Just chipping in here - as someone who likes cummings. I'm surprised that
you think that they don't read the way they look ... To me that is one of
the great satisfactions of cummings - that he knew how to put on paper how a
particular should be said. I have recordings of quite a few of his poems
read by him and I enjoy them. I would disagree that it's 'droning'. I think
because there is often a grammatical ambiguity in his lines it forces a
reader to suspend closure when reading which gives an interesting musical
surface quite unlike a drone (I'm thinking by 'drone' you mean like some
sort of continuo). There is even ambiguity at the single word level (eg when
he splits words over a line break and you either think the word is complete
on the preceding line or you cannot anticipate what the complete word will
be). He said that he is interested in 'movement' in poetry - which is good
on the page but poses particular difficulties when speaking the poem: his
renditions, I think, very well overcome this problem.

Apologies for butting in.

All the best

Chris Mansell

On 20/2/05 8:47 PM, "Knut Mork Skagen" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Feb 20, 2005, at 04:59, Rebecca Seiferle wrote:
>>> I like cummings too.  But you can't usually read
>>> his work aloud
>> Well, I don't know about usually, but I saw and heard a reading of
>> several
>> cummings poems by Martha Schlamme years ago that was incredible, of
>> course
>> her gifts were far from usual, but I've never read cummings  the same
>> way since,
>> and I'd guess cummings himself must have often read his work aloud,
> There are some extraordinary recordings available of Cummings reading
> his poetry. I made a typographical video game as scenography for a
> concert
> of Cummings-inspired music a few years back, and we all listened to
> Cummings reading as we worked on our videos/compositions. He has quite
> a bizarre combination of perfectly refined Connecticut accent and an
> obsessed priestly chanting monotone. In his mouth they don't sound like
> the way they read at all, at least not to me, but they do sound like
> some
> other completely different though equally interesting poems.
> If I get the chance I'll see if I can put a clip on my website,
> --Knut