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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Some poets

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2012
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

13 June

Passing for quirky observation, a string of abuse

At readings, some poets:

* Are just better at reading poetry - theirs or that of others (though not necessarily 'alike')

* Apologize for their poetry, in either of two principal ways

* Either explaining how it came to be written, or by saying - in more or less so many words - Here it is, for what it's worth

* Need to be told, in response, that it probably weakens hearing the poem to have it explained, and that, if they do not have confidence in their work, maybe they should not have had the confidence to say that they would take part

* After all, not even in his notes*, does T. S. Eliot, I think, apologize for quoting Wagner texts in The Waste Land, or otherwise, in the opening lines, suddenly introducing the German of Bin gar keine Russin**

* Forget that, as some have noted before, those listening just will not 'get' every reference (even if they study a text), and feel they need explanation

* Do not stop to realize that it appears curious to have put the references in, but still feel obliged to say what they mean, unless they are to be construed as boasting what they have seen, done, heard or read

* Read too quickly, not letting their words / lines / metre speak or sing

* On account of reading too quickly, and not allowing the reading to breathe, also underplay the end of each poem

* Maybe do not want to leave the final line hanging in the air, but there is little danger, as they are already finding the next book-mark, or starting with further words to introduce the next poem (whether its title or an explanation), and which mingle with the closing words

* Would, if they do not easily let each poem have a time just to be when read, benefit from applause between one choice and the next, which might slow them

* Might feel less frightened, and exude less fear, if they had the feedback of applause, although it seems sacrilege in poetry-reading circles


* Which, I am assured, were to fill up space, and not to be taken seriously, however fascinating the fisher-king.

** We have all heard of The Baltic States now, so Stamme aus Litauen / Echt deutsch that follows might mean more.


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