Friday, 5 June 2015

Getting all excited about poetry forms

This time it is not the form of the poem itself, but of the poetry sharing meetings.

1. Small group of 6 maximum, round a pub table, passing around a published collection by one of the people there, take turns to read out different poems, or even take turns to read out the same one.

2. In a small group, share photocopies of published poems by people who are not in the room but are known to one of us personally, ie have met in real life, or at any rate have heard read in the same room. Again, take turns to read the poems out, because each person has a different way of reading out loud.

3. I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Share poems we have not put forward for publication and are not likely to any time soon. The poems are shared, but go no further. So the really personal stuff gets an airing in a safe space. We all get to know each other a lot better. We at least know we don't have to sit on 'those' poems.

4. Moving towards other languages: working away at translations we or other people have already published. Pick apart what we can of each language; laugh at our terrible knowledge of vocab and grammar; stop feeling that it's a bad thing that our language skills are at whatever level they are at. We are breathing, isn't that enough?? So share both our knowledge and our un-knowledge. Only very short poems, or just the first couple of lines of a poem. It's not an exam.

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