Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Poetry as a path to freedom

Poetry as a path to freedom

Writing a poem is a difficult exercise at a number of levels, especially for those with little education who can hardly read and write. But when you see faces filled with pride after a public reading of their work, you realize that some efforts are richly rewarded.

It was in the context of a poetry workshop at the community organization COMSEP in Trois-Rivières, where I was one of the facilitators, that I became aware of this. The workshop was a wonderful opportunity to hear things that were at times painful, but true and profound. I like taking part in this yearning for freedom, through words.

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As part of the Trois-Rivières poetry festival, three participants at the awareness workshop read their work in public. Fr. Guylain Prince (centre) was one of the workshop facilitators. Left to right: Bruno, Diane and Sylvain.

“NOW I’m not afraid anymore!” says this year’s collective poem. Sometimes breaking through the loneliness is all you need to do to see hope being reborn.

Guylain Prince, OFM

Here is the collective poem from the awareness workshop COMSEP:

WOW!

WOW! I feel like singing, 

like dancing

I feel like whistling

And breathing in happiness

NOW I’m not afraid anymore!

Breathing in the smells

Sitting in a green space

I like walking by the water, 

So I can listen to nature.

Surrounded by my friends

I find myself at COMSEP

It’s like being part of a family

Where I am accepted. 

Meeting new people

With the eyes of the heart

Encourages me to open up

And puts me in a good mood

WOW! I feel like singing, 

like dancing

I feel like whistling

And breathing in happiness

NOW I’m not afraid anymore!