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Old 03-13-2006, 08:35 PM   #1
Tzara
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Poetry and performance

Several of the poets here do public readings. I know that bogusbrig, for example, and annaswirls, DeepAsleep, and ewopper (though he seems to have disappeared, at least for the moment) have all commented at some time or another about their having read poems publically. Like, uh, in front of people. Real live people.

Is it just me, or is anyone else terrified by that idea?

I am curious. I assume that you, generic poet, write with an audience in mind. The fact that you all want to post—in some way or other—your poems argues that fact. Even those who have said that they write to please themselves have, by placing their poems here for display (even if not for comment), indicated that they seek an audience. Semi-irrelevant aside: Merriam-Webster's first definition of audience is "the act or state of hearing" which, of course, implies a reading.

In looking at some of my local poetry publication outlets, one thing stood out. One of the "rewards" was a public poetry reading. No thank you, award committee. I would rather eat rat poison.

So. What do you all think about reading in public? Interested? Dying to give it a try? Wouldn't do it to save your dying mother?

Tell me.

Also: When you write, do you think about how your poems sound when read out loud? (This is a very different question. While my finished work may not reflect this, I spend a lot of time thinking about this.) Can your poems effectively be read out loud? (Again, some of the things I write depend upon puns or multiple meanings that would be lost if read aloud.)

If you are writing a poem that you want to recite, do you write differently than you would for a poem that wouldn't be recited?

Or just in general—don't you think that Gonzaga should've been at least a number two seed? I think they were ripped.
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:53 PM   #2
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My problem is that around here there are no poetry readings. I would have no problem reading; there are just no venues.

To your second question; Obviously yes. Sometimes (OK, often) I write solely visual poetry.
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:54 PM   #3
Sara Crewe
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I would do a public reading, I think. I wouldn't want anyone I knew in the audience but that's mainly because I don't have many poem-y people in my real life. I hate it when I share a poem with someone who just isnt into it and they say, "Wow that's nice," with that look on their face that says they would rather be watching paint dry or maybe even licking paint from splintered floors.

I dont know if my voice would add anything to my poems. I can think of better voices.


I always read everything I write out loud as I write, when I finish and when I am editing. The fastest way for me to figure out the breaks in a poem is to read it out loud. I also tend to think everything is better out loud so it may be a defense mechanism.


I don't know if any of those thoughts were coherent but I am all chatty because I have not written my 30/30 poem.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:06 PM   #4
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They put them number three so they could still call them Cinderella when they started to win or some other over-used and extremely tired metaphor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara

Or just in general—don't you think that Gonzaga should've been at least a number two seed? I think they were ripped.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara Crewe

I don't know if any of those thoughts were coherent but I am all chatty because I have not written my 30/30 poem.
you? . . . chatty?

never.


as to reading, being a teacher, talking in front of a group become second nature -- and that experience does help.

but talking in front of a group of adults, reading poetry, is far different than doing it in front of students, where the presumption of "master of subject matter" is a given on both ends - or should be.

the ultimate terror has to be stand-up comedy. talk about naked and alone.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:30 PM   #6
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i don't do speeches or talks in front of adults, strangers. i'm fine with kids but not adults. i do read my poetry out loud now though. lots. lol i didn't used to, but i'm starting to get an 'ear' for the mistakes, the better phrasing... i was reading something out loud recently written by Margaret R Moore... hmm where is it... here

Feathery soft and quiet the snow;
It covers the road
...and the walk
...and the rooftops
...and whispers to the world:

.................................................Shhh!

i LOVE the sounds in this poem, but it has to be read out loud to be able to 'hear' the music

i don't know of any poetry reading venus around here. i love hearing other people read their poetry.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:50 PM   #7
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I started small, with a poetry circle of about 5-6 people. I realized very quickly that I did not write poetry to be read out loud. It was awkward to say the least.

When I select poems, I read them out loud to myself and sometimes make changes just for the reading. To add rhythm, or to make things more clear. You only get one shot when you are listening to a poem. I prefer having the paper in front of me so that I can re-read lines when necessary.

I do not generally write poems thinking about reading them out loud. Every now and then something comes out that way, I think more in the style, like the poem is a message instead of an experience. I prefer experience poems.

It is not scary anymore, although last week the audience was energy sapping, everyone was sinking into the saggy sofas, maybe that was it.

Rybka, you should consider starting something. The only danger is then you have to listen to other people's poetry which can be quite painful if it is not your preferred style (and it goes on and on and on and on)

I have gone to a bunch of different readings, there is a WIDE variety, let me tell you. Find a place where you feel comfortable and just go sit and listen. You will find your confidence gaining as you see others and say "well damn, I can do at least that good"

One of the first readings I went to, there was this shy young woman who walked up to the microphone with her head down, long stringy hair half falling over her face and she spoke softly, "this is my first time reading my poem so please be nice" and then read something pretty weak and sad and what some people would say, pretty awful and that was when I said, hell if she has the guts to do it, so can I.

okay I am going to bed. damn it I have not even put the darn chocolate in the mail yet. I am so freakin irresponsible.

and delerious.
my son has been waking up at 3-4 am. Ready to start his day.
and organic carrots are the only way to go
they are delicious, omg it is like the difference between mom's meatloaf and the mystery meatloaf in the cafeteria....frozen and fresh tiramisu, Coors light and Black and Tan....

organic eggs are pretty damn tasty too.
I think I will go put this on the earth day thread
after I sleep
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:34 AM   #8
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Since I am so new to this, poetry has been like my first experience with pot. I am still caught up in the ritual: the special utensils, the secret lexicon, the hide-aways, the tell-tale scent it leaves on my clothes. I expected that I would love poetry readings, where other poets and I would exchange knowing winks and meet later behind the "School Spirit Rock" for illicit fun.

But I don't. Poetry is as much a visual as an auditory experience for me. I need to run my eyes over a poem before I read it. I read in fits and starts, backing up over confusing or delicious phrases, racing through stuttering repetition. I sometimes linger over a single word for long stretches of time.

When a poem is read to me I lose that capability. I keep wanting to raise my hand in the middle of the reading to ask for a copy to hold.

And I leave my jacket in the garage overnight when I get home.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara
Several of the poets here do public readings. I know that bogusbrig, for example, and annaswirls, DeepAsleep, and ewopper (though he seems to have disappeared, at least for the moment) have all commented at some time or another about their having read poems publically. Like, uh, in front of people. Real live people.

Is it just me, or is anyone else terrified by that idea?

I am curious. I assume that you, generic poet, write with an audience in mind. The fact that you all want to post—in some way or other—your poems argues that fact. Even those who have said that they write to please themselves have, by placing their poems here for display (even if not for comment), indicated that they seek an audience. Semi-irrelevant aside: Merriam-Webster's first definition of audience is "the act or state of hearing" which, of course, implies a reading.

In looking at some of my local poetry publication outlets, one thing stood out. One of the "rewards" was a public poetry reading. No thank you, award committee. I would rather eat rat poison.

So. What do you all think about reading in public? Interested? Dying to give it a try? Wouldn't do it to save your dying mother?

Tell me.

Also: When you write, do you think about how your poems sound when read out loud? (This is a very different question. While my finished work may not reflect this, I spend a lot of time thinking about this.) Can your poems effectively be read out loud? (Again, some of the things I write depend upon puns or multiple meanings that would be lost if read aloud.)

If you are writing a poem that you want to recite, do you write differently than you would for a poem that wouldn't be recited?

Or just in general—don't you think that Gonzaga should've been at least a number two seed? I think they were ripped.
Gives me an idea
Thank you
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Old 03-19-2006, 09:39 AM   #10
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I have

I did a thing in front of about 80 to 100 strangers last year. Found out
about the reading while working a artisan market that day. They were
taping the thing and with the lights you could really see the folks. Lucky
for me I went 3rd out of about 12 poets. I had a few beers under my belt
and invented motion poetry. I spoke the poems with movements like
wiping tears from my eyes, or opening my hands like a book when mentioning
a bible. The folks seemed to like it, but I had a couple of beers so who
cares. The Morrison show is a 2 or 3. Let us wait and see what Ind. can
do with them today. I like their bracket, it could be said Memphis hasn't
played anyone as well.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:46 PM   #11
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I'm too shy to a reading, tried speaking in presentations etc, my legs shook so hard they nearly fell off...
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:46 PM   #12
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I'm too shy to do a reading, tried speaking in presentations etc, my legs shook so hard they nearly fell off...
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:15 PM   #13
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Most people

.....

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Old 03-20-2006, 09:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutching_calliope
I heard a statistic once that most people would rather go naked in public than do public speaking. I used to know a radio guy who would lose bets and publicly announce he was going to run down the street naked, do it, and then be arrested.

But I lived in a moderately small town.

I've done my share of public speaking and don't mind it. Sometimes strangers are easier to talk to than people whose opinions you value. I've haven't done poetry, yet. I do agree that it does terrify me also, Tzara. So you're not alone .
You know, one of the curious things about this is that I make my living taking to people. Groups of people. Sometimes, pretty large groups of people. With no problems—no cold feet, stomach cramps, sweaty palms, nothing. Just get myself psyched up and let the words fly.

'Course, I am talking about database technology. And I know that. Least, what I'm talking about.

Which is, I think, my problem. Confidence. Why I gave up playing live rock 'n roll.

It's a funny thing, confidence. It's here, it's there, and sometimes nowhere.

Certainly I don't have it for reading poetry in public.

I am glad to hear that some of you do.

Wanna read mine?
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara
You know, one of the curious things about this is that I make my living taking to people. Groups of people. Sometimes, pretty large groups of people. With no problems—no cold feet, stomach cramps, sweaty palms, nothing. Just get myself psyched up and let the words fly.

'Course, I am talking about database technology. And I know that. Least, what I'm talking about.

Which is, I think, my problem. Confidence. Why I gave up playing live rock 'n roll.

It's a funny thing, confidence. It's here, it's there, and sometimes nowhere.

Certainly I don't have it for reading poetry in public.

I am glad to hear that some of you do.

Wanna read mine?
Whenever I had students who didn't want to give their public speech assignment in front of the class, I always talked about how important it was to learn to speak in front of people...blah blah blah I went on and on about how much they would need this skill in their careers, jobs and personal life.

If none of that worked I moved to my very complicated plan B.

Do it. Your confidence will grow every time you do it.

If you want to do something, I think you should make yourself do it no matter how uncomfortable it might be. The more risk you take, the greater the pay off could be in the end.

And ya know, if you bomb, who cares? You are still a talented writer who will look for someone else to read your books when they come out in the audio version.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:36 PM   #16
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Been performing in front of audiences all my life, from 5 to 5000 people, and let me tell you, the less people, the more nervous I get. But I don't have a problem with public reading. I have sung cuplets and rock music, acted and recited Shakespeare and done a stand-up comedy monolouge in wrestling gear and a tutu. So no, public speaking is no biggie.

The only problem is that very few of the things I write sounds very well read out loud. Most of them are written to be read out quietly. Under your breath. To sip the parlance of them in your own pace, and on your own, as part of the experioence. That's how I read poetry, and that's how I want others to read mine.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara Crewe
Whenever I had students who didn't want to give their public speech assignment in front of the class, I always talked about how important it was to learn to speak in front of people...blah blah blah I went on and on about how much they would need this skill in their careers, jobs and personal life.
Why Ms. Crewe! You sound just like my high school debate teacher.

I also notice you are at 100 posts. It's picture time!

I could loan you my goat.
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Last edited by Tzara : 03-21-2006 at 09:43 PM. Reason: reason, schmeason, 'tis the season
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liar
Most of them are written to be read out quietly. Under your breath. To sip the parlance of them in your own pace, and on your own, as part of the experioence. That's how I read poetry, and that's how I want others to read mine.
dear lord have mercy, this is what I meant by falling in love
poets are so dangerous
especially ones that read under their breath
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:51 PM   #19
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Tzara, I think you want to do a reading....and if you do, you should. You are a very talented writer, with nothing to lose.

Write something about databases and pretend that Sara and Calli are in the second row naked

pretend you are Liar and whisper
I will be in the back row under a blanket.

and you know what you are talking about, c'mere let me smack you around a bit, you know what you are talking about sheesh.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara
You know, one of the curious things about this is that I make my living taking to people. Groups of people. Sometimes, pretty large groups of people. With no problems—no cold feet, stomach cramps, sweaty palms, nothing. Just get myself psyched up and let the words fly.

'Course, I am talking about database technology. And I know that. Least, what I'm talking about.

Which is, I think, my problem. Confidence. Why I gave up playing live rock 'n roll.

It's a funny thing, confidence. It's here, it's there, and sometimes nowhere.

Certainly I don't have it for reading poetry in public.

I am glad to hear that some of you do.

Wanna read mine?
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzara
Why Ms. Crewe! You sound just like my high school debate teacher.

I also notice you are at 100 posts. It's picture time!

I could loan you my goat.

whooohooo! new boobies!
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annaswirls
Write something about databases and pretend that Sara and Calli are in the second row naked.... I will be in the back row under a blanket.
Freeze
a poem about reading poetry publically

Die, Joyce Kilmer! Die! Die!


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree

Or certainly, sweet poets three
All naked, smiling up at me

As I stumble, fumble, pressed
For time, I mumble, ever stressed

By those sweet smiles, so sublime
So unclothèd, that my rhyme

Becomes confusèd, runs off track.
I wish I had a blindfold, that

Perhaps would help to see me through
This reading, seeing ladies who,

While attentive, distract me.
A Muse meant nothing to these three.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:36 PM   #22
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Some interesting opinions and ideas in this thread (well no surprise here )

I'm new in here, but I've been writing short stories and poems for 20 years or so ... never published and rarely shared. In fact I've submitted 2 poems today .. a first for me.

I never wrote with the idea of me poems being read. Mainly because, yes, I wrote as a catharsis act for myself. And also because English is not my 1st language. My poems in French are more fluid, I think.

About reading in public? Never on my life

Been there, done that in several settings and it's a nightmare if there's more than 10-15 people present. I can manage in small groups only

There! I'm done with my rambling
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:55 PM   #23
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Wot?!

.....

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Old 03-22-2006, 12:16 AM   #24
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Thank you Calliope, and I do inted to stick around .. in fact, check my join date and my number of posts ... I forgot for a while I registered in the forums ...last 2 years have not been too much fun ... anyway, going on

while I do love poutine and free expression, I'm an adopted Canadian : I'm in fact a "cousin" from France

mmm ... just had an idea... if we could take over McD, we could replace fries by poutine all over the world

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Old 10-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liar View Post
Been performing in front of audiences all my life, from 5 to 5000 people, and let me tell you, the less people, the more nervous I get. But I don't have a problem with public reading. I have sung couplets and rock music, acted and recited Shakespeare and done a stand-up comedy monologue in wrestling gear and a tutu. So no, public speaking is no biggie.

The only problem is that very few of the things I write sounds very well read out loud. Most of them are written to be read out quietly. Under your breath. To sip the parlance of them in your own pace, and on your own, as part of the experience. That's how I read poetry, and that's how I want others to read mine.
this!
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