Having just experienced another positive evening adjudicating Poetry Out Loud, a nation wide poetry event, I was struck by the sheer nervous energy-joy-hopes & aspirations-chutzpah-zeal and love that was part of both evenings.
Tonight was of a higher level for me, in that I did not experience another On-The-Way-Mini-Drama as I did last week (look for Leaning Over The Edge, part une, for that tale). Nothing to shake me down to some core helplessness…except for getting stuck on a road I’ve never been stuck on before in all the years I’ve lived in this area (thank you, Mr. Coke Delivery Truck! Another reason now for why I prefer Pepsi products.).
The students tonight were of an exceptional high quality, overall, and I really have to say that there were some tough choices to be made. A little too theatrical here, not connecting enough with the audience there (hmm..I just realized I use that “here..there” concept a little too much in my writing..well, tuff), and some over rehearsed gestures that just don’t fit…really, not that much this night. Clear voices, clear display of understanding of the material voiced, and overall some very good energy in the presentations. Three hours haven’t gone by so smoothly, again, in my opinion.
While there were a lot of outstanding moments, what sticks with me right now are the two very different powerful interpretations of “Jaberwocky” by Lewis Carrol. Both found different elements of bravado, energy, humor and horror…and both were spot on for the students who braved the piece.
One of these young men won the coveted Golden Ticket in the candy bar to move on to the Washington, DC event in March. The other young man who did was equally amazing in how he sold his two poetry piece in an almost understated but truly moving and captivating way.
Applause to ALL the students I’ve seen perform these two Fridays. This was a pleasure, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, worth missing TWO episodes of “Fringe” for. That’s a very high compliment in my book!
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogroves, And the mome raths outgabe.