Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How (Not?) to Read Poetry

Cleveland Poetics recently pointed out a great video on How (Not?) to Read Poetry.

Orwell famously points out that "a poetry reading can be a grisly thing." This is a good illustration of how not to do a reading.

Obviously, beyond having a good poem to read, I think there should be some life to the process, clarity, variance of tone, rhythm, and musicality in your delivery, and good visual expression. Keep the performance engaging, and freak your audience out in the right way, when you must.

Some debate the movement of the poet, but I'd argue that becoming the static pillar hardly has any interest for those of us in a live audience.

At the end of the day, give them something to talk about. It's best if it's the poem and the poet, but if it comes down to an either/or, I would argue they should walk away thinking about the poem, foremost.

But what do you think?

No comments: