The First Event in Karachi: Picture Story.

IMG_3704The Brtish  Council Karachi in collaboration with River Oaks Academy brought together a IMG_3769selection of students and teachers from  ten Karachi schools in a venue called PIACC.  It’s my first event of this visit to Karachi and it’s valentines day so I begin with a love poem.  I  explored the idea that poetry is around us all the time. We turn to it in love and anger, in need.  For the next hoIMG_3787ur and an half I am  transported. That is what a poetry reading should do. The audience were quick witted and inspiring. As Henry Normal used to say to his audience  “You’re going to go farIMG_3781.” In fact the reading was going so well  I  got off  stage and sat in the front row with Barbara Wickham (above).   As I read one overtly rhythmic poem the audience broke into syncopated clapping and a  standing ovation (right) for which I’m gratIMG_3826eful.

And then autographs and photographs. Ever since scratching my name in a tree as a boy I’ll never get bored of signing them and you may get the impression that I like the camera but I’m actually very very shy.   There’s no doubt about when you get the chance to do what you do best you feel special. I get more out of it than I give and for this I am grateful.

In the reading I’d said to much appreciation that Harry Potter looks like he is  Pakistani.  And then I mentioned that Harry Potter was a foster child, and superman too…  even Moses.   I described  superheroes who  use all their resources not just to survive with this loss  but to live to their fullest with what they have.  A teacher shouted out  that “Prophet Mohammed was an orphan. His father had died before Muhammad was born and his mother died while he was still very young.” . It was a magical moment for me.  It  all linked.  I’d said at the beginning of the reading that  poetry is central (not peripheral) upon  our experiences. And here too we identified that the child in care is too. Super, man. So it’s a perfect coincidence that after I read I walked into a room and there was a foster child on the wall but he wasn’t flying as much as we all were.



8 thoughts on “The First Event in Karachi: Picture Story.

  1. thank you so much for coming, Lemn Sissay! your poetry is wonderful, and i was so glad to see that you didn’t read it in a boring way – you read it with the perfect expressions so i wished you’d never stop! i could just go on listening to you forever! maybe i should record your voice…you should upload videos of yourself on stage – that would cheer anyone who’s in a bad mood, up! you also have a great sense of humour, by the way! hope i get to hear you again, and keep coming back to Karachi, Pakistan so that we have the privilege of listening to your poems and “jokes” ! =)

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