Reading a poem

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Are you part of a local poetry group that meets for readings and open mics? I’ve been attending our local Fraser Valley Poets Society open mics and other functions for upwards of ten years now! It’s been a great place to share work, get practice in reading, even sell books.

For some of those years I’ve been the group’s webmaster. I still am. That means I try to put up a post on our site’s blog after each reading. This involves taking photos of our events and figuring out what to say about them.

Our most recent open mic was last Monday. I snapped away during the reading and came home with a camera full — images of our readers with a variety of facial expressions and in various poses. All those shots reminded me  of how doing a public reading involves so much more than just parroting the words on the page (or phone).

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Image courtesy Pixabay.com

Reading a poem

Reading a poem’s
more than reading just words
about showers or summer
or hockey or birds.

It’s grimaces, eye flicks
a grin or a frown.
It’s where you are looking
upward or down.

It’s words clearly spoken
precisely intoned
to embellish the writing
you’ve carefully honed.

It’s mystery rhythms
that beat soft to loud
you’re part of the story
enchanting the crowd.

It’s significant pause
of emotional choke,
the punchline delivery
of a well-told joke.

Then hand over the mic
to the next girl or guy
while audience claps,
sighs a satisfied sigh.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

To see the poem, above, together with some of our poets in action, check out the original post on our society blog HERE.

(By the way, if you slip on over, you won’t see me. I did read, but you’ll have to take my word for it as there are no pixels to prove it.)

PF-2This poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the Haiku Stickies Queen herself, Diane Mayr at Random Noodling.

This is the house that Donna built

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Donna reads - September 2015

Donna reads – September 2015

I’ve been part of a local poetry group for about ten years! My involvement started out when the MSA Poets Potpourri Society invited me to be a guest reader at one of their poetry nights. I think it was in 2005. After a few years of attending off-and-on, I became a paid member. In 2010 I started our website. Then a few years ago I became one of the directors.

Last year we changed our name to Fraser Valley Poets Society. We also published a book of writings by our society’s founder on the occasion of her 90th birthday (titled Encouragement).

Donna Bishop started our club way back in 1981, after she got a standing ovation for reading one of her poems at a poetry reading in a neighboring town. She realized what a powerful force for good sharing poetry could be and wanted others to experience it too.

Donna’s book is a collection of poems and essays not only by Donna. There’s also an anthology section of poems by our members and a section of tributes.

We had our first poetry reading of this fall season on Monday—an open mic. Guess who was there—Donna herself, now almost 91 and still sharp as a tack! Of course she read for us.

Our president happened to read my tribute poem to her, and later in the week, the sweet lady phoned and asked if I would read it at her memorial service. Of course I said yes, but told her we sure hope that would not be for a long time yet!

It’s the poem I’m going to share with you today:

THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT DONNA BUILT
(with apologies to Mother Goose)

These are Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

These are the words of the English tongue
and other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

These are the poems, some short, some long
crafted in words of the English tongue
and other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

These are the books of original verse
with shiny covers, thoughts diverse
crafted in words of the English tongue
and other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

And here is healing for low esteem
where everyone listens and knows your name
buys your books of original verse
with their shiny covers, thoughts diverse
and listens to poems, some short, some long
crafted in words of the English tongue
and the other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

Thank you Donna!
© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Read some of Donna’s poems HERE.
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Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Michelle at her always-something-interesting-happening blog Today’s Little Ditty.