To kick off the Wednesday Workshop Series at the CYC, local poets KFG and Dani Golisch led a session on the use of a Patronus (from the world of Harry Potter) in poetry. High school students gathered together to learn this creative approach to writing a poem.
In the Harry Potter series, Harry faced foul creatures known as Dementors, which drain peace out of the air around them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. Perhaps the only defense against a Dementor is the Patronus Charm, which is a magical force that takes the form of a unique animal, depending on the witch or wizard who casts the spell. Harry’s Patronus, for example, took the form of a stag.
“To create his Patronus, Harry Potter would focus on a memory,” KFG said. “The memory didn’t have to necessarily be good or bad; it just had to provide him with hope in his time of despair.”
The students set out to recall memories that evoke hope for them, and then figured out what animal might personify that experience. Finally, students wrote poems reflecting on the hopeful memories.
“My Patronus is a mustang,” Dani said. “It can run if it has to, or it can stand and fight. That’s what I learned from my experience.”
Students learned to conjure memories to give them hope for their times of despair.
“A Patronus,” said KFG, “is the embodiment of hope.”
The workshop set the stage for a cathartic evening at the CYC, as students allowed themselves to hold onto hope and, hopefully, gained the skills to cast the Dementors out of their lives.
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