Sunday, 15 September 2013

Promenade Poetry - Creative Week Cape Town 2013 - Day 1

As part of Creative Week Cape Town 2013, I will be writing poetry about and for the public at the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town. To find out more about the project, follow me on Twitter: @AmyKayeSA

#Day1 - #PromenadePoetry #CWCT2013

This afternoon, I went down to the Sea Point Promenade to realise a dream of sharing my poetry with the public. Even though I have read my poetry professionally before, this was something completely different. The idea behind the project is to write original poetry each day for whomever happens to pass by or for people that specifically want me to write poetry for them.  The thought of trying to write original poetry for complete strangers is both terrifying and exciting. Having done documentary film and radio making in the past, I love finding out what people's stories are but being an introvert, I feel quite shy approaching people. However, these creative projects are to help me release my fears, to step out of my comfort zone and in turn will make me more confident in my abilities as a writer and poet. I hope that people feel brave enough to come find me, to ask me about the poetry and of course ask me to write poetry for them.

Meet Megan and Ricky, the first two people to come and talk to me today. They are both originally from Johannesburg and are living in Cape Town. Megan asked me to write a poem about nature. They described themselves as a on again/off again couple. Having spoken to them for a few minutes, I began writing their poem. I focussed on using elements of nature in the poem and the theme of love. It came across as quite romantic even though I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a 'romantic' poet. As a poet, I am trying to encapsulate whomever I meet through my words in a matter of moments. It's almost like taking a snapshot of someone - the poem won't necessarily capture who they are but I hope that it serves to capture that moment in time.

I find people fascinating. Just seeing how different people interacted or blatantly ignored the poetry today was quite intense for me. When the first few people jogged, walked over and walked through the chalk, my heart sank. A range of emotions ran through me. Anxiety, sadness, anger, self pity. Was my poetry that bad that people literally walked all over it? I then waited a while and started to notice the patterns of people. Every single one of the children that were there today (including the little guy above), stopped to either come read the poetry, watch me write and for those who couldn't read yet just stood and looked at it. The adults? Not so much. What does this say about us as adults? Have we forgotten how to see the world as our playground? Do children recognise creativity and art more easily than us? 

One lady from Switzerland came running up to me and asked if I was the artist that you heard about on the Creative Week Cape Town event listing. 
She then read the poem and asked who 'Jozi' was as she thought it was the name of a woman. Jozi is actually the nickname South Africans give to the city of Johannesburg. 
Hearing people reading my poetry out loud, to their children, to themselves and to each other was something I've never had the privilege of experiencing before. To have my words come out of other people's mouths is a feeling that I think all artists or creatives long for. It's the ultimate expression of being heard.

I don't know what will happen to my poetry tonight. Tomorrow when I return, it may have been washed away by the ocean or rubbed away by the wind and jogger's feet. Leaving it there out in the open, in the elements leaves me feeling vulnerable and out of control. But letting go is all part of this creative experiment and I am excited to see how the poetry will progress over the week and how far down the promenade I manage to get (weather dependent).

Tomorrow morning I will be at The Promenade from 10am. If you're in the area, come and say hi. I will be posting the times I will be on the Promenade, later in the week so keep posted. 

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