27th September, 2017
WRITE ANGLE SEPTEMBER REVIEW - OPEN MIC AND TOLU AGBELUSI
“What is poetry?” asked a newcomer at our September gig. 'It could be anything', someone responded. Even after ten years of hearing all styles of poetry, Write Angle regulars find it difficult to answer.
One dictionary described it as 'literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature'. (Do you agree?)
Each month brings a different professional poet (or musician) – either recommended, or they apply and Write Angle researches them – the aim being to continue having high quality guests that entertain and broaden your experience of poetry as well as give you the opportunity to get up there at the mike and share your own talents and skills with an audience. We can't please everyone all the time but it won't stop us trying!
Tolu Agbelusi, Nigerian poet, Playwright, Author and Lawyer, had made such an impact on the audience the first time with us, she was asked back as the head-liner to perform in September.
Unexpectedly, she brought her accompanist, Shadé Joseph, who played the keyboard with some of Tolu's poems – it worked beautifully and added a poignancy and emphasis. But, with or without the background provided, Tolu's voice has a musicality on its own. She shared a wide range of her experiences, emotions and ideas.
Her poetry deals strongly with relationships and she started with 'My Mother Says Our Relationship Feels Official which set the tone, ending with “I love my Mother. My mother loves me. We just rarely speak the same language.” In 'The Gift', about the meal her mother taught her to make and which she then proudly served to over 20 people, “She was admiring the gift she spent years pushing into my hands.” (the meal being the art of preparation – not just for a meal but for 'life'. There were many more but the poem 'Museum of Women' struck an important chord as it talked of all the influences that had made her: “This body is a monument of many women”. Being a lawyer also led her to speak of some of the cases she'd had to deal with.
At the open mic, Colin Eveleigh's 'Amazing Grace' , a very moving poem, continued the relationship theme about his daughter Annabel who died suddenly, at 24, of epilepsy – he found her, and desperately tried to save her but it was too late - “It's so real, so vivid ~ this hell hall of mirrors reflecting everything that happened.”. Something not easy to put to words. Then Jilly Funnell's 'Song for My Mother, Waltzing Matilda' told how her mother was taken to a far country - “Loving and hating Australia....her heart split in two.” and “Just one song made her cry..”. In 'The Marriage Song of The Land Girl', Jilly told how the land girl “went to work in (her) wedding dress, the day (she) married you.”
Leah's 'The Gal is Gorgeous told of two cousins, jealous of each other -”she'd pay by the dozen to be born her cousin....”. Then, 'In My Search' “We're descended from machines...” Then, 'Living in Cocoons', about life in an oasis of peace while the world crumbles: “. Phyllida Carr, once again showing her ability as a poet (and good, at that!) described her close relationship with her trusty steed, in 'A Bicycle Ride'. She told humorously of an early morning adventure including the puncture and the welcome cup of chocolate.
Shadé Joseph's Lovely Day by Bill Withers waxed lyrical about the singer and his song: “An epic type of romance that begs to be plucked from his ribs...”. First time at the poetry mike, and co- member of Leah's playwriting group, Sue Shattock spent the weekend on a poetry retreat, and read 'The Bench' - “Autumn gilded leaves and blooded feathers.....All things must end.” And The Poetry Course, with “My younger self came visiting.....”. Sue is a 'natural' on stage, and her delivery did justice to some very creative ideas! Write Angle hopes she continues writing poetry and returns with more.
Richard Hawtree's 'Oh Poem' told what he wanted a poem to do, among other things: “I want lovers to forget each other's names in the manic flush of reading you.” And your reviewer, in 'Idea for a Poem', told how, “In the night I have my finest thoughts, creative cohesive, practical.” In the day, “All is erased, all is undone.”
Was it her beginner's luck that won Sue Shattock the £50 raffle voucher, sponsored by the excellent French style Cote restaurant, Chichester?
We hope to see you all again and do bring your gifted friends along as well, next month when we have Jimmy Lee, excellent and very memorable guitarist with his pleasing style of song.