Here with ... The Name Game
A rose is a rose is a rose. Famous words from Gertrude Stein. Those words have rung in my head for ages.
Because of course they raise the question, is a rose a rose by any other name?
I'm bringing this up because writing word pieces came naturally. I started to wake up with words going through my head,
sometimes with music, sometimes not. I would get up, jot down the opening words, then "follow the words" - let the words continue in my head and write them down as they came.
But what are these things? And then, what did writing them make me? Could I be ... a spoken word artist?
When I was a child, I wrote a couple of plays and even a filmscript. When I grew up, I felt more drawn to novel writing.
I never had a hankering to write poems or to be a poet. I loved reading books, novels, stories. I loved plays and films. I wasn't keen on poetry.
So what was I doing, writing this stuff?
And what was "this stuff", anyway? In my mind I called the pieces, "word pieces".
That's not very helpful for others. I have to explain, each and every time. And since I wanted to be found on the web, it was essential to use words that would get the stuff found.
Poems. Poetry. Spoken word poetry.
Those terms don't feel comfortable for me.
And then I thought of the many students I've had who hate the term feminist, but are totally for equality between women and men. I've had a hard time with their allergy to the term.
Now I think I know what they were feeling - something like what I feel about words like poet and spoken word artist.
Who is, in my mind, a poet? Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare come to mind. Adrienne Rich and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Byron.
I think of Ode to Skylark and How do I love thee? Let me count the ways?
Nothing wrong with Emily Dickinson or Shakespeare. But the word "poet" doens't feel right to me.
Another thought. I can't imagine someone wanting to fix teeth for a living, but not wanting to be considered a dentist.
But I do have friends whose children are having babies and who go, "I love the baby - but I don't feel like a grandmother." They may even make sure they're not called something like grandma.
Words do so much more than describe - they evoke so much. I think of others words - widow, widower.
If the shoe fits, wear it. I just heard those words in my head.
What I write fits within the category of poetry. That makes me a poet.
Many of the pieces are meant to be spoken. That makes them spoken word poetry. And when I'm performing them, I'm a spoken word artist.
What matters most is, do the pieces work for you? Do they touch you, resonate with you, bring someting to you?
I hope they do.
Jan 19, 2009
© copyright Elsa Schieder, 2009, 2011, all rights reserved
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Can't Cross the Gap -
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I began to wake up
with word pieces -
words music, spoken word, songs -
in my head.
Echo of the echo.
Tank almost empty.
Can't cross the gap.
Welcome into my world.
time I'm going
into words not knowing
what forms they will be shaping
what turn they will be taking
reluctantly accepting the term, spoken word artist
January 19, 2009
© copyright - Elsa Schieder - 2008, 2011, all rights reserved