Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poetry Voice

A recent entry on Jonathan's blog that I couldn't help cutting and pasting here. I couldn't agree with him more about "poetry voice" -- I clicked on his "Poetry Voice" label to glean his definition of this cringe-worthy phenomenon. Some of the comments are quite quote-worthy too.

Yikes. Natasha T, recent Pulitzer prize winner, uses the dreaded sing-song "poetry voice" (to read her poems on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.) She seems quite intelligent and has a wonderful "prose" speaking voice, but the minute she switches to her "poetry voice" she loses a lot of credibility with me. Why do you do that, poets? Why do you use that voice?


The one style of reading I cannot stand is the "poetry reading chant," in which all accented syllables are emphasized at the same exact, high pitch and duration, and the voice drops sharply for the unaccented syllables, (also uniform in pitch.) Do they teach that in MFA programs?

i WISH you were HOME

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