Monday, July 14, 2008

Exodus Live Poetry and Others, or Lauri Takes a Trip

In celebration of 17 years of wedded (something, not always but a lot of time like) bliss. My husband (I really do love him) took me to Gaborone for the weekend. We were lucky as it coincided with a performance by Exodus Live Poetry at Maitisong. Ever since I went to the Cape Town Book Fair last year where I saw performance poetry for the first time, I have become a convert. It was a little bit surprising to find I liked performance poetry as I’m neither a lover of poetry nor can I write it. I always feel like everyone else is getting it but I’m not, and the discomforting feeling of being stupid is not one I particularly like. But I, inexplicably, like performance poetry. It moves me.

The Exodus performance was great though the crowd made me a bit nervous. I believe my husband and I were, by far, the oldest people in attendance. This is not so good for us, we who still believe that we are young. Such things are brutal evidence that we are, sadly, not. But it does bode well for the people who work with words, like me. I hope that performance poetry will lead these young folks to written poetry and then short stories and voila- to novels and we will then be a culture that reads and cherishes books and won’t that be wonderful?

The Exodus performance was a mix of serious and silly, exactly the kind of thing I like. Unfortunately, there was no programme and the announcer could not always be heard so I can’t even mention the names of the poets, which is too bad. They are a talented bunch and I am so looking forward to Power in the Voice- I think I’m becoming an addict. My only wish is that 1) they make a programme and 2) that the poems could be written down and sold- even just photocopies. Perhaps that goes against some primary ethic of performance poetry that I as a newbie know nothing about, but it would be nice nevertheless.

Making it a literary anniversary of note, we ate lunch at the No. 1 Ladies Opera House, owned by Alexander McCall Smith and our own cultural icon, David Slater. The food and service were fantastic. We ate in the outdoor garden which was lovely. I enjoyed the references to the books everywhere, even the tiny white baakie that drove up while we were eating. I was also dead excited when at the back of the menu was written a little story about Mma Ramotswe and the Opera House and my writing partner, Wame’s father was mentioned. He used to have a classical music show on Radio Botswana for years. I can’t wait until performances start being held at the opera house. What a lovely addition to Gaborone. What would Gaborone and Botswana be without the contribution of David Slater? One wonders.

All in all a lovely anniversary.


Karen said...

Happy anniversary. LOTM and I recently celebrated our 19th.

I finally (and by "finally" I mean FINALLY) bought my first #1 Ladies book. Finally. I've been eyeballing them for years, promising to get started on the series, but I've wanted to finish others that I'd already started.

I can't wait to step into these stories. It's especially exciting because they'll take me to a place I've long wanted to visit: Africa.

groovyoldlady said...

Happy 17th!!!!!!

I don't like to read poetry, but I do like to write and I love to HEAR it. Poetry is like music. It takes talent to get it on the page, but it doesn't become tangible until it moves through the air.

You ate at the restaurant? And saw the tiny white van? AND read a new story? (One which I have not yet devoured.)

I am SO jealous, envious and, in all other ways, wishing I was YOU!!!!

I REALLY need to get my American butt over to Botswana. I have friends moving to Swaziland next month, so maybe I can make the trip a two-fer!

Lauri said...

Ladies- WHEN you come to Botswana, know my home is always open. I will take you to my all favourite places. I'm waiting.....

Karen- congrats on your 19th! One year to a fancy ring- I told my husband at 20 he must buy me a fancy ring. I understand it's the new scheme for these anniversaries- 17th- MP3 Player, 20th- Fancy ring- what was the 19th?

GOL- the story I mentioned is just the story of the the restaurant- not a "real" new MmaRamotswe story, so don't be too jealous.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. You really had a good time but on Alexander McCall Smith, I can’t believe anyone likes those books. They have got to be top among my list of bad fiction. Repetitive plots, Mma Ramotswe who solves silly little cases, no conflicts, I mean seriously and that pancake flat prose, those endless bushteas and the ‘she looked at her Africa or whatever’! The opera house might be better, I should try it.

Lauri said...

They are, perhaps, not literary works but they have definitely put Botswana on the map and that's good for us. Myself, I find them quite charming.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

I am glad you like them. That i suppose is exactly why literature is not prescriptive. One size does not fit all.