Saturday, 3 November 2012

Goodbye To All That

Donald Hall, 84, looks back at some of his most memorable poetry readings:
"When I was young, I could project, and now without a microphone I can’t be heard in the tenth row. It’s not only the debility of age. One’s range is diminished by habitual use of microphones. (When stage actors spend twenty years making movies, they are inaudible when they return to Broadway or the West End.) But there are advantages to artificial enhancement. There’s a poem in which I moo like a cow. Cows’ lungs are bigger than ours. I approach the microphone intimately, and softly but audibly moo as long as a cow moos. Proximity to the microphone saves my wind as I croon, mm-mmm-mmmmm-mmmmmmmm-ugghwanchhh. My friends say it’s the best line I’ve ever written."

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