Building Poetry, Shaping Me: Architect @ Tuning Fork

Another Monday at the Tuning Fork and how can I possibly hate the week when it starts that way?

I’ve been struggling a bit with performance poetry. I now know the difference between performed poetry and spoken word. I can’t entirely articulate it but I can see, hear and feel the difference. Spoken Word comes naturally to me; it’s almost like I have always been able to do it but only been thwarted and stopped by other people’s limited ideas or controlling actions. I speak what I think and it’s pretty lucid and even interesting if I’ve practised.

On the other hand, my poetry is somewhat prettier with flourishier words and ideas than I’d usually use while speaking. How to express these, on stage especially, without feeling like a dolt? Because really those feelings all bubble up and show in the nervous fidgets, the unnecessary grins, the odd-sounding voice intonation. How to be true to the poem and not sully it with these other things?

Then I remembered my mother telling me, years ago, to close my eyes and really feel the sentiment and that my performance would ring true if I did that. Of course, she was speaking about music. She’s a trained classical singer and has performed on All India Radio in her youth. I took her advice and it served me well through my singing days. You didn’t know I had music in my history, did you? Not if you’ve met me or my blog only recently. Well, another day.

But a performance is a performance, music or poetry and why not try the same tactic here, I reasoned? I think it worked.

I wrote ‘Architect’ several months ago. I even had a chance to perform it at The Hive a few weeks back. That particular evening, I was accompanied by someone whose presence I valued but who didn’t really know that much about poetry. It was an evening of high emotion, some tears and a turning point in a friendship.

But yesterday, Swamini showed up. And her workshop at Word Lounge on writing about spaces had reignited my interest in this poem. I really wanted to run it by her. I knew she would just get what I was trying to do with it.

So, what do you think? Did the performance I’ve painstakingly constructed stand? Does my story speak to you, free of fuss and awkwardness? Here’s ‘Architect‘ at the Tuning Fork.

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