Marguerite d'Youville / Sisters of Charity
The Bates Bobcat / Bates College
The workshop was titled "Rediscovering Local Landmarks, A Look at Portland's Longfellow Statue."
In the workshop we covered:
1) ways to rediscover, find, and research statues in your community;
2) Longfellow and his poetry;
3) digging down - the interesting things you'll discover;
4) the artist/sculptor Franklin Simmons, and finally;
5) how to use the information you uncover
The workshop ended with an exercise in black-out poetry. Austen Kleon's book "Newspaper Blackout" was the inspiration, and is a nice introduction to the topic.
Using one of Longfellow's shorter poems, participants created a black-out poem, and I was so impressed and excited with what people came up with. Five people read their poems out loud to the group . . . a big thank you for being brave and sharing!
Before heading to Lewiston for the workshop, I was curious about what statues were in the community. Making it a half-day road trip last Saturday, we drove up to Lewiston, found a few gems, and had a great lunch at DaVinci's. Below are two of our favorite finds.
If you're curious about the statues in your community, do what we did, set out and take a closer look and see where it takes you:
Using Longfellow as an example, there is of course poetry. If you like to read, grab a book of poetry—or try writing some of your own (if you're unsure where to begin, try the black-out method). With Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride you might revisit a period in American history. Read his epic poem Evangeline, and you'll learn more about the expulsion of the French from the Maritime provinces of Quebec. Are you a stamp collector? Longfellow is featured on two stamps.
Rediscovering local landmarks is a great project for writers, photographers, historians, artists, and anyone who might be curious about what they represent. We hope you'll get out and rediscover the landmarks in your community.