Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Had we but world enough and time for "Poem Voice"

Will Wilkinson liveblogged the inauguration and had this to say of Elizabeth Alexander's reading of her poem:

Poem voice! We know all about poem voice here at the U of Iowa.

Poem voice? It haunts me. Is there a kind of poem it doesn't turn to rot?

Apply it to this, or this, or this, or this. Or better yet: don't.

1 comment:

Bpaul said...

As a poet (or former poet, depending on who'se talking), I can say that it is VERY hard not to use poem voice. You spend so much time choosing and arranging and laboring over those words, you don't want people to miss any. You certainly don't want to deliver too fast, that's for sure.

I'm curious now to find poets who don't read in poem voice. I know a few Portland Locals (faces are coming to mind, I'll have to work on the names), but no major figures are coming to mind yet.