Reading a Poem — Last Night


I read a poem for an open mic last night because I’m planning to slam in three weeks and it seemed like an appropriate form of preparation. I went with one that I Limed previously (Like Road, Like Car), before I was blogging excessively. My poetry professor from a couple of semesters ago hated it, but uh, I chose not to take this as a sign that peeps at a reading wouldn’t like it. Plus, I’ve practiced it aloud before.

It was a little scary. My face got progressively hotter as I read and it’s not really a short poem, so I was burning by the time I finished. I didn’t cry, though, or throw up. And that was awesome.

Big and exciting discovery of the evening: stuttering and quietness don’t seem to be issues for my most nervous of selves. Rather, I seem to have the quirky “deep blush” thing going on. At least I know where to go light on the makeup.

Fortunately, my slams really were written to be performed, so that should make the whole performance piece easier.

Unfortunately, I have not mastered this thing called “memorization” and I’m really wishing it came a little more naturally.

If anyone has any grand advice or helpful tips, I would be grateful like whoa (especially if they are magical tips that immediately imprint my poetry into my brain).

6 responses »

  1. Edgar Cayce would put a book under his pillow and memorize everything in it overnight. But I’m not sure that would work in this case. Songs are easy to learn. Maybe if you set your poem to music and sang it out loud until every cell in your body knew it by heart?

    • I’m so jealous. I wish that would work for me.

      There might be something in the musical idea, though — I’m thinking maybe I should record myself and play it back and that would give it a feel of music, maybe… Thanks, Columbi!

  2. Dear Lime,

    I use repetition. Read the poem out loud over and over again as you would perform it until it is second nature. Another method is to write it down over and over again until you have it wired. Both work. both take time. Good luck with the slam.



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