First Poetry Reading – Reaction

As promised, a post to tell you about my first reading: I was nervous, very nervous, I got a good laugh on my walk up to the lectern with my explanation that my poem had a very tenuous link to the evening’s theme of colour, as it had one word, orange, within it. The reading started OK but for some reason my nervousness took over, I could feel myself start to shake and blood rushing to my head, I could feel myself turning that deep shade of red, like my 10 year old son blushes at the very mention of the word boobies. By the end of the poem my hands were shaking, my voice was broken and the lectern was being held as tight as I could possibly hold it.

Why I get like this I don’t know, it’s been with me for as long as I can remember: the first morning of leadership training courses were a nightmare for a nervous public speaker like me: new faces and new instructors all expecting confident service people to glide through a 2 or 4 week course. Maybe that is where I am going wrong, the build up of expectation in my head.

Do I continue or do I stop ? Well I’m not going to stop writing poetry, that’s for sure. Many people write poetry and the words never leave the confines of their own four walls. I think, and maybe it’s my own arrogance, but I think my poetry is quite good, I’ve had a lot of positive comments, I’ve had Editor’s Choice on Poetbay, I’ve had a poem published in the local paper, I’ve had positive feedback from friends and family and I’ve had lots of positive comments from fellow bloggers [thank you] – that can’t all be politeness, there is honesty and belief in the comments I’ve received. I don’t want my poems to live within these four walls, I want them to be out there and I want to read them aloud as they are in my head when I write them. So there’s only one thing for it, grab it by the balls and continue going to my poetry group and continue to gain confidence. I know I can do it, I just have to get everything into perspective and I’m sure it will come.

I’ll keep you posted.

Having said all that Christinaki was well received: a moving poem about a sinking ship and the change of mood on board a Royal Navy ship [normally a very robust, no holds barred environment] when the realisation of the dangers of the sea hits home in the worst possible way when you get to a mayday call, too late. The audience reaction was quite unexpected, they seemed to live with the poem and reacted in a reverent and positive mood to the words. It was much appreciated !

There was no time for a second poem, Robert Seatter was guest speaker and he shared many of his poems and anecdotes with us.

So all in all a strange evening I did not want to repeat when I sat down in my seat but having a little time to reflect, I’m determined to expel the demons so here’s looking forward to more !


2 thoughts on “First Poetry Reading – Reaction

  1. Yay for you! I am proud of you, Steve. I am terrified to speak in public too. It is something that people who aren’t will never understand. My sister could talk to anyone. I think it’s great that you are challenging your fears and, with time, it should become so routine that you don’t mind it at all. If not, I still think it’s absolutely great that you did it.

  2. Thanks Gay, we seem to be propping each other up at the minute – it’s silly how nervous I get but I know I can do it – I’ve done it before, although that was 4 weeks solid, day after day. I’ll get there 🙂

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