Haibun for dVerse – feel the fear

It’s hard to say what I was so afraid of. It’s hard to imagine what I was so afraid of. I was five hours’ drive from home, with one of my oldest friends, in a smallish room, with pictures lining the walls, and friendly people sitting at tables. We were sharing a bottle of wine, white wine, that we had brought with us. My friend smiled confidently at the master of ceremonies. She knew him well. “Ah, no” she smiled, in answer to his question. “I’m not reading tonight…

But my friend is“.

So perhaps I was afraid that nobody would listen. That they wouldn’t like my stuff. That they would realise I’m not a poet at all, I’m an imposter. The wine tasted sour in my mouth and I struggled to concentrate on what anyone else was reading. When I was asked to stand, I winced, but I went for it. I opened my mouth, and listened to the words spilling out:

“I used to think that poetry had to be about something big and important, but now I find I mostly write about rooks…”

And off I went.

the wild bird flies free
sunlight breaks through rolling clouds
a flower opens

Toni at dVerse has asked us to write a haibun about overcoming a fear. I did my first poetry reading last week, while staying with a friend who is a confident and seasoned poet and performer. It was terrifying, and then it stopped being terrifying and was great! I had committed myself to doing a reading this year. I might even do more…

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17 thoughts on “Haibun for dVerse – feel the fear

  1. Yowser! Nothing trivial about this fear…but you did it! Good for you! I remember the first time I “read” my poetry and I was afraid someone would stand up and shout, how dare your read my poem or something equally foolish. the haiku was so full of freedom and joy that I must say, I love that you write about rooks….

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  2. I think we feel so “exposed” when we have to stand alone in front of people and present something of ourselves. I think many of us feel like we’re imposters on some level. Yay for you for getting up there anyway!

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  3. I’ve read a handful of times in front of folks. It’s funny, it always makes me nervous, even if i’m confident in my material. Even when we did drama class, reading someone else’s stuff. I’m with you there, Sarah. But the reward. You read and every eye is on you. You win acclaim and respect for your work, (and I know you would).

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  4. Oh, Sarah, thank you so much for this! I have my first reading on 10th May – it’s only a little poem at the launch of an Emma Press anthology, but I’m scared already! I shouldn’t worry, after performing as an English, media studies and drama teacher for years, but as I get older I seem to be more fearful and less inclined to leave the house. So very well done for flying free and, once again, thank you”

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