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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Re: Spoken Verse versus Printed Verse

From:

"Ernest Slyman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ernest Slyman

Date:

Wed, 18 Mar 1998 09:11:29 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (65 lines)

Thanks for responding to my note.

The poet who reads aloud a poem is an interpretation of the poem for the
audience. When one reads the same poem silently no voice is heard. We don't
hear the words spoken in our heads. Reading is a visual, silent method for
most readers.

The process is not the same. No sounds are heard.

Of course, people do read differently. But each reader is free to interpret
the poem. Unencumbered by the author's limitations. This freedom of the poem
entering the reader without hindrance from the "performance artist" is of
vital importance to the creative process of the reader.

Interpretation should be free enterprise. Not a monopoly of the author. The
printed poem arrives on the page without baggage.

As I stated earlier.

"The performance versus 'writing' argument is not so much an argument as two
jumbled acrobatic plains of thought that don't meet. The isolation of the
two owing to the contrasting points of origin."

What are the two diverging points of view here?

One view is that prose-poetry is not measured and thus, is not music.
Neither is it poetry. There is no such thing as prose-poetry. There is
fanciful writing that is prose that mimics all too badly some elements of
poetry.

The stark discrepancy in point of view does not allow for much agreement.
We're not on the same plain of thought to disagree.

(May I also assume you believe current trends in prose-poetry are advancing
toward some evolutionary grand scale? That writing is somehow improving,
going through a literary natural selection of sorts.

Rather than the obvious disintegration which is apparent. I feel
unsympathetic to those who are caught up in the hoopla of their own time,
feeling an exaggerated importance. Exalted by the apparent arrival of a new
discovery of writing, a new movement which soon crumbles to naught.)

Music is not a consideration. Does a piece of music have only one
interpretation? Few of us read music. So we listen to interpretations of
music. Performances of pieces.

The poets who read their work aloud give verbal performances. They do
resemble talking horses. It does of course provide the audience a chance to
meet the poet. Hear the poet's voice. But the poem is reduced to sound and
theatrical monologue. The occasion providing theatre. Verbal brilliance.
Talkers.



Ernest Slyman
HomePage
www.geocities.com/soho/7514
email: [log in to unmask]





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