• Callum Holgate

Another Year, Another Blog Post.

So… it’s been a while since I last uploaded, and quite frankly a lot has happened in this quiet period on the site.

Firstly, over Easter I worked pretty much full time, and when I wasn’t, I was working on one of my five assignments that Uni has lumped me with, though somehow I managed to find the time to have a birthday, and along with that, to finally do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now; perform my poetry on a stage in front of total strangers (and the group of mates forced to come along.)

Yes I finally decided to turn 19, and I thought what better way to wave goodbye to 18 than to take some of the poems I had written, and give them a little send off as I approach what I can only describe as the least interesting birthday milestone I can currently imagine. Thankfully, the packed crowd at the Moving Voices Open Mic night in Southampton’s Art House Café was incredibly welcoming, and seriously heartening. I’m not one to usually get nervous, but the idea of standing up and orating something so personal in front of over thirty people I had never met before was certainly daunting, but the crowd of writers, singers, musicians and poets alike made me feel really welcome, and the kind words from countless people during the various breaks we had were seriously enthusing.

One comment stuck with me in particular however. One of the musicians came to talk to me at the bar in the interval and commented on how she thought I had a natural humour, and a great way of conveying that on the stage, saying that she particularly enjoyed my reading of ‘Bugles.’ She urged me to continue writing in my style, and to certainly come back and perform at next month’s open mic. I can say without hesitation that, work permitting, I will certainly be there at the next open mic, though I don’t think I’ll be reading my more personal, serious poetry like ‘What if?’ as, while I’m very proud of my more serious work, I do just like to make people laugh. Hell, I’ve wanted to do stand-up comedy for quite some time too, but never particularly liked any of the material I wrote, and that’s when it hit me: I could combine my poetry, and the more jovial side of it in particular, with my desire to do stand up, and work on some kind of comedy poetic act.

That leads me to ‘Happy Birthday’ – today’s poem. With this new-found focus on writing some more comedic poetry, I found myself bored, waiting for my train back to Southampton on the day after my birthday, thinking about how underwhelming it felt to be 19, where the year before it felt like turning 18 was this huge landmark event. This led me to think: what is it that makes us an adult? Am I even an adult now, at 19? Legally, yes, but it’s not the number of years I’ve been on this floating ball of rock that make me feel like an adult, and certainly the passage of a year between my 18th and 19th birthdays certainly didn’t feel like a year’s worth of adult-progression.

I realised, instead, that the things that make you an adult, or certainly a young-adult, are much more real than the passage of time, but more so how your perspective shifts, how things become less exciting, or how you become wizened to the world around you. ‘Happy Birthday’ plays with the idea of someone contemplating what it is that makes them feel like they’ve grown up; the events that stood out to them as symbolic in their progression from child, to teenager, to adult, and how that process is a lot more fluid than the simple increasing of the dial marked “age.”

All this being said, if you’ve somehow made it this far into what I believe is my longest blog rambling so far, I’ll just say that there’s certainly still a place for my more serious poetry, and that place is right here on the website. So, I’m by no means giving up on exploring my more serious side, but rather allowing my more jovial, sarcastic and a little deprecating side to make its way out into the world of my writing.

Hopefully tomorrow will see another, more serious poem make its way onto the site, if I can find the time between essays, so I shall be back tomorrow with another ramble, no doubt.

#poetry #writing #poems #poem #blog #ramble

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