As Poetry Comes to A Close

My experience here at Al-Bustan has been incredible so far! Unfortunately, we have one day left in a poetry class. I’ll be hard at work on an anthology once we wrap up class tomorrow but in the meantime here is some of the work the classes have been creating so far.

In Group A James wrote the following poem after we read “In This World”:
No, and yes
The world is white and black
Front and back
Full of opposites
Everything and nothing
Those who talk and those who sing
Those who are proud
And those who are blushing
Everything is opposites
And so are you.

Sophie finished this acrostic poem today in class after we discussed what we had learned so far about Lebanon:
Lebanon is a place
everyone would like
but the civil war was
all over Lebanon for 15 years
now it is peaceful like
olive trees
now it’s the end of this poem

After concluding our discussion on what we had learned about Lebanon so far Group B was put to the test today with free writes and responded brilliantly. One of the results was this beautiful poem by Laila:
Orange blossom
Smells nice
It almost smells like
fresh air,
sweeter though
It makes me wonder
what is happening
so far away
where the oranges grow
in Lebanon

Mariam also wrote this wonderful poem:
Lebanon in my memories
As I walk on your shores…
As I hike on your mountains…
I remember the days where we
used to play…
the way your branches
swing out like arms from cedars…
the way your waves sound
like a conversation…
Today it is all gone
as I sit on my window
reading my diary scrawling
through memories
and wondering…
where did these days go??

Finally, Group C was given a similar task and had wonderful poems to show for their work. One of those results was this poem by Isabel:
I’ve never been
I’ve never seen
I’ve never met

I don’t know
and maybe
I won’t know
But I’ve heard
it is the place that
The orange trees blossom
and the olive trees twist
and the mulberries ripen
I’ve heard it’s where
the mountains are tall
and the valley is low
and the cedar trees grow
maybe one day I’ll know
if I ever go
to visit the
place where
The orange trees blossom
and the olive trees twist
and the mulberries ripen
and the mountains are tall
and the valley is low
and the cedar trees grow

Adam also took a humble outsider approach to his poem:
See You Soon
I’ve never glimpsed your walls,
Or felt the touch of your breeze.
I’ve never heard your deep breaths, exhausted
From the scars and effort of a past war.
I’ve never sensed your subtle wording,
Hinting for me to come to visit for a while.
I’ve never shared your pain and pride,
Sympathy with little empathy.
But I know your heart is strong;
Your resilience, ever
I know you’re bouncing back,
And building a community new.
Rising to the top,
I’ll follow you.

So one day, I’ll glimpse your walls.
I’ll feel your touch,
Hear your breaths.
Come in sync with your pulse,
And lay a hand on your shoulder.
I’ll see you soon.

It was tough to choose just a few of the great poems the groups have been creating but finally, I wanted to share this poem by Jad:
Standing tall
From Beirut
to Tripoli and Saida,
Cultures come together
and religions live together.
From the snow-covered
Mountains, to the low
Through war and conflict,
Lebanon still is

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