Poetry Project

How can poetry affect an community ?

In our English class, we were asked to reflect on the current situation of the world with the global pandemic and how we might use poetry to uplift a community? With that question, we as a class thought that sharing poems with the community is a great way to uplift the spirits of everyone. In this project, I decided to focus my theme of the poems on hope and our ability to get through rough times. I wrote one of the poems to share with the community and the other one I choose is an excerpt from To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donoghue.


Here are the two poems:

Little Boat By Mackenzie Clarke

There are waves crashing into your sides.
Pushing you far and far away.
Now as you crave for your chatty guide,
Isolation fills your airway.

A thick layer of clouds blankets the sky.
Sailor, has the sea made you lost?
Use your headlights and try to search nearby.
Your fear will shortly defrost.

Hear the calls from friendly fish
Their splashes wash away the worries from today.
You go onwards makes a swish.
Then a light blinds you, coming from the bay.

The bright beacon leads you home.
The voyage might be very long,
And the waves cover you in foam
But do not lose this hope song.

Sailor, you might feel completely alone,
But in reality, there are thousands of little boats
All being guided to the shores of stone.
The light is one giant preserver keeping us afloat.


Excerpt from To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donoghue

This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning

How I choose to share my poems with the community?

One of the things that I have been doing a lot in quarantine is taking walks on trails and trying to spend more time in the outdoors. I have noticed that a lot of other people have been doing this as well. And on a lot of the local trails by my house, people have been placing painted rocks to make people smile. So I want to do something similar in hopes to mimic the same feeling the rocks are giving to people in the community. I decided that I would create art with the poems and then put them in places that people could see in my neighbourhood. Such as on the trails by my house and our community mailboxes. For my poem, I wrote out the poem in a scene at sea with a little boat. And the other poem was with a picture of the outdoors.

A Picture of the Poem Art for Little Boat:

A Picture of the Poem Art for the Excerpt from To Bless the Space Between Us:

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

In most conflicts, the people who are affected are put in a lot of metal and physical drain. In the case of the current pandemic, this strain comes from worry and fear. If it is caused by having to self-isolation, being away from loved ones, the stress for the future, being overwhelmed by the news and the many more reason why. To try to help relieve this stress, there is a big need for hope and good spirits. As well as the solidarity for the people who are helping in this conflict such as the healthcare workers. So I think the use of sharing poetry is a great way to bring joy and uplift a community. As it allows people to connect to something even if they aren’t all seeing it at the same time.

How and why I made the chocies I did?

I made the choice to share my poetry as I had inspiration from my mom always talking and showing pictures to our family of the painted rocks from the trails. I think that by putting up my poem art on trails and on our community shared mailboxes than more people will be brought joy and hope. And it gives people the ability to connect with something and share it with others. I also made the choices I did to hope to bring hope and the fact that we will get through this in the end. There are bright days in the future.

What is the message I am trying to get across?

The overall message that I am trying to get across is my theme of the poems; hope and a promising future. In both the poems, there is talk about how even though it might be rough today that in the future things will be better. As when as a sense of togetherness.

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

The way I hoped to persuade the audience was by first giving them something to connect with. In both poems, the fact that the current times are difficult and that it is ok to be a bit scared. Then it slowly showed the audience how we will be able to get to better days and that we are all in it together.


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