I Write to be Read.

I’m sure a couple of you went “Obviously!” and rolled their eyes on reading that title but I beg for your ears or more specifically eyes. I’m honestly tired of the concept going round in the poetry world that a poem is not a poem if not performed. Now, not to rake anything away from the performance arts (as a matter of fact I am quite the fan of good poetry performances) but some writers just aren’t cut out to perform and some performers aren’t cut out to write. I mean haven’t you ever heard a piece performed and fell in love with it only to read it and find out that it wasn’t all that? Or heard someone stumble through a couple of words stammering and all  only to read the piece later and find that it is actually amazingly well written. Truth be told the scene in Kenya(and apparently in America as well according to a few well placed friends of mine) is making it feel like you can’t really call yourself a poet or writer unless you have performed on some level or the other.

I mean isn’t that the reason the terms writer and performer are two different words that have absolutely nothing in common with each other? I know people who write and write and write and are amazing (i have to find another word to use) at it. Their performances however leave much to be desired. Why then must they be shoved into the world of performance art? hence the title ‘ I Write to be Read.’ Because, I do. You may hate on how I perform my poetry. Yes, I may not “kick it” when I step to the mic, but when i have that pen in my hand and the inspiration hits me, the piece that comes out moves more than a pen on paper.

A famous (in fact borderline cliche) quote says the pen is mightier than the sword. I believe it is. The pen (or keyboard for the fact that I’m typing this) has the ability to change people’s perspectives to create images in people’s minds. That is what i write to be read. For the reader out there to take in my words at their own pace, as many times as they want, create mental castles, build castles in the air, take trips to whatever land they feel like setting my piece in, whatever time. So yes, my poetry may be completely structured, my prose may be a bit long and complex, I may stammer or rush through my words when I perform. But when you read my piece, Properly put your mind to it and read through whatever I have to write, let your mind take you away, you will see why exactly i say, I write to be read.

  9 comments for “I Write to be Read.

  1. December 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    not all poetry is to be performed..

    actually, what I think makes poems a piece to be performed is the use of elements that enhance musicality..if it is to be performed, then it has to soothe the ear…if it is to be read…let it soothe the mental ear, … maybe that is why we are all about rhyme these days because we want it to be musical and everyone thinks a writer is and has to be a performer..

    In my opinion, not every writer is a performer…some performers do not even write their own pieces.. I do not think we should confuse the two….

  2. michael
    December 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Agreed… not to claim mutual exclusivity but some sort of exclusiveness..

  3. December 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I totally agree also the fact that maybe the most “acclaimed” performances are really not so because they are good but cause they are loud….am jus saying 😛

  4. Kirk Katwa
    December 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Yeah, and i’ve heard you!

  5. Kirk Katwa
    December 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Yeah, i think you’ve been heard!

  6. Felicity
    December 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Well said, written, read and grasped. Couldn’t be said any better.

  7. Njeri
    December 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Very well said! I love to read your poetry, very inspiring to the soul! I would love to hear you perform, if you do!

    • michael
      December 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm

      Well if you are lucky you might =).. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *