By February 1, 2012 1 Comments Read More →

I Don’t Understand Poetry

Poetry View By Michelle Diemer

“I don’t understand poetry.”

It’s the first thing any non-poetry enthusiast tells me when I wax poetic about my love for the art. I get it; I really do.

Pick up any Robert Frost or Emily Dickenson poem and read a few lines to yourself. You’ll likely feel confused at first pass. Let me share a little secret: read it aloud. When you speak the words, they make a lot more sense. They come to life.

That, my friends, is why I love spoken word poetry. It’s why I think you’ll like it, too. I’ll be covering the local Modesto poetry scene in this feature, sharing special events, noteworthy lines from local poets andpointing out what I think you shouldn’t miss in the upcoming month.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Slam on Rye first. This poetry slam happens every third Wednesday of the month at Modesto’s Prospect Theatre. Sign-ups are open to any poet; consequently, it’s a real wild card. Oftentimes, you’ll find professional-caliber poets behind the mic. Others, you’ll sit with bated breath watching a first-timer try to read their work through violently-shaking hands. It’s always worth a trip, though, because they feature professional poets at every event. These masters from around the country make the five dollar entry worth it.

January’s Slam on Rye was perfect. It’s the reason I venture out in the cold winter months. Here’s a line from that night from The Saint, a local legend.

You said that you can do better than me Question is: Can you do better than yourself?

Beautiful, right?

Modesto’s poetry scene is popping this month. Check our event calendar for all the details. I’m definitely going to be at Smooth Grooves and Att-i-tudes featuring The Fine Line Feb. 17th at Deva Café. It’s an open mic, poetry and live blues music event hosted by Jai, Jennifer Hamilton and Elizabeth Sousa. I can virtually guarantee a good time. Can I get an amen?

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.