kids have been putting hearts in their windows and how we have tried our best to acknowledge the efforts of our frontline workers. This poem also references the feeling of being stuck inside. While we may feel bored, we know it is for the better while battling the spread of Covid-19. In the Poem “For you” it references a quality that only some have. It takes true courage to risk something of value to you to help others and we believe that health care workers have taken a true risk to help with this pandemic. Using these examples that almost all of us see in our everyday lives we’ve developed a connection with our readers in referencing something that directly resonates with them. We are all going through the struggle together and these poems show how we can grow together by encouraging those who are trying to protect us.

Writing on the Wall by Celia Rees – Infographic

Below is my Infographic on the short story “Writing on the Wall” by Celia Rees.

Below is also the link: https://create.piktochart.com/output/43988222-writing-on-the-wall-celia-rees-by-maya-pawley

(Double click to see larger)

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