Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sound Of Sense

Exploring the way emotion in poetry "inheres as much in the sound, as in the denotative meaning of the words," David Yezzi reflects on what he's learned from poetry readings.
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.)

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