in the dark

It’s said that glossophobia – the fear of speaking in public – is high up among the most common fears, so I’m slightly surprised that it’s not something that has ever particularly bothered me.

Perhaps I read the lesson in church as a child or at the school carol service often enough for it to cease to be really frightening, although that raises the question of why, as a very timid small child, I was willing to volunteer to read – especially as I remember on at least one occasion having to stand up to a terrifying schoolmaster in order to be allowed to audition for the carol service: he thought I would never make myself heard – though I proved him wrong.
Continue reading “in the dark”

worrying about stress

Some time ago I read one of those ‘motivational quotes’ to the effect that you shouldn’t laugh at someone who pronounces a word wrongly, as the chances are it means they learned it through reading, rather than hearing it spoken, and no one should be mocked for trying to better themselves.

It’s true that I am still likely to laugh when I hear an American say someone made a “fox paw” when they mean a faux pas but, essentially, I think there is a lot of truth in the sentiment.
Continue reading “worrying about stress”

thoughts of home

I’ve already mentioned here that I was invited to take part in TEDx Leamington Spa last November, not as a speaker, but as a performer. There were just over a dozen speakers, and several other performers, each with their own take on the theme of “home”.

Before the event, I attended meet-ups and rehearsals and scribbled notes about all the different presentations, trying to make sense of a huge and very daunting task. During this time, I produced a couple of poems – including “fade to blue” and “information overload“, which can be read by clicking through to earlier blog posts – that I didn’t use on the day.
Continue reading “thoughts of home”

love again

Once more, I am choosing poems to read at an event.

It’s a themed event and the theme is “love”, so, once more, I am choosing love poems to read at an event.

And, once more, I am pondering the idea that “all poetry is love poetry”.

The difficulty in choosing what to read is not that I don’t have any love poetry in my files; it’s more that I have far too much of the stuff and a very limited time slot at the event tomorrow.
Continue reading “love again”

spoiled for choice

Once more, I am selecting a set of poems to read at an upcoming event. once more, the organiser wants to know in advance what to expect. Once more, I am dithering over making a decision.

When I was first invited to read, I leapt at the chance and didn’t give a moment’s thought to whether I would find something suitable. But there is a theme: the pieces should be humorous. And humour is a very subjective matter.

So I’ve been leafing through papers and notebooks, scrolling through documents, and re-visiting lots of old poems to see what I can find. Although very little of it is laugh-out-loud funny, the more I look, the more pieces I find that might be suitable.
Continue reading “spoiled for choice”

sound and fury

I’ve mentioned before the need for more ‘poetry listenings‘ rather than poetry readings, but I went to an open mike event last night and I think it’s a topic that is worth returning to.

Although most of the readers and the rest of the audience had been milling around for half an hour or more, the event was late starting. As there weren’t many of us there, this wasn’t a problem: there would be plenty of time for everyone. But as soon as the girl presenting the event had said it was time to begin and sat down to play at the piano, the chap in front of me started to fuss and fidget.
Continue reading “sound and fury”

lowering the tone

After writing the not nice post yesterday about offensive poetry, it was time to choose some poems to take along to read at the open mike at the bookshop.

I’ve written before about points to consider when choosing poems to read in public, but as everyone in the neighbourhood is still talking about the complaints received about “rude and offensive naughty poetry and song”, I felt I should try and find something to suit the mood.
Continue reading “lowering the tone”