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San Francisco Bay Area
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On Passing On: Poetry to Ease the Final Passage

Hosted by Ruth's Table

On Passing On: Poetry to Ease the Final Passage
In Japanese history, writing or reciting jisei or - a “death poem” - at final moments of life was a widespread tradition. On Passing On takes us through the process of creating our own swansong.

On Passing On, is an interactive poetry workshop featuring acclaimed poet Bob Holman, producer for PBS’ The United States of Poetry. Folklorist Steve Zeitlin will speak about the ways individuals have used poetry to find meaning and comfort as they confront the final passage. Phyllis Zimmer, President of the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation, will discuss ways poetry can be helpful to health practitioners who minister to the dying and their families.

Participants will have a chance to write their own death poem in the Japanese style of jisei, a tradition among Zen monks, Samurai warriors, and Buddhist haiku poets in Japan.

Poems will be read aloud at the workshop and collected for presentation as a visual art piece on final day of the Reimagine End of Life festival.

This program is presented in partnership with Ruth’s Table who provides an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages and abilities to engage with arts. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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