Bookup No. 7 — Poetry Night

Bookup no. 7 was a Poetry Night and took place on 2 February 2019. The idea was for each participant to bring a few poems of their own choosing, and share them with the rest. In all honesty, this bookup was a breath of fresh air after two others where not a single participant showed up (apparently no fans of Kafka or Mark Manson out there…).

What did we talk about?

The discussion went exactly as I had hoped a poetry night would go (giving me flashbacks of my poetry club back in college days…), a mixture of discovery, enthusiasm, open-mindedness and vulnerability. Here are a few clues:

  • We started with poetry, and went from C.P. Cavafy’s inspiring words in As Much As You Can to the similarly rebellious tone of Charles Bukowski’s no leaders, please (despite the time gap, both poems encourage self-affirmation & independence of thought, quite a thumbs-up for all rebels out there🦸🏻‍♂️). We continued with a 19th Century poem which we supposed to be about a killer… Did you guess it? It’s Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess 🧐;

  • Although we each came prepared with poems for different moods and emotional states, none of us could produce a truly depressing poem (something which we defined as a combination of death, loss, loneliness and desperation). Therefore, the challenge for the future Poetry Night is to find the most depressing poem our soul can bear. Fun, right? 😇

  • We went on to discover the works of Uruguayan journalist and poet Mario Benedetti who had us entranced with his poems Cómo hacerte saber (EN: How Do I Let you Know) and Mucho más Grave (EN: Much More Serious). His words led us to discuss the power of relationships, regardless of their nature, to open up our minds to new perspectives and connections with the universe;

  • While discussing William Blake’s poetry, we ended up talking about his paintings, which somehow led us to google the works of dystopian surrealism artist Zdzislaw Beksinski. And this further led us to a debate over the viewer’s experience of original artworks vs. their reproductions.

Lessons learned?

Definitely, there are a few:

  • A “poetry night” bookup is most definitely worth doing, but it all very much depends on the guidelines we set out before the event and directions we give participants for the discussion;

  • There is also great interest in catering for people’s more creative needs, but we are currently keeping that under wraps 🤫;

  • We were lucky enough to receive some great advice marketing- and business-wise from one of our participants✌🏽.

To cut the long story short, an encouraging word from a bookup participant has the power to cancel out all previous disappointments. It can inspire and energise you to go farther, bigger & better.


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TalkTheTalk is the result of a journey of discovery filled with excitement, sweat, life experiences & a passion for exploring human ideas together with others. We thank the AC running this simulation for allowing us to seek an answer to our question. However, it will not be our last--