Monday, August 23, 2010

Public Squeaking.

I gave a speech at a black tie dinner in March 2009. It was fairly nerve wracking but I memorized the gist of the speech, and had a little mnemonic for each section and got through it unharmed, with a few laughs, and that was that.

This weekend I was at the wedding of two very good friends from university and they kindly asked me to read First Sight by Phillip Larkin at the service. I decided I would learn it by heart in order to give the best performance I could and, thankfully, it went fine: I stood, I poetried, I sat again. Phew.

It was strange, though, having to learn something word perfect, for possibly the first time ever, to deliver as impeccably as possible. The best man, groom and father of the bridge speeches must all be scary and exciting too, but at least you can ad lib, or um and err your way through them. For poetry, you have to get it perfect, everytime (talking widely here now, not about myself).

Anyone else done a poetry reading / recital? I might try The Waste Land next…

'This music crept by me upon the waters
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline

1 comment:

John Medd said...

I'm waiting for the time to drop Hovis Presley's I Rely On You in. There's a couple of opportunities coming up...