Performer’s Perspective: Poetry Out Loud 2018

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Performer’s Perspective: Poetry Out Loud 2018

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Think about it: we all have seen a movie or can imagine a scene of a 1960s coffee shop where there are benches and chairs surrounding espresso machines to a dimly lit platform, in which a sharply dressed original poet wearing a turtleneck is expressing dramatic, original poetry. Yep, it’s a mouthful. The same concept is being done at Weddington High School, except in a fresh-looking, well-lit media center in which there are no espresso machines, and the students are reciting classic poetry. I had the privilege to take part in this event after winning a class contest in my English 2 Honors class. The project was given to us by our teacher, Mr. Lukey, in which we were to take part in a national contest for the modern coffee-house poetry lovers. Except, this time it is not original poetry, rather poetry from critically-acclaimed poets like Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and Robert Frost. I chose to select the poem, “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo. This poem discusses the importance of family, friendship, and enjoying life. It was also very dramatic, which as an actor, I took much joy in. During the school-level contest, I only got to stay for one poem. However, I could see that everyone there really had a love for poetry and the art of expressing other people’s writing. After the contest, my friend texted me to alert me that I got first place and would be moving on to the county district. At the county district, I have to perform a pre-20th-century poem along with the poem that I won the school contest with. That being said, I will be performing “When You Are Old” by William Butler Yeats and “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo. The district level contest will take place at the Central Academy of Technology and Arts at 4 PM.

“Perhaps the World will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.”

– “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo