Friday, January 20, 2006

Standing out with Poetry and Drama

I am taking poetry classes on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. It's a very nice government Summer programme to encourage people to read and write more, so the two courses were almost free, very inexpensive, and they take place near my house, in what we call Expanded Downtown (because Sampa Downtown is really huge and overbrims the original borders of the city centre). The 'school' is a very very nice mansion built between 1928 and 1935 when Avenida Paulista was being born. It is one of the few original buildings that was not replace by those barren, corporate-owned, huge dark-mirrored-glass-and-white-marble blocks. It is maintained by the state government and is called 'Casa das Rosas' (House of the Roses) and is entirely dedicated to events and courses related to all forms of Literature. It's on the photo. It is one of the two places in Sampa that I spend most of my time in, when I'm not working or doing household chores, and I have made many good friends in there.

So, this course I am taking on Thursday evenings is about Poetry and Sound. It's very hands-on: we take a brief lecture on a specific property of Phonetics and general vocal sounds, and then read a couple of poems in Portuguese and sometimes in French too. Then, we arrange in groups of five to write a poem with the theme of that class. I like that. Crayon on paper. Accumulating pages, not judgements. Very Cameron-ish :)

But the point of this post is that last night I ended up with a group of five brilliant and daring creative people. Creativity mages. We were assigned two poems, one with day (clear) sounds and the other with night (dark) sounds, inspired in Mallarmé's verse, 'Poor French language in which the word jour is so nocturnal' (I'm translating here a version that was already translated into Portuguese, so it may be inaccurate). We as a group decided to write the two poems as two parts of the same piece, and we wrote a bit of a narrative, starting with the Day Sounds to describe a tense meeting and the Night Sounds for the bad consequences of the meeting. The final result was really brilliant, funny and unpredictable. I cannot post here because I have to check with the other four authors if it is okay to do so. When the lecturer invited us to read the poem (everybody was reading sittin in their desks) we stood up and stood out. We went to the front of the classroom and performed it in a very theatrical way, each one reading one part. Nobody expected anything so clever in that class, so we surprised everybody and the lecturer, who is also the director of Casa das Rosas, invited us to perform the poem in a recital that will happen next Woden's Day, 25th, Sampa's anniversary.

It was very, very cool. I'll check with the other guys if it is okay to post it here.

I just wanted to let everybody know. I am becoming really good in this.