I went to an enjoyable poetry reading last Friday night. The guest reader, Patricia Irvine was excellent and the other poets all read well. It is exciting to see how much some of my poet friends are improving.
The venue was good, if a little cold (red wine helped with fixing that), the whole evening was well run and we were all intent on enjoying ourselves. The thing that has led to further discussion (on Facebook) though is mostly about one particular word. I don't think any of us would agree with banning any words, as long as they are used appropriately, but.. One of the thoughts that has been expressed is that we should be a little cautious about our words.
If the poem had been read in an appropriate place, we would never have hear the words, because in my opinion, the appropriate place for that particular poem was in a private place, with a private audience. Very private.
I've been thinking about the issue, and these are my words from the brief Facebook discussion:
But if you're using your words to create an effect, well, who are we, the audience, to lay (excuse the pun) any blame.
We don't have to like what we hear, but we all have the right up, to some unspoken point, to speak/read our poetry.
I know of one word that another poetry reading organiser has black-listed, and that is made reasonably clear to anyone who wants to know about it.
It's a tricky situation, and I feel good manners and discretion should be used in these situations. A reader should be aware of the audience and only read work that will not cause too much offense. Unless, I suppose, their wish is to cause offense.
Hmm, more thinking required on this one.