Poetry: I Am Audience

I’ve been trying to work on some longer poetry this summer, using the invitation via National Writing Project colleagues in the NWP Studio space to spend more time with a poem in the draft/revision stage. This poem — i am audience — was one of the first poems I had been working on, and then I left it for a bit as I struggled with the final version, and then I returned to it to find a finishing point.

The poem captures the early arrival to a concert, with a spectator sitting, watching the musicians and crew getting ready for the show, with those unguarded moments and actions as their own kind of performance (sort of a John Cage concept, I guess). I spent quite a bit of time tinkering with the text of the poem in a document, working and reworking lines and phrases, and then I decided to make a visual/video poem via Lumen5. I asked my friend, Terry, to look at different drafts of the video, and his input and suggestions were helpful and appreciated.

I’m not sure how I feel about the final version, though. I think the video is too long.I was aiming for under 3 minutes but when I tried that, my narration got rushed. Too many words. I tried an alternative version with no voice narration at all but I didn’t feel as if it had the impact I was aiming for. Too much reading.

Finally, yesterday, after letting the poem sit for a few weeks, I re-recorded it, adding time to the video, allowing my voice to slow down and settle in a bit, and it worked, despite the length. (but I still think smaller poems work better as video poems).

Peace (in the audience),

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  1. I don’t think the length matters at all. That is the point of longer poetry after all. I saw this on YouTube first and it was a joy to view…. without the blog reflections to foggy my thinking.

    You are participant… the musicians were lucky to have you there, joining in, observing, writing…..tuning in.
    Life is a series of tuneups.

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