Poets in Nigeria (PIN), an association of poem writers, on Tuesday said that it would scale up the interests of primary and secondary school pupils in writing and reading poetry.
Eriata Oribhobor, PIN’s President, told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos that this would improve pupils’ consciousness in that aspect of entertainment and promote cultural development.
“Young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and going to them in schools will present a perfect moment to meet them and coach them on how poetry is written and delivered at occasions,” Oribhobor said.
He pointed out that anyone could become a poet, “so long as you can string together words and create something interesting and vivid.
“Anyone who has interest in poetry must be able to put together brilliant and fascinating words to captivate people.
“Being a poet is a lifelong process; as it takes a lot of skills and practice.
“Anyone can be a poet; that is why we want to start grooming those young ones to do writing exercises in poetry,’’ he said.
Oribhobor said that the association would also want to use poetry to inspire the young people to comment on and analyse happenings within their environments and observe those close to them.
“Then we will ask them to pick a specific theme or idea and chose a poetic form for it after they would have read works of other poets.
“A poem can start as a snippet, a line or two that come out of nowhere or an image they can get out of their head and develop it,’’ he said.
The poet expressed the conviction that “since the students do write compositions in schools, so many of them will be interested in poetry”.
“We will want them to begin with love, hate, describing something or someone, responding to something and their environments,’’ he said.
He described poetry as an important aspect of the society because it helps “us to appreciate the world around us.
“Poetry’s strength lies in its ability to shed a side way light on the world, and the truth sneaks up on us and it teaches us how to live.
“Those who want to do theatre arts and become songwriters can easily fit into that; because they must have collections of words that express an idea or emotions that often use imagery and metaphor,’’ he said.
The poet said that poetry used to come in many different forms.
“There are no rules; the difference between each type is based on format, rhyme and subject matter.
“With enough writing and reading and listening to yourself; you will find authenticity in your own voice,’’ he said.
He said that the association has been organising annual literary events in tertiary institutions, tagged: “Nigerian Student Prize’’ since 2016.
He said that this year, PIN partnered with Jordan Hill Organisation to promote poetry and literature in primary schools with children of ages six and seven doing spoken words.