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Poetry Slam at Alice’s

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Posted: Monday, February 27, 2012 2:58 pm

BURLEY – Poetry can often express feelings too difficult to write in any other way, says Alice Long, owner of Alice’s Coffee and Espresso.

“I think you can express things in poems that are hard to put into words when you’re just talking to somebody. If I want to say something really important to somebody I’m close to, I’ll write them a poem,” Long said.

Long is hosting an event called “Poetry Slam – Promoting Healthy Relationships” from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, at her shop located at 1332 Albion Avenue. While the event is open to anyone with an interest in poetry, it is being held in conjunction with the Cassia High School’s recent promotion of healthy relationships. Youth are being asked to recite poems about relationships, but any poem is welcome. The poetry need not be memorized.

A poetry slam isn’t about slamming verse.

“It’s just a big bunch of poetry.  You’re just being slammed with it. It’s people after people either reciting or reading it,” Long said.

Long likes older poems that rhyme.

“It’s just your regular four lines, break, four lines and every other line rhyming. I don’t like poetry that doesn’t rhyme.  If it doesn’t rhyme, it’s not a poem. I learned all that stuff you learned about in school, but it still didn’t change my taste,” she said.

Long invited Cassia High School students to attend the poetry slam after meeting with them recently. A public speaker, Long routinely teaches at the high school.

“They’re really creative. That high school is a fantastic place for creativity. I’ve never spoken in front of a crowd as attentive as they are,” she said.

Long is also is an ordained minister and earned a doctorate of ministry in Franklian Psychology. The psychology is based on the teachings of Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl. She later earned a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana.  Her degree from Franklian Psychology allows her to teach the course for distance learners, and she hopes to do so at her shop later this year.

Frankl taught that life always has meaning no matter no matter how miserable circumstances may be.

“You are free in every circumstance. If you can’t change your circumstances, you can change your attitude in your circumstances,” Long said.

Frankl often credited poets with helping him through the trauma he endured while imprisoned at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers . . . I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss . . . For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the worlds ‘the angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory,” he said.

Long wasn’t surprised that Frankl turned to poetry during the most difficult time of his life.

“Frankl used anything that struck him. He was a person who would have thought of angels and contemplation. Poetry was a momentary release or a few hour release because his spirit rose above suffering to reach beyond,” Long said.

For more information on the poetry slam call 678-1368.

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