November 1, 2009

Berlin, part 1: the reading experience

I admit I was a bit skeptical. Even though I agree poems are meant to be listened to, I had my doubts about the 5-hour poetry marathon in Berlin. I arrived at Kulturbrauerei at about midnight, to find a packed room, a great audience and a relaxed atmosphere, no signs of boredom or tediousness. It was quite amazing to see all those people who had gathered for a literary night- less than two weeks ago I had a very unpleasant experience in Warsaw, at an event organized by one of the most important publishing houses on the market. Not to mention a series of previous unfortunate episodes, hence my skepticism. But there was no use questioning the good vibe, so I just sat down and listened.

By the end of it, I was convinced of the brainwashing capacities of poetry. I was happy and light and my mood had radically changed. I don't know if it was the poetry, or the fact that I was once again hanging out with people who, to a certain extent, spoke the same language as I did.

All that mattered was that we were in Berlin, Ana and I were finally back in business, ready to explore the wonders of the city, to plan and debate and come up with ideas, skip sleep and make the best of that weekend. We had books and chocolate, so there was little to complain about.
And there was room for poetry on the second night. This time, celebrating the 10th anniversary of, a platform making poetry available on the Internet: 600 poets, 5500 poems, 50 mother tongues and 6600 translations in about 50 languages. The project started small, with no significant budget, but with a great deal of support from local authorities and cultural institutions who simply believed in the power of artistic projects. Or, as one of the organizers put it, they knew Berlin would be nothing without its artists.
" has successfully addressed the seemingly impossible task of linking poetry, the oldest literary art form there is, with the newest form of communication, the Internet. At the push of a button it is now possible to listen to poems read by the author in his or her native tongue"
The event, held (where else?) in a former factory, was absolutely impressing. Simple, to the point, with no faults in organization, bringing together nine poets from all corners of the world and making their poetry available not only in the club, but also on the internet. The after party was one of those parties you don't really feel like leaving, which might explain why I only got one hour of sleep before I was back on the train to Warsaw, a bit sad because it was over, but very content at having seen that it is possible to make things happen.

P.S. I failed in my mission of finding a wheelbarrow (which is odd, half of Berlin is under construction, it shouldn't have been a problem), so I figured the least I could do was to show up at a poetry party wearing my Taczka Runners uniform.

1 comment:

Losek said...

No pięknie pięknie :]