Thursday, February 2, 2012

Poetry Reading

I often find the poetry scene elitist and soulless - not today. I went along to my friend Anne Ryland's reading at Newcastle university - she was reading from her new collection along with another talented local poet, Pippa Little. It was a fine affair - a gentle audience and both women write quiet poems that pack a lot of punch - I am not sure that is possible but both of them lure you into the gentleness of the middle classes and then an observation comes along that makes you sit up, take notice and think again. That is what poetry should do - it should also be read aloud. Lifting it off the page makes so much more sense - both women read well and with lyric voices and feeling.

It was a great trip out and one I am pleased I made as I was tempted to stay and keep warm at home and ruminate about all the marking. Braving it out into the world was a good idea as I saw some familiar faces and some I even like/ am extremely fond of...

Anyway it was a good experience but I do often find the whole poetry reading thing all a bit dull. Also highlights the gap between where I am with poetry and where the elite and recognised body of poets are in the local scene. I am not sure I fit in there at all and won't ever be reading at a First Thursday but then again I am not sure it bothers me.

I sit at the front
keen to lend support
to my fellow travellers
women who are much
better poets that I will
ever be. I don't pay
enough attention
not disciplined
too much rush

that's what's needed
not sooner nor later
but now

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