Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Extra Credit Poetry reading at Spill the Beans

I went to the extra credit reading not really knowing what to expect. I had no idea it would be so crowded and that so many Clemson students were so passionate about poetry. They had an introduction speaker explaining the idea of famous poets and had students read poetry from their super poet and then some of their own.
The first girl who read, read from Terrence Hayes. She explained that he used voice driven techniques throughout his poetry. This is something that I would not have noticed had she not mentioned it. As she read Avocado it was difficult for me to follow and I learned that I follow poetry better when I can visually see the literature in front of me. I also realized I had never been to a reading of literature. I was able to learn that each person can read a poem a different way and give it a different tone, meaning, and feel. The reader was passionate and had a soothing tone to her voice. She read it in a way that I was able to follow the conversation in the poem.
When she read her own poetry (Cyber Optimism, and then Spaceboy), I was able to easily pick on up the fact that she mimicked the way Hayes used conversation in his poem. This opened my eyes to the fact that poetry has no right or wrong answer. It can have conversation, rhyme, or simply tell a story. In addition, it can be very personal and have a specific meaning to the writer; whereas, the audience could not fully understand. This was evident in her reading of Cyber Optimism where I could not tell whether it was a true story about her family or simply a fictional piece.
I believe that is the beauty of poetry. It is a big mystery and allows all readers and audiences to attempt to find the true meaning.
I truly enjoyed listening to people passionately read poetry. I would never have the confidence to read a piece with such emotion and tone.