Monday, April 17, 2006

Poetry from Pain

My article on Francesca Beard is in Starmag yesterday.

How she began performing her work:
Although she wrote poetry for years, she didn’t consider performing it until, after being dumped very painfully by a boyfriend, she lugged her badly bruised ego along to an open mike session where she felt no one would know her. She describes her first experience of standing in front of an audience as being like a bungee jump. But fear took away the heartbreak, and performing her work for an audience quickly became addictive. “When people say that creative writing is a form of therapy, it really was for me.” The anger she felt towards her boyfriend was channelled into a powerful poem called Length of String, which she included in her collection of poems, Cheap, a cyclostyled chapbook that she sells at gigs.
Pain and anger and a desire for revenge on those who cause us greatest hurt can be a terrific boost to creativity! Just sharpen up those knives!

Kitty Kaye has written a very good piece about Francesca, while Ridzwan A. Rahim has penned a very good introduction to peformance poetry for "the opposition"!

I like Ridzwan's suggestion that:
In Malaysia, the closest that we have to performance poetry is perhaps pantun, which is really a battle between poets where the audience is also highly involved.
I agree. I love pantuns and think so much more could be done with them - particularly in performance ...


Spot said...

Wouldnt sajak or syair be more accomodating of being performed?

I remember my BM teacher making some of us "perform" sajak "dengan penuh perasaan".

Have never quite recovered from the hair raising experience!!

dreamer idiot said...

Pantun, yes...remember it from primary school. Very interestingly, the term 'pantun', though a genre of Malay puisi and like 'haiku' is henceforth 'foreign' in Western literary circle, is included in my Dictionary/Glossary of Literary terms! It's that nice! :)

BTW, Sharanya has already posted for this week. :) As soon as i sent her the invaion (yesterday), she did her first post! So, it'll be your turn next week then.

dreamer idiot said...

Oops, typo. I meant, isn't that nice!

irene said...

Loved the article, Sharon! Francesca's performance made me see poetry in a whole new way. She makes poetry fun... yes, it may be a form of therapy and a venue for releasing angst, but her sense of humour is always apparent. That's what struck me the most, watching her on stage.

bibliobibuli said...

spot - you could well be right ... would be intersting to see

dreamer idiot - not many westerners really know what a pantun is and there is confusion with another form called the pantoum which is also intersting (i want to write something in this form)

irene - thanks. think francesca has got way past the pain thing now and exploring other themes esp identity - and she's very funny