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Home » Everything You Need To Write A Poem (And How It Can Save A Life): Daniel Tysdal (Transcript)

Everything You Need To Write A Poem (And How It Can Save A Life): Daniel Tysdal (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Daniel Tysdal’s talk titled “Everything You Need To Write A Poem (And How It Can Save A Life)” at TEDxUTSC conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Icebreaker Introduction

Let’s begin with an icebreaker. It’s called Think-Pair-Share. The instructions are really simple. First, think. Begin with a moment of reflection. Close your eyes, and recall a very personal secret. Preferably, one you have never shared with anyone, not ever. Second, pair. Choose a partner. Ideally, someone you do not know or have just met. And finally, share. Share your very personal secret with your partner. Sharers, use specific, preferably sordid details to really bring the experience to life.

And listeners, listen close. Your next step will be to roleplay and replay the scene in front of the audience for catharsis and, of course, entertainment. Are you ready?

Okay, I don’t really want you to think-pair-share. And thank you for not immediately fleeing for the exits. I begin with this icebreaker because I want to show two things that connect all of us: the experience of life throwing us off balance and the need to communicate these experiences. I threw you off balance with my terrible, probably stomach-turning request.

And had I actually proceeded with the think-pair-share, you would have later felt the need to communicate this experience, whether when a friend asked you, “What was the worst part of TEDxUTSC?” or in an angry e-mail to the organizers about letting a maniac on stage.

The Poet’s Perspective

I’m a poet and a poetry teacher, so I spend my time thinking about these experiences that knock us off balance. Both the good: love, birth, joy; and the devastating: loss, death, and pain. I explore how we poets give form to these experiences with our poetic tools, utilizing poetry’s precision, vision, and play to move, console, and inspire.

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