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Teacher gives poetry a Bermudian flavour

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Teacher Nelsalene Lespere has written the book on poetry for Bermuda's students.

After finding virtually no collections of locally-inspired poems that could line up with the curriculum for her pupils, she decided it was time to sit down and write one.

Chipping in along with friends and family, Mrs Lespere compiled and self-published ‘Bermudian Poems with an Educational Twist' after two years' work.

She now has 34 copies ordered by various educators and schools around the Island.

Poetry takes many forms, whether it's haiku, a cinquain or a diamanté, and most collections are largely illustrated by verse from other countries.

“Some of my students had been having a hard time learning them — I thought we needed someone to write a book that Bermudian students could relate to,” Mrs Lespere said.

The answer from husband Gerard was: “Write it,” she recalled.

The book holds 38 creations describing poetry in its different technical forms — illustrated with local examples that range from Gombeys to moon gates to familiar local playgrounds — with 33 of them written by Mrs Lespere.

Added Mr Lespere: “It seems to me that she's covered everything. It goes from church life to netball to Somerset Bridge.”

Mrs Lespere, currently a substitute teacher at Port Royal Primary, is seeking financial sponsorship to get the book into the hands of as many schoolchildren as possible.

She dedicated her book to a high schoolteacher who inspired her — but wants to leave the teacher's name as a surprise.

“I was never really good at language — it wasn't one of my favourites,” Mrs Lespere admitted. “So this is actually a surprise to me.

“I've had colleagues respond well and tell me that yes, we need this — I'm excited that they're excited.”

The book is available on order from its maker, who can be reached at 238-7387, or at everythingbermudian@gmail.com.

Cover: Nelsalene Lespere's book 'Bermudian Poems with an Educational Twist'.
Teacher Nelsalene Lespere with her new book ‘Bermudian Poems with an Educational Twist'.
Photo by Jonathan Bell Teacher Nelsalene Lespere with her new book 'Bermudian Poems with an Educational Twist'.

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Published October 14, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 14, 2013 at 1:38 am)

Teacher gives poetry a Bermudian flavour

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