POET'S CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#009: February 2005
WORDS: Written, Spoken, or Heard
There are many published poets in the world; many more unpublished. There are those who have never read poems other than Bible Psalms or Nursery Rhymes. Some folks doodle or draw or paint, but they may not actually get around to framing their work or putting it on the wall or calling it A-R-T nor themselves “artists”. Many have thrown a line in water but wouln’t call themselves “fisher folk”. You can sing a song but not be a singer or stitch a hem but not be a fashion designer.
Truth be told, though, almost everyone in the entire world at one time or another has had the need to simply write something down in order to more fully understand whatever may be happening to him or her at the time. Writing out ideas is a good thing. Whether or not that writing is turned into a poem or a story or a novel might not be the end to the means. And whatever writing you come up with, is it worth the time and effort to share it with someone else? Could your story be the same as theirs? Is there meaning to be found in sharing words in a particular form, whether it be written or spoken aloud?
There is usually a reason deep inside a person that brings the poem to the surface - kind of like giving birth in a burst of words. Sometimes as noted by the famous ‘Howler’, Allen Ginsberg, your very FIRST THOUGHT is your BEST THOUGHT: the words just spring forth. To read a poem on a page is a far different thing than to hear a poem spoken aloud. To read a poem out loud yourself is yet another thing. It connects your head with your heart if you allow the words to flow. Try it right now. You’re sitting somewhere reading these words in this newspaper. What’s it like to read them out loud? Go ahead, speak them aloud if you dare. You’ve got to breathe and think and feel. See all those folks staring at you? Maybe you’ve caused a stir reading this out loud.
Writing words albeit longhand or on a keyboard is a magical thing, but reading the words aloud takes you to another universe. It breathes the words alive, it awakens the words. Those pictures you have put into words come alive, as if a painting that has been hung on a wall for others to see became something to hear and feel and taste and smell. If you read the lyrics of a song, it just isn’t the same as hearing the song being sung.
In the old days (before color TV even) poetry and storytelling were part of an oral tradition. The bards were the town criers of news and views. Some folks love to write their words while listening to other poets speak their words.They get into the flow of the ‘sound of music’ . It’s not a bad idea to bring your journal to poetry readings.
Plan to attend our next POET’S NIGHT OUT at the AirDance ArtSpace on Saturday night, February 26th. Doors open at 7 p.m. for an open mike sign-in. Event begins at 7:30 and admission is $5.00. Dave Bachelor is our featured poet. Bring some of your work (poems, rap, stories, even simple ‘journal entries’) and dare to take that high dive plunge into reading your words aloud. See you on the 26th.