Saturday, 8 August 2009

dreaming of reading

I had a very odd dream last night.
I was reading - at a festival I think; I was reading the poem 'First things' and was about three-quarters through when someone in the audience stood up and finished it. They were reading it from the book. This was someone I knew, though not well, and I didn't think (in the dream) that he read it very well.

I found my reaction odd in the dream; I wasn't annoyed that someone had interrupted and taken over that way - I was partly pleased he liked the poem enough to want to do that, and partly sad that he didn't read it better.

On reflection, I wonder if this is to do with some stuff I have been thinking about to do with audience and my process; I often feel a poem isn't finished until it meets an audience. I know that reading a poem to an audience (however small) is different to reading it out loud to myself. The awareness of another consciousness engaging with the poem allows me to step into a different relationship with it, gives me a new perspective on it.

More to think about...


  1. Interesting, Angela. As I see this, you are afraid your poetry is understood fully only by yourself and that your audience will not do your work justice. The message of the dream might be that you may well be right but there is nothing you can do about it and therefore should not be afraid.


  2. Thanks, Duncan. I think there is certainly some of that in it. I have always felt that, once a poem is let loose into the world, it is no longer 'mine' in a way as all readers bring their own stuff to it when it is read. However, when someone really doesn't 'get' what I am trying to do, for instance in a workshop, it's difficult not to feel a bit put out.