So I had this major assignment for my Music in Culture class where I had to attend a musical performance with three other classmates and write a report about it. Well I attended the event last month and finally decided it’s about time I work on that report part.
The musical performance we attended was actually a poetry slam, since it had to be a form of music we aren’t familiar with. We also get extra credit for covering a form of music that hasn’t been covered before, so we chose the poetry slam for that reason and because anyone could make an argument that the performances could be interpreted as such. Anyway, my classmates and I actually had fun. We thought it might be boring, but it’s interesting watching other people pour out their heart and soul to a room full of random strangers. The majority of the poems were depressing life experiences which no doubt made the performer a stronger person, etc. But a good amount were just friendly entertaining ones. Regardless of the themes, I couldn’t help but admire each performer and this talent they seem to have in bringing their words to life.
I can’t help but think back to the time when I was maybe 8 years old and I wrote my very first poem. Something about stars in the sky. I never kept a diary, but I did have a journal that was mine for school. I wrote the poem in there with no real reason. It was just very spontaneous and ad lib, but I felt an immense amount of happiness at the time I was writing it. A couple days later I hear my brother laughing, and when I go to see why, he’s reading my poem. Apparently he took my journal to grab a piece of paper for his own homework and found it there. I was so mad, I just smacked it out of his hand and put my journal back with my school supplies after telling him to mind his own business.
Well another few days roll by and this time I hear him reading it aloud. My grandmother used to have this baby sitting service where other kids would stay at our place and basically she would get paid to have us play with them for some hours. I had gone to the backyard to help her garden, and when I came back inside my brother was reading the poem to these two girls my age who usually came by every weekend. My brother at this point seems to genuinely like the poem because while the two girls are laughing at its ridiculousness, he’s telling them to shut up. It’s too late though. Just the sight of it all puts me on edge. I felt so mad, like all that time I spent writing and all that happiness and pride that I felt were wasted lies. Instantly, I punch the two girls and immediately rip the poem to shreds before throwing it on the floor and not talking to them the rest of the day. (Though everything was undoubtedly my brother’s fault, I didn’t dare punch him, knowing I would just get it all back ten-fold.)
Sometimes I think to myself, had my brother not ruined that moment for me, would I have been as talented with words? I still get that feeling of happiness and spontaneity every time I sketch something I actually put an effort into, and usually those sketches tend to be my best ones. They typically remind me of that brief moment in my life where I thought I might become a poet.