Saturday, 21 February 2015

Scary but positive

I did something really scary today. I read a poem of mine to total strangers! Okay I've read in front of small audiences twice before at local prize events but this was different in that I went on my own and there was no one I knew there.

Let me explain. I recently found out that Croydon Library have a Poetry Hour once a month (found a leaflet about it when I met a friend for our regular lunch date in the Library cafe). The event is for anyone who wants to perform poetry or song - your own or other people's, especially those who have never done it before.

There was an email address to book a slot but I couldn't be that bold! I decided to go along to suss it out. However, I did go armed with a few poems....just in case.

It was a decent turn out and it was obvious that a lot of people knew each other. Poetry Hour has been running for some time it seems. First off those who had booked a slot read one poem and then the floor was opened up to anyone else there who hadn't booked but brought something along. I sat there working myself up to it and let several people go first. There was indeed a mixture of own poetry and poems by other poets - someone read Shall I compare thee to a summers day..and another read song lyrics by Donovan. Things were moving quickly and I knew I had to make my move before those who booked were given a chance to read a second poem so I stood up with my heart banging like crazy and walked towards the microphone.

There had been a theme - Valentine's or the cold but you could read anything. I chose a poem which I described as perhaps a different kind of love (in this case the coming together of a guitarist and guitar for the first time in ages). It was short and a poem I particularly liked. Once I nervously introduced myself and the poem I found that I relaxed a little as I read. I remembered to look up (well once) and spoke slowly and clearly.

Of course I was relieved when it was over but I was so pleased with myself.

The theme for next month is Easter, Astronauts and Mothers. I've added my name to the mailing list and will try and get along next month and put myself through this again! If nothing else it is good experience in reading aloud and I will get to know people. At present there is nothing similar where I live so a trek over to Croydon it will have to be.

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