The Virtual World of Poetry: Reader's Club Activity

The Department of English organized its second virtual Readers’ Club activity on 12 May 2020. It focussed on two upcoming sub-genres of poetic expression, viz. Spoken Word Poetry and Video Poetry, both of which have distinct elements that set them apart as the new faces of visual and performance poetry.

There were two videos screened for the participants: the first entitled From Up There was a spoken word-poem about a man's unique perspective of/on life during journeys via airplanes, and the other was a video-poem entitled If the World was a Movie which depicted mankind's inner and inter-relationships during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The narrative style and symbology in both caught the attention of the students and the faculty members alike, all of whom participated actively in the ensuing discussion. Several aspects of both the poems - such as the innocence of the child-narrator in the first and the aggressive delivery of the second; the use of physical creative expression in the form of pencil-scribbles and origami paper-boats; the juxtaposition of aerial versus on-ground perspectives; the anger and urgency conveyed by the use of intonation and voice-inflection; and, the use of silence as well as the background score as a medium of delivery - were deliberated upon to understand and appreciate the weight that words carry through an audio-visual  medium.

The hour-long discussion proved to be an enjoyable, thought-provoking experience which came to a close with a second screening of both the videos to allow the ideas of the poems to remain with the audience, urging them to not distance themselves from humanity - in these crucial times of social distancing among humans - and to hope against hope for a safer tomorrow and a better future.