Hearing an author read his work aloud, I frequently feel that I have understood it for the first time. Aspects of the work that I’d missed in silent reading come clear. I never realized how funny Middlemarch was until my wife and I took turns reading it to each other on a cross-country car trip. A friend told me recently that the same thing happened to him with the Anna Livia Plurabelle section of Finnegans Wake at a Bloomsday celebration in New York. I recently spent an afternoon with the British poet laureate Andrew Motion, who said that, as he saw it, the notion of a poet finding his or her “voice” is directly connected to the poet’s own speaking voice; his examples included the BBC English of Philip Larkin and the mandarin mid-Atlantic melodies of Anthony Hecht.(Photo of Toronto poet Marc di Saverio by Patrik Jandak.)
Saturday, 5 April 2014
Sound Of Sense
reflects on what he's learned from poetry readings.