I had the incredible opportunity to speak with Jerry, a local poet and author on the subject of oral tradition, the similarities and differences on how poets and storytellers craft their work and what inspires him.
Jerry, smiles, leaning slightly forward in his metal handled chair, recalling an instance when a poet, at a poetry reading, attempted to read a poem that he had not read in almost twenty years. The result was a flattening, lifeless experience for both writer and audience members alike! Shaking his head, Jerry wondered what the poet might have thought, feeling, imagining when they wrote this piece of poetry. He wondered how this poem touched that person’s life, their heart, and what inspired them to write it to begin with. He further talked about wondering what the impact of the poems phrases felt like when this person was writing the poem and how this again comes through in the reading of this poet’s work through the reader’s diction, rhythm and meter of their voice.
I too had to smile! Jerry’s words ignited my inner awareness, enthusiasm and reflections in the art of storytelling and the artistry of story development. How does the story touch me? What images are going through my mind’s eye as I retell this story? What feelings and emotions are part of the story, the characters and the reality of their lives? How is my voice, my jesters and other personal expressions reflect specific aspects of the story and its story-line? Why is it important to me to tell this story? How does this story benefit the audience? How do I benefit from telling this story?
In extended appreciation to Jerry Neal, local author and poet!
Jerry’s book; Collected Poems are found at:
Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin