Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Museum Muse

Yesterday I took part in a performance poetry workshop at Bewdley Museum with the very wonderful Heather Wastie and Emma Purshouse. We took two poems to perform, one of our own and one written by someone else. I used the as-yet-untitled first poem I have ever written especially for a Love Slam (competitive poetry event) so that I could try it out on an audience, and also chose a poem by the incomparable John Hegley entitled 'Coming for Christmas'. I thought that it worked for performance and was quite challenging. 
We also got to look around this lovely museum and write something inspired by the objects, displays, interpretation or surroundings. I wrote two poems, using different voices (we performed them later).

The first was the voice of an elegant two-piece ladies outfit from 1895:

I have taken afternoon tea, 
with ladies of high quality,
I'll have you know, 
and even though
I've now been put on show,
a relic of those bygone days,
I don't mind being subject
to your gaze.
From what I see from here
the clothes you're wearing 
wouldn't last 
a half a year.

The next poem was inspired by the stocks, and a story about two boys caught playing marbles in Wribbenhall Parish Churchyard and put in the stocks as punishment. The vicar took pity on them, as it was snowing, and sent someone out with a rug!

It was only bleedin marbles after all...
not as if I swore or somethin
now me feet are bleedin freezin
why they gone an put us ere?
Ere's the vicar, 
come to let us out.
Oh no, 
it's just to put a rug 
upon us. 

I also started a poem about slaughterhouses which I'll finish in due course as it's a very strong subject so I'd like to take my time and do it justice.
I'd like to thank Heather and Emma for a great day, and everyone else who attended for being such good company. Oh, and do visit the lovely Bewdley, and its Museum, if you haven't already (and if you have, why not go again?)


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