SUBWAY POETRY

SUBWAY POETRY

On the spring semester of my first year in Juilliard Drama, a number of us from Group 48 together with our Poetry teacher went together on the 72nd stop to ride the 2 train to 14 St. and back up the 72nd stop to do some Public Poetry.

We positioned ourselves randomly on a subway cart and one by one, we shared a poem out loud, to the people on the subway cart we picked. I shared Sonnet 76 by Shakespeare.

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
O! know sweet love I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
   For as the sun is daily new and old,
   So is my love still telling what is told.

It is a distinct experience sharing poetry on a subway as compared to doing a scene in front of people or performing in a play onstage. The vulnerability on a subway cart is unique in the sense that I had no makeup or costume to “hide” from. It was just myself, my poem and the people on the subway cart up close. I can see their level of engagement, when I am getting through, to which people I am getting through and those to whom I am not getting through. The inhalation that comes with the decision, “I am going next with my poem!” is followed by a huge wave that sends me to start the poem and which will see me through the end. And after I’ve shared the poem I become amongst the subway passengers again, instead of an actor going backstage waiting to be congratulated or greeted by my audience.

REGINA DE VERA

GROUP 48

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO WITH ART!

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO WITH ART!

Prelude to an Afternoon in Prague

Prelude to an Afternoon in Prague