Young Poets Network

Posted 03.06.11 in Writing

‘Poetry Recital, Somewhere in the City’ by Dan Hodgkinson

His heart beat to poems recited
By the act before him, or so it seemed
And in his head were whispers, screamed
Like a well projected voice

His mind, quivered like so many programs
Turning in the hands of a thousand punters
Before lights down.  Their eyes like predatory hunters
Awaiting their evening meal.

Fleeting doubt that the wood grain matched
The fingertips of someone other
But the well worn stage of many another
Is now any young man’s game.

Dan Hodgkinson wrote Poetry Recital, Somewhere in the City in response to Joelle Taylor’s ‘No Man’s’ Land’ Challenge

Joelle Taylor says: In this poem there are some very strong images used – and I’m excessively pleased that you had a go at method writing! Whilst it is always good practice to write what you know, it can be equally as good to imagine yourself fully as another person and to imaginatively widen your experience. Did you feel the fear of the performer as you wrote it? I loved the opening, “His heart beat to poems recited by the act before him…”  which I feel perfectly captures that element of stage fright that is created by comparison to another. Another powerful part is, “His mind quivering like so many programs/ Turning in hands of a thousand punters/Their eyes like predatory hunters”. Brilliant. The final verse is slightly less effective for me, and I wondered why you used the wood grain imagery for stage fright. Or is it in fact simply that the character in it used the  wood grain of the stage as a metaphor for skin and finger prints, and whether the stage could be his skin? Or am i just weird? Thank you so much for taking part in this challenge Dan – and please, please write more for the network. You are a talented young poet.

Comments (3)

3 Responses to “‘Poetry Recital, Somewhere in the City’ by Dan Hodgkinson”

  1. Dan says:

    Wow, that feedback is really good. Thank you! Putting yourself in another person’s shoes was a great way to get the imagination going.
    Reading it back I understand what you mean about the final verse. It was more a metaphor to highlight the character getting over the stage fright once he stepped out onto the stage and seeing he had just as much chance to impress the audience as everybody else. Perhaps that could have been clearer, I just liked its flow.

  2. The Wig says:

    ‘And in his head were whispers, screamed’


  3. The Wig says:

    Joelle gives really good feedbacks, very uplifting yet honest =]