Monday, March 26, 2012

And now a word about poetry

I am not a big fan of poetry (though I love a good limerick and a witty haiku). Maybe it's because I didn't have a middle school or high school English teacher who knew how to properly teach poetry -- or teach it in a way that made it interesting (or understandable) for me. As a result, most poetry, especially when it is performed, makes me roll my eyes and think "what pretentious BS."

(Though I love this scene from the Zodiak Club in Bell, Book and Candle, probably because it makes my point.)

So you can imagine my trepidation at attending our local poetry as performance art program, put on by high school and middle school poets, including, for the first time this year, my daughter (who loves poetry, no doubt because she has been blessed with wonderful English teachers).

I tried to be optimistic -- maybe when I see my daughter and her friends performing poetry, I'll change my mind about it! But each time I tried to envision the performance, all I could think of was this scene from The Munsters...

and Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer...

And I was not that far off the mark.

Indeed, that clip of Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers) performing his poem, "Woman, Woe Man, Whoa Man" comes pretty close to what the poetry program was like -- including the photos in the background and the live musicians, though without the bass and with less bongos, and no alcohol (alas).

And there was way more interpretive dancing (i.e., way too much interpretive dancing) at our poetry performance. (Yes, you read that correctly, interpretive dancing. I know. Where was Billy Crystal when I needed him? Ironically, one of the few poems that did not include interpretive dancing was the one about the Oscars. Go figure.)

And while the poetry performance did not completely change my mind about poetry, many of the poems -- and poets -- were quite good, better than good even.

Though next year I'm requesting more bongos. And William Shatner.

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