Earlier this year Isabel mentioned she wanted to take some classes—music appreciation, dance, needlepoint…and poetry! I went online, found her a poetry workshop and decided to tag along with her while she attended a class at the Grotto in San Francisco. After all, how many people can say they took a poetry class with Isabel Allende? Well, let me tell you, it was pretty cool. One of the activities our teacher, Maw Shein Win, started us on was to hand out pages ripped from old copies of art magazines. She then told us to highlight or circle words or phrases that resonated with us. It was pretty interesting to see what we ended up with as we teased out seemingly random words and phrases and tied them together to create a poem.
Another cool tool we learned about is Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards published back in the ‘70s by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Each card features an aphorism intended to help musicians break creative blocks, and it turns out they can be used to spark ideas for poetry too. For instance, take the phrase: Don’t avoid what is easy. Now, try to write a poem based on that.
When I asked Isabel if I could share one of her poems on the blog, she told me (and I quote), “Dream on!” So, sorry about that. It seems she is not ready to show the world her poetry. For the record, I found her poetry lovely—very reminiscent of her early books Eva Luna and Stories of Eva Luna.
It will be fun to see where this new adventure takes her.