In class on Wednesday, we continued poetry presentations. I particularly enjoyed James’ and Rob’s performances. When James performed Ing-grish by John Yau, he seemed to have prepared perfectly for it. His timing was impeccable, and he executed it very well. He emphasized all the right parts and gave the poem a breezy feel, which I felt was very appropriate, as it was a rather humorous poem. This isn’t to say, however, that his poem was just a joke. If you really look into it, the poem is about the struggle to learn the English language in a bilingual home. English is a very complicated language, and growing up in a home where the mother tried to get Yau to learn Chinese compounded the issue. He never really did learn Chinese, as he humorously alluded to at the end of the poem, but that didn’t change the fact that English has many odd quirks to it. It must have been a true struggle for him, but the way he wrote his poem shows that he was able to take it all in stride. I think that is truly admirable. He was able to constructively pour his feelings out into a poem and keep it light-hearted at the same time.
Rob did The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes. At first, it wasn’t the greatest presentation, but then Professor Kahan accompanied him with some background music. The music accented the poem very well, allowing Rob to really let the words flow out almost like he was performing a song. He then redid it, without the background music, and yet I was almost able to hear the music as he was speaking. That’s how musical his performance was. I really enjoyed it and found it very interesting how poetry can be so musical, even if there is no music actually playing.