I'm not sure why this happened but I just read poetry in public at an event with which I have no real connection. It was poetry night for the charter high school where my daughter is a school secretary. She had agreed to read and she put forth my name as a reader also. Every other reader was a student, teacher or administrator of some sort. I did not belong. Well, what the hell? There I was with a poem of mine called "Marathon" about, of course, runners, and a poem of Symborska's because she is so wonderful. Everyone was most friendly and gracious beforehand.
I did not feel nervous, although I've read only once before in public. I knew the poem was all right, not personal but fairly strong as a statement, and easy to read. Symborska is also quite easy to read, her writing is so strong and immediate. But Rachel read first and she took her cue from some of the men who had been rather dramatic. She studied to be an actress and so read two poems, very humorously and with much charm and personality. That made me nervous. I have to follow that act with two okay poems? Well, one doesn't have a fit of second thoughts at the 11-9//10ths hour. So I read. I guess it was okay, that was enough. After all I didn't even belong there. But Symborska is strong and, though it could have been read bettter, it wasn't bad.
I remember former timss with stomach twisting, dry mouthed, knee knocking nervousness; that did not happen. I've spoken in front of much larger groups comfortably and have learned not to worry about embarrassing myself even if it's not perfect. So, okay.This is something we are lucky to know by the age of 70 -- alm9st 71. Life experience is wort something.
I met some nice and interesting people, that was the important part of the evening for me. What more can a new comer to a communiy want? To make some possible connections. Enough.
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