“The Second Coming”: The Reincarnated Poem Open Mic


After the success of the reading at Thalankuppam just over a week ago, we decided to hold something a little more mainstream, just to spread the word that poetry, open-mic style, has come to Chennai.

“The Second Coming” (all puns and cleverness intended) is going to be a mix of two formats. Original poetry, and poetry in translation. The idea is to not only encourage people to get a feel of performing their own writing, but to also hone poetry appreciation and performance poetry in itself, by sharing some of the best verses through the ages. Because March 21 is World Poetry Day we celebrate translation in particular, the gift it gives to the world at large. Basically, in addition to any poetry of your own, bring along a poem that was not originally in English. Think Octavio Paz, Rabindranath Tagore, Anna Akhmatova (for examples) and you’ll see what we’re trying to do.

Friday is a public holiday, and Mocha in the mornings is a lovely setting. This reading will be held on the upper floor, with special permission from the management. All are welcome.

Please click on the flyer below for details. It’s a little cluttered but they’re there. Really. ;)



8 responses »

  1. all the best. would’ve been lovely to be there, but the trek from bangalore is a bit much, given a performance here the same evening. just a thought – why can’t people ‘perform’ existing poetry? not only in translation, but also those originally written in English. poetry is after all meant to be performed, right? so why not perform ‘the second coming’ itself? i have been, for a few years now, and it generally works.

  2. Arka — Thanks for the support! For this event, we wanted poems in translation for the same reason that writing support groups use prompts: it isn’t to limit, it’s to challenge. Don’t worry, we have many more events in mind — and themes will change, and occasionally we’ll enjoy themelessness.

  3. Hey, I got that. I was just suggesting that you guys look at performing poems by a Yeats, or a Dylan Thomas, or a Delmore Schwartz or a Billy Collins or Carol Anne Duffy – the list goes on – that is, if music bands can do ‘cover versions’, so to say, we performance poets can, too. I was a reader of poetry before starting to write, and to me it has always been something meant for the mouth. So do think about that as a future possibility.
    P.S. – sent you an invite for something we are doing here on Saturday, although you wont’ be able to make it, but I guess it’s important to let other people in the community know. Cheers!, and all the best.

  4. Hey, thanks! Yes — it’s a possibility, as long as copyright issues don’t get in the way. I know Jeet Thayil has a band of sorts, mixing spoken word with music and singing. I myself record my own poems, and although I’ve been approached and had conversations about wanting to add music to it for ages, haven’t done it myself yet. I shall be in touch next time I’m in B’lore. :)

  5. Interesting. Would try to drop in but I don’t have any idea what a poem is though. Just a curious person. How come the flier shows a picture of spencer while the event is at Mocha?!

  6. Rakesh — Hopefully, you can make it to the next event. Yup, that pic was taken by Chandrachoodan at Spencer’s. It just looks cool, and there’s that whole reflection thing which tied in with our theme. Could we have found a more apt pic? Sure. But hey.

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