Tuesday, April 12, 2016

More Poetry in National Poetry Month

I love National Poetry Month. While poetry falls to the background most of the year and is many readers’ least favorite genre, for 30 days once a year, everyone appreciates the minimal or clever lines that make up a poem of some kind.

I struggled with poetry in school because 1. I never heard the same beat as others and could NOT measure a foot and 2. I never interpreted the lines as I was “supposed” to see them. Often this was influenced by life experience or the lack of it. In college, I had to write a paper on “Return to San Francisco Bay, 1946” which was about returning soldiers from the war. I had NO understand of WWII at that time, and I read the poem as prisoners returning from Alcatraz. The grade was a disaster!

I so appreciate my blogger friends for encouragement in both poetry and prose. I have met some delightful people on the page. One, Linda over at Write from the Heart, has encouraged me, prompted me, and propped me up many times. Recently, she said I needed to read my work in public. Horrors! I have stood before classes, parents, boards, audiences, and such, but speaking is one thing and reading your own work is another.

The lines I write I are my babies. They can be cute and cuddly, or they can be homely and unruly, but they are mine. Therefore, they are dear to me. But I listened to Linda and read at the program held Thursday at Grace Church, a fairly safe place. But tonight, I took a step into deeper water when I read at the Spiva Art Center in Joplin. I am glad I had no idea the amount of talent of the readers beforehand!

Spiva is an art gallery in Joplin. They hold an international photo coopetition each spring and have many parts of the country represented by pictures.  After the photos have been up about a month, they have a 1000 Words Writing Night. Writers are invited to name the photo that inspired them and then read what they wrote as a result. It is all under a 1000 words and tonight there were many talented readers.

My picture was one called EARL by a Robert Moran from Bar Harbor, Maine. I will post his photo and hope I am not breaking a law. The poem I read was called Seamus McCall and told of an old boat builder from Maine, his dreams of building a wooden boat and sailing away. One woman in the audience was from New England and was very impressed so I know I moved at least one person tonight!

Thanks for the push, Linda!


Sioux said...

Claudia--Can you share the poem? The photo is incredible. I'd love to read the poem it inspired.

Elephant's Child said...

That must have taken so much courage. Well done. I would be very surprised if the woman who told you she was impressed was the only one. For some reason we are too often quicker to criticise than to compliment.
And yes, I too would love to read your poem.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

What Sioux said. Please share the poem!

Your post is in line with my blog post today, about stepping out of our comfort zone and doing things that scare us. You did that! Congratulations! I'd like to hear more about how reading your work to a large group, in spite of your fears, helped you grow as a writer/poet/speaker---however it touched you. And please, do share that poem!

Merlesworld said...

I would like to be able to write poetry but to present my work to other people is beyond me so you have my admiration.

Linda O'Connell said...

So thrilled you are stepping out. That poem was awesome a d should find a home.