Let me paint you a picture.
I get up and straighten my ombré hair with GHDs. I drink Nescafé. I wear a patterned skirt that I got from H&M. I check my Mac lipstick in the rear view mirror of my Vauxhall Corsa. I have lunch at Subway (Nando’s if it’s the weekend, Wagamama if it’s a Bank Holiday.) I watch old re-runs of Friends every evening while sitting on my Ikea sofa.*
I could be any girl in the world.
Now, before you start thinking that I’m writing about how global brands are ruining culture – or that I’m trying to transcribe my own Trainspotting-esque ‘Choose Life’ monologue – I’m not. What I’m actually trying to say, in a very long winded and round about kind of way, is that originality is hard. And that – whether they care to admit it or not – a lot of people fundamentally have the same outline of life. (I’m guessing even those #refusetoconform people still watch too much Friends and own a tube of Velvet Teddy.)
It means that when somebody does something different it’s hard not to take notice of it. When that something is not only different, it’s also brilliant – it’s hard to not become completely and utterly compelled by it.
Last week I found myself becoming that exact kind of compelled when I heard about a little someone called, The Door to Door Poet (although his real name is Rowan McCabe.)
In case you couldn’t guess from his title (or you thought he was so poetic his title would be ironic) Rowan is a guy who goes from door to door, meeting people, learning their story and then writing amazing poetry for them. It’s simple, it’s insanely original, and it’s actually pretty bold. Because knocking on the door’s of strangers and volunteering to write them a poem – at least in some parts of the U.K. – makes him pretty freaking crazy. Seriously…just imagine your real, honest reaction if someone knocked on your door with the promise to write and perform a free poem for you. If you’re anything like me you’d slam the door in his face and accuse him of trying to case the joint for a robbery.
Luckily not everyone is quite that skeptical.
Some people in his home town of Newcastle gave him a chance. They spoke to him, they told him things, they gave him permission to run with his creativity and let him write unique poetry just for them, only to marvel at the results and proceed to spread the word about his talent. (It’s the kind of thing you do when someone has taken the time to write and perform a poem for you.)
It means that he’s now gaining a little more exposure in some parts of the U.K., but he still deserves a lot more. If you ask me he deserves more and more exposure until the publishers listen up and give this guy a book deal already.
Not just because he’s actually found a unique way to write and perform his own poetry, or because his work is something which continually makes extraordinary out of the ordinary, but because he’s doing something special. Something really special. He’s making people smile, and he’s doing it by making them feel valued. In a world that chooses reality TV, slut shaming, revenge porn (okay, maybe there’s a little bit of Trainspotting in that part) that is pretty spectacular. At the same time he’s also pretty funny. Just check out some of the things he’s written and you’ll see for yourself just how all round gifted he is…
Once you’ve done that go and tell everyone you know about him. (Not just because he’s super talented and deserves to be shouted about, but in case he happens to pop round their house. They’ll need to know he’s purely there to make rhymes; not to scope out how to get the 42″ flat screen TV through the patio doors.)
*For the people who really know me, I only said that whole Wagamama thing for effect. Same applies to the Ikea sofa.