The world is your oyster!: Hullabaloo about a Haiku        

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hullabaloo about a Haiku

I went to a poetry reading on Thursday. Some guys in my ward here like writing poems, and they organized an open-mic night at a place called the Coffee Pod. One of the guys who organized it is really good friends with Caitlin, my roommate, so I went with her.

I was excited because it was going to be my first poetry reading. I couldn't wait to snap after each poem while drinking hot chocolate and contemplating the complexities of life to a sort of jazzy cadence. I would probably meet lots of interesting people, creative people who wore scarves and mocassins and ate organic foods for every meal. I could practically hear the uneven pulse of the bongo drums as I carefully tied a scarf around my own neck, hoping I would fit in with the other poets. My perception wasn't totally off, but there were some things that I got wrong.

There was actually a pretty good turnout, considering how lonely and misunderstood poets are often depicted to be. I saw several scarves, and a few mocassins, but some of the people were dressed in more mainstream clothes. There were no bongo drums, and only about half of the people snapped (the other half clapped, like uncultured laymen). Don't worry, I was definitely a snapper.

There was a variety of poems presented. Some of them I liked, and some of them I really did not like. My personal favorite was an original piece about a food fight in a grocery store with an old lady who tried to cut the speaker in the checkout line. It was cleverly worded, rolled smoothly off the reader's tongue, and entertained me a good deal.

My other favorite was written by one of the girls about a phone conversation she had with an old crush. It was so cute and described, very accurately, how we feel when we don't want to like someone, but somehow fall for them every time we talk.

The majority of the crowd was college students, but there was one man who taught at UVU and was ecstatic to see so many people from the younger generation getting into poetry. He did something called "performance poetry" and performed a few poems he got from some event called "The Howl." It did not sound pleasant at all. He yelled into the microphone and glared at us and made me quite afraid.

I thought that many of the poems were thought-provoking and interesting, but some of them made me feel like I was getting in trouble because I disagreed with the message they were promoting.

For example, one of the poems was about how the people who steal are those who say "don't steal," and the people who tell you not to be mean are the meanest people of all. I think that is completely untrue. There are some people that are hypocritical, but to say that everyone is seems like a sweeping over-generalization that I have observed being disproven more often than not.

The problem with poets (not all of them, but many of them), is that they seem to feel superior to others. I realized, as I was leaving the poetry reading, that I probably appear very shallow to my more poetic peers. I don't sit around philosophizing, but I don't think that makes me inferior to them. Their poems sometimes came across as condescending, and gave the impression that they felt frustrated with our generation's lack of interest in those things that they hold in a place of utmost importance.

I am more of a Dr. Suess poet than a Sophocles, I think. I have a mild interest in life's "big questions," but I feel like they have already been answered to my satisfaction in my religion. I don't worry about them. I like writing poems to entertain people. Here's one I wrote for Dahl, Kelly's fiance:

Dahl, Dahl Dahl.
He's my pal.
He's my chum, my FRIEND!
Friends until the END!
Dahl-licious and Dahl-lightful
Will you be my Dahl-entine?

You see what I mean when I say I'm not all that deep. I kind of want to share one of my poems at the next event, but I worry that if I did, the other poets would think I was mocking them.

Do you think I should??

At one point, Caitlin and I went and got some hot chocolate. I got a hazelnut steamer and she got a Mexican Mocha (sans the coffee). They were nice to have on our walk home, which was almost as fun as the reading itself. We made up poems about everything the whole way back. As long as it rhymed, we were happy.

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