I have some very good news to share since my last post. I have performed my first poem to an audience. This was a very big deal for me as I never thought I’d have the confidence to do such a thing.
I haven’t done any public speaking in years and the prospect, only just a few months ago, seemed incredibly daunting. I have read out creative work in writing groups, but those readings were part of critiquing sessions sitting around a table, rather than a performance.
The act of presenting a poem aloud seemed at once both timeless and contemporary. Since the origin of humanity, people have been sharing stories and experiences vocally in a group setting. These expressions lead to real connection and support within a community of people. We learn to walk in each other’s shoes. At the same moment, the world in 2019 specifically seems a place in which creativity of all sorts is flourishing, perhaps as an antidote to all that is dangerous politically.
Energised by the performance, I have found that a new door of creativity has opened up in my mind. I can write better poems and I can perform them aloud.
I definitely need to work on my presentation skills, however. I read my poem with my hands in my pockets so they wouldn’t shake, staring at the piece of cardboard I’d inscribed, which rested on a mantelpiece above a fireplace, with my back to half the audience. Not great.
But the goal was to get through it, and that I did. Now I’m ready to learn how to be better and am planning to perform more poetry in the future.
Photo credit: Lucy Tertia George, novelist.