poetry / reading

Trigger Moment

HUNDREDS WAITING FOR POETRY READING, VENICE BEACH, 1960

The first essay in Blueprints: Bringing Poetry into Communities edited by Katharine Coles is “The Flywheel” written by Bas Kwakman and translated by Michele Hutchison. I was struck by its beginning:

It was the sound of a poem that made me fall in love with poetry once and for all. I wasn’t in my living room, I wasn’t next to a reading lamp, nor did I have a book on my lap. It wasn’t even the poet himself reading out his poem, but rather his translator, standing at a lectern on stage in a small auditorium.

Would Richard Hugo have deemed this a “triggering moment”? In The Triggering Town, he writes:

Your triggering subjects are those that ignite your need for words. When you are honest to your feelings, that triggering town chooses you.

Hugo refers to triggers in terms of writing, but I do believe we all have experienced a trigger moment of some sort that led to our being spellbound by poetry.

Have you experienced a triggering moment such as Kwakman did, and if so, what was it?

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