I’ve been writing poetry since I was a young teen - nearly four decades! Several years ago, I had a poem published in our local paper and most recently, one published in a book. I have read my poems aloud on a couple of occasions to very small groups of folks that I was acquainted with. I have even identified myself as a poet. But it wasn’t until this morning, that I actually felt I truly am a poet.
Today’s poetry reading in support of the book was an unqualified success. My editor coordinated and led the event. The three dozen or so people who gathered in the social hall of a classic New England church were warm, welcoming and appreciative - nary a heckler among them! Chuck literally and figuratively had my back as he sat directly behind me. I was happy that I wasn’t feeling particularly nervous about the reading. I was more nervous about the small talk I needed to make with strangers before things got underway!
I read third, which was just about perfect. I had the chance to see and hear two other poets first, but I didn’t have to wait so long that I could have grown more anxious. I believe I set my voice to the correct volume and spoke to the folks in the back. I believe I looked up several times throughout my reading. Chuck reports that I did well and that my hands and book did not tremble as I stood before the audience. Chuck also said that there was audible murmuring at the end of my poem, followed by generous applause. I sort of, almost, kind of remember being able to hear the applause and smiling in response as I took my seat! I also was able to really listen to and enjoy all the poems which were read this morning.
Throughout the rest of the day, Chuck turned to me and pretended to speak to an imaginary stranger saying: “Why yes, that is my wife Lee, The Poet! Yes, she is available for readings!” How cute is he? Pretty darn cute, I’ll tell ya!