Poems from pictures

Picture1I was  disappointed not to be able to go to the Palestine Expo which took place at the Queen Elizabeth centre in the heart of London, this weekend. This was a huge event, expected to be attended by up to 10.000 people, celebrating Palestinian culture including music, cookery, storytelling and other spoken word events. I’d planned to go but at the last minute something came up and I couldn’t make it. I hope it was a huge success.

 

So, talking of Palestinian culture, here is a painting by the 17 year old Palestinian artist, Malak Mattar. I used this painting for the poetry writing competition that I launched in my regular column for IATEFL voices magazine. It was open to young learners of English anywhere in the world and the task was to write a poem inspired by the painting of maximum 50 words. Unfortunately there wasn’t space in my column to publish all of the entries so I’m publishing them all here instead (in no particular order). I hope you enjoy them and if, like me and all the entrants, you feel inspired by this painting then please feel free to write your own poem in the comments below.

1) Moon girl (by Natalia Tamas, Hungary)

Everyone looks at her like a Bright Star
She sits on a furry chair
Like she is a beauty of art
She flicks her hair which twisted in the air
She wants to be a person like you
But everyone knows that she is called the Moon.

………………………………………………………………………………

2) Mission impossible (by Artemis Kyriakou and Ioustina Louzi -Greece)

I paid for the blood
I painted “freedom and peace”
Was it all useless?

……………………………………………..

3) (by Waed al Sufi, Gaza)

When the moon appears
We sit to read
When the sky is black we read a lot of stories
When the moon appears we read and read
Under the sky we read and read

———————————————————————————————–

4) Sleepless night (by Enachescu Octavia – Romania)

The sun has said its final goodbye
Now a lone light in the night sky.
Two pale blue eyes shining in wonder
Waiting for sleep to finally find her.
A raven haired beauty, alone in the night
A single book to save her till daylight. 

……………………………………………………………………………

5)  (by Nasam Younis, Gaza)

I can see moon and the light
One day I’m go to fly
One day when heaven calls my name
One day I go to fly away
One day I will see your eyes again
I lay down and close my eyes at night
I can see moon and the light

———————————————————————————————–

6) Twilight’s colors (by Enachescu Octavia – Romania)

The moon is shining oh so bright
It’s wonder lighting up the night.
For a lonely girl for who to rewrite
Her story, once painted black and white
Now in the colours of twilight. 

…………………………………………………………………………………

7) A lonely angel (by Enachescu Octavia – Romania)

A lonely girl, wishing in the night
Her eyes shining in the moonlight,
A single book forgotten in her hand.
She’s dreaming they would reunite,
Soon, in a city of light.
For it was love at first sight,
Now a lonely princess, waiting for her knight. 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

8) A hope for mankind (by Enachescu Octavia – Romania)

The moon is lighting up her eyes
As the last ray of sunlight dies.
Her smile and heart are shining bright
Hoping that she could rewrite
A word filled with hate and lies. 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

9) Madam Rose’s lecture (by Canache Ioana-Andreea, Romania)

Madam Rose’s reading a book
Under white moon’s clear look.
Madam Rose reads during the night
About brave knights who fight!
Madam Rose’s reflecting deeply
About time passing inevitably.
About knights’ flashing sharp swords
Turning into society’s venomous words!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

10) (by Canache Ioana-Andreea, Romania)

Sparkly black pearls wander through the galaxy,
Maybe they belong up there.
She doesn’t even know why,
But her eyes shine like stars,
Will her beauty wilt like roses,
Will her eyes die when Sun rises?
Beautiful Anastasie with strings of darkness flowing as her hair..
She reads a novel down the stairs.

————————————————————————————————–

11) A different world (by Petra Romana, Romania)

A book is a window to a different place
Where your mind can also wander and create
Once you open it there’s no turning back
It will keep you awake and trapped
Inside a world of beautiful and new
Where everything is both lovely and cruel
Words that you read from a book

————————————————————————————————–

12) (by Feda Al Sufi, Gaza) 

Under the clear sky,
luminous stars and light moon sat a girl,
a beautiful girl, reading a book to learn and educate to be great to get her freedom
Under the moon, sat a girl

—————————————————————————————————
13) (by Ghaidau Tayseer Abu, Gaza)

As if the book in your hands shines with the glint of your eyes too dim
I will make reading a language to shout to all of Palestine
I will look at the moon for nights and days until I remember the spectrum that passed it

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Poems from pictures

    1. Thanks Lucy. I hope that many of the children who wrote them will have seen your comment here. At the moment Gaza is experiencing very bad power cuts – 20 hours a day in many places – which is causing extreme hardship and increased risk to health for people who live there. When I look at this picture now and read all the poems that go with it, they all seem to take on an extra significance because of this. Gaza is an amazing place. Despite all the restrictions placed on movement, and on access to basic necessities, there is a huge thirst for learning and a longing to reach out to the world. I feel this in all the children we work with through the Hands Up Project, and for me this is powerfully portrayed in both the poems and in Malak’s painting.

      Like

      1. That’s perfectly what’s going on , sadly, in Gaza.
        Indeed Gaza is a amazing place but it’s really difficult to live bc of what’s happening. I didn’t have electricity for two days now and it was hard.

        Like

  1. Hi Mr Nick. Thanks for the post. The poems are really fantastic . Thanks for your sincere feelings towards Gazans people. We always say in Arabic that genius people are born from the womb of suffering and a great example of that is Malak who had drawn this picture ;she got the second rank over Gaza area in the general secondary school “tawjihi”. So congrats to Malak on her success and to the hands up project to have Malak as a member.
    Also ,congratulations to the young poets who have written those simple and expressive poems

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s