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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 14:09:19 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (113 lines)

Thanks for the note

Keston & cris ---

I have no aversion to hearing poets read their work. Would prefer, though,
to read verse without all the neighing. Yes, I like to read. The ego of the
poet is not so apparent, the flaws of character less prominent. Drunk or
sober, high or low, I find poets more to my liking in the published format.

That's my preference. Eccentricities aside, I merely enjoy a poem on the
page. I don't want any hints, nudges, asides, winks. I want to engage in the
creative process unabetted.

The speaker of poems has a marked tendency to monopolizes emphasis and
therefore interpretation of the poem. This may last only ten minutes. But is
monopolization nonetheless.

I think it wrong to assume meaning/interpretation of the poem is sovereign
to the author. A voice reading of a poem too often prejudices the listener.
The narrowness of voice inflection. Not the natural expanse and freedom of
reading. One can pause on a line or word, allow the poem its natural birth.
Not a sudden birth in the ear. Not a burst. Rather one of emergence at a
pace more given to my own creative study.

In addition, I am strongly against hearing voices in my head. Particularly
those of poets.

(I must pause at this interval and beg for forgiveness from all those
four-legged poets who may have taken exception with my Talking Horse. Far be
it for me to offend horses who have gone to the trouble to learn elocution.)

(How many hours at "She sells seashells by the seashore" have by the by.)

(Much learn their ABCs.)

You write ---

"You still sidestepped the issue of
musical interpretations being differed, no one 'authoritative' version -
although some tastes will prefer some interpretations more than others."

I agree. But prose isn't music. Can't be reduced to musical sound. If one
defines it by strictly the limitations of music, the result is haphazard,
arbitrary, ill-defined by what the ear subjectively discerns.

 You write--

Sounds need not be heard necessarily though. What about stating your
dichotomy another way, that of articulation between space between words,
between letters, between lines and so on and the 'marks' themselves? How do
you conceive that interrelationship within a sphere of 'silence'?

The silence is not per se a vacuum without nuance, but is the inner
sanctity, the innerself, when one reads the secret self perceives the poem
from both the dimension of subconscious and conscious. Yeats made of his
innerself the sovereign domain of his creative output.

You write--

There's a good point here i think - that of interference from 'authorial'
source, influencing readings. Of course some boundaries are more porous to
the world and therefore expect, welcome, even encourage interference. I've
been surprised myself at readings others have made of my own work, but both
through having not heard a 'live' version and not having heard a 'live'
version.

I agree.

You write asking--

I don't know where this impetus to raise the spectre of 'prose-poetry' comes
from. Can you explain?

It comes from poetry being defined as measured writing. Therefore, when we
speak of poetry we're talking about music. Prose poetry attempting to pass
for poetry.

The fakery of prose writing to attempt such an enterprise.

You wrote--

Curious to find theatre - monologue - conversation - passive reception
and so on dealt with in aushc an exacting manner. I don't enjoy 'theatre'
either btw. Too much people pretending to be people they are not. Suddenly
i'm interested though. Tell me more. How is talk reductive? How is theatre
reductive? In what ways are they reductive that 'writing' is able to
circumnavigate?

The answer lies in the framework of the innerself which opens, and that
which we are not always privy to, that vast inner being of the self, perhaps
less cosmic or more so, unencumbered by the talking horse, freely is allowed
to address, commune with the innerself of the poet.

The poet's innerworkings encountered not in the ear. But in the psychic,
shared with the reader. (Yes, it's possible to share when the poem is read
aloud. But for some, like myself, it's an aversion. The giving of the
innerself is less often and restrained. I require privacy. I want words, not
spoken. I don't hear any voices in my head.)




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





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