So I went out last night. This time the reason was a pretty good one: to celebrate National Poetry Day! What a great thing to have one day which is completely devoted to poetry and its role in our lives! This year’s theme was remember. Of one thing I can be sure: this day will not fade away quickly from my memory. On this day, in fact, I did my first public reading of my work! What a nice feeling! To all of you who are also doing some writing, you have to try to read your own material in public, trust me! Writing poetries, stories or any kind of creative expression in one’s own private space is great. It gives a lot of space for oneself, time to reflect, time to go deep. Reading publicly, on the other side, is like a scream with which one simply admits the deep feelings and emotions one has and it provides a fantastic chance to share all of them with strangers which, for unknown reasons, might be able to understand what one wants to express. It is a kind of magic really. Let me tell you my version of that day. A friend of mine read my lines and convinced me that we should go together to one poetry night to: ”hang out, see the place and feel the vibe”. Those deep words convinced me of put this madness in practice. We went together to this place with absolutely no expectations. We didn’t even know whether there was an open mic. The place turned out to be absolutely great. That night, in a single small room, there was the entire spectrum of possible poets, from the damned soul, to the old ladies club, to the urban dude, the social protesters to the woman in search or romance. In few words the place was small, creative, funky, real, alive. I couldn’t ask for anything better. So finally the moment came. The organisers announced those scary words: “There will be an open mic in few minutes”. Before I could stop him my friend booked my name for it. No more excuses, I had to go. I still remember my hands shaking, the heartbeat going faster and the voice going trembling. Honestly, there’s nothing scarier than opening your heart in front of unknown people. Yet, few things can more liberating than that! In few hours that night thought me more than what I would expect. Here are a few reflections which, hopefully, might help those of you who, like me, are trying to go deeper in their writing:
- To write good poetry one has to read it out loud over and over again. There is nothing better than having beautiful words condensing tons of meaning. Also, reading out loud will provide you a better sense of how your words sound to somebody who knows nothing about you. It is a fundamental step from the idiosyncratic to the universal.
- Learning one’s own lines is fundamental. It gives so much freedom to just express the feelings and thoughts which motivated the work. Also it allows to experiment with different ways of performing own work.
- Poetry comes in every form. People are drawn into writing by many different reasons, they are interested in different themes and in different ways of expressing themselves. For this reason there is not right or wrong in poetry, there is only the ability to really transmit own deep feelings. The form in which it occurs is up to interpretation.
- Find the right environment. Again, given the differences in the way people express themselves and their motivation, the environment in which you end up in might influence how your work is perceived. Try many different places until you find the right one for you.
- Reading to a public can boost one’s motivation to writing. It is like a scream with which one just admits the depth of this habit and which can lead you to meet a lot of like-minded people.
- Experiment! There is no fixed form in writing, nor in the way the work is expressed. There is so much freedom in deciding how to perform one’s own work, from which clothes to wear, to which tone to use, how to pause when reading. It is just great!
Finally just remember one thing: It doesn’t matter where you go, if the environment in which you perform is sincere and your work is sincere too it will be understood.
Are you still wondering where the place was? Where here it is http://www.hornbeam.org.uk/cafe/
Are you wondering which poetries I read? Here they are (in this order):