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Meet the super cool poet

Australian performance poet Miles Merrill interacts with students at The Heritage School. Picture by 
Arnab Mondal

Calcutta: Drama, instead of dreary lines, brought alive a string of sessions with Miles Merrill, who came all the way from Australia to acquaint school students in the city with poetry.

Miles is a performance poet and the driving force between the spoken word and performance poetry in Australia.

During his appearances at Future Hope School, Akshar School, The Heritage School and Sushila Birla Girls' School, Miles broke the ice with a melange of sounds he calls Some Sounds Cannot be Written Down.

Dressed in a hat, a splash of colours and lots of swagger, Miles got students participating in fun tasks such as shouting their names and pretending to be aliens.

Happy and satisfied with his session at Future Hope School, the poet said, "These were underprivileged kids who don't have everything and here they were! That's what keeps me inspired because I can listen to myself anytime. But here in another country, where I can listen to the kids, that's when I feel the most rewarded."

At The Heritage School, Miles turned Samuel Taylor Coleridge into a 21st century cool songwriter when he performed Kubla Khan to loud applause.

"Miles is a complete entertainer. He combined poetry with theatre and music. Students were transported to a different world altogether. We were celebrating English Literature Day the day he visited us. He was treated to a cup of tea in Class IX, where the students had organised the Mad Hatter's Tea Party," said Seema Sapru, the principal of the school.

For Sukriti Ray, a student of Class IX at The Heritage School, who was part of the Tea Party and later thanked the poet for his cameo appearance, Miles was a complete entertainer who left her "enriched" too.

Miles shared a few tips on how to write poetry. "Get rid of extra words, focus on expression and modulation and turn your stories into PowerPoint presentations," he told the students. "And share your stories with the world at all cost."

Besides poetry, Miles binged on golgappa, jhalmuri and sev puri, falling in love with the latter. One thing he would have liked to take home from Calcutta: "yellow taxis". His going-away promise: "I will be back, with poetry slam."

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