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World-famous poet works with, inspires HB students
Posted 04/22/2010 03:39PM

Hathaway Brown School was proud to welcome Enta Kusakabe, creator of the liberating poetry form of Gogyohka. Kusakabe spent two full days on campus, imparting his wisdom and sparking ideas in the minds of students and teachers in the Upper and Primary schools.

When he was 19 years old, Kusakabe developed Gogyohka as an alternative to the traditional Japanese poetry forms of haiku and tanka. Although his mentors frowned upon his break from custom, Kusakabe has spent the rest of his life honing his skills and compliling volumes of poetry. Now 72, Kusakabe estimates that he has written roughly 100,000 Gogyohka poems. Some of those works have been created "in an instant," he says, while others have taken as long as 30 years to write.

Gogyohka is five lines of free verse with no rules about line or syllable length. As they compose these pieces, Kusakabe encourages writers to use as few words as possible to convey the essence of the truth they hold inside: “In every heart, there is a masterpiece. Write your raw heart.”

Fourth graders and Upper School students enrolled in several different English classes had the opportunity to spend time with Kusakabe and craft Gogyohka poems of their own. Faculty and students in all grades also were invited to luncheon workshop sessions held by Kusakabe and his teaching colleagues April 21-22.

All of the gatherings with this master poet proved fruitful, with hundreds of Gogyohka pieces brought to life in his presence. Students said they found the writing exciting and empowering and they were grateful to Kusakabe for giving them a tool to freely express their thoughts.

Kusakabe's visit was organized by John Verbos, Upper School English Department chair and director of HB's Osborne Writing Center. To learn more about Gogyohka, visit www.fivelinepoetry.com.

At a Glance 

HB in the News Volume XXV - February 1, 2017

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HB in the News Volume XXIII - July 1, 2016

HB in the News Volume XXI - March 31, 2016

HB in the News Volume XX - December 28, 2015

HB in the News Volume XIX - September 30, 2015

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HB Honors Volume V - June 15, 2015

HB in the News Volume XVII - March 31, 2015

HB in the News Volume XVI - December 15, 2014

HB in the News Volume XV - August 28, 2014

HB Honors Volume IV - June 9, 2014

HB in the News Volume XIV - May 28, 2014

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HB Honors Volume III - June 14, 2013

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HB in the News Volume VIII - December 17, 2012

HB in the News Volume VII - September 18, 2012

HB in the News Volume VI - June 19, 2012

HB Honors Volume II - May 31, 2012

HB in the News Volume V - April 3, 2012

HB in the News Volume IV - January 4, 2012

Innovations Volume I - September 14, 2011

HB in the News Volume III - September 8, 2011

HB in the News Volume II - June 1, 2011

HB Honors Volume I - May 19, 2011

HB in the News Volume I - March 10, 2011

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