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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > Do you like hearing people read poetry?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Do you like hearing people read poetry?

This question has entered my mind for two reasons lately:

1. I'm reading Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse and characters recite/read poems in a couple contexts.

2. My third grader's teacher did a poetry reading with the students this week. She had them all bring in mugs and they made hot chocolate. They could wear black if they wanted and she taught them to snap their fingers after the kids read poems. They had a blast, from what I can tell.

What do you think? Do you like listening to poetry? Which poems/types of poems? Do you like being the reader or the listener?

message 2: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i think of poetry as a genre that is best appreciated with others. reading it out loud is part of that, and not just for the rhythm. i love to talk about poetry, with the right people, but when i have to read it by myself i get bored.

message 3: by Her (new)

Her Majesty (hermajesty) | 122 comments I was talking to a friend about this a while ago. I'd actually rather read it for the most part, than listen to someone else read it. I'm not exactly sure why, but hearing it out loud makes me uncomfortable.

message 4: by Arminius (new)

Arminius | 1034 comments I am not a big reader of poetry but I think I would rather read it than listen to it.

message 5: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments Like Her said, it makes me uncomfortable.

(@Her: thanks for having a "name" that makes me sound like a grammar-moron!)

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Some poetry begs to be heard, like the galloping rhythms of Robert Service, the poems for two voices such as Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman, and yes, the slant verse of the Beats.

But it takes a talented speaker to do it, and not come across as pretentious. I hate overly hearty readers, and overly portentious tones.

Other poetry, I think it's called concrete poetry, is meant to be seen on the page, because the layout of the words forms a picture. Lewis Carrol's The Mouse's Tale, for example:

message 7: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Main Entry: por·ten·tous
Pronunciation: \pȯr-ˈten-təs\
Function: adjective
Date: 15th century
1 : of, relating to, or constituting a portent
2 : eliciting amazement or wonder : prodigious
3 a : being a grave or serious matter b : self-consciously solemn or important : pompous c : ponderously excessive
synonyms see ominous
— por·ten·tous·ly adverb
— por·ten·tous·ness noun

message 8: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I have to admit I was not aware of the 3b definition.

Thanks for the enlightenment, BW.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments BunWat wrote: "Overly portentious readings make me crabby. I want to mock and throw peanuts."

They should provide baskets of peanuts to the audience at poetry readings, Bun. They would be great learning tools for the readers. :)

message 10: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) And one could always eat the peanuts.

message 11: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Ah. So she did.

So Jackie, which usage were you intending?

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments The pompous sense, Larry. And yes, the audience could choose to eat the peanuts, instead of throwing them. Bun, I like the idea of getting a peanut basket only if you yourself are willing to subject yourself to the peanut treatment.

message 13: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Misha wrote: "It is hard to read stuff out loud and not sound either awkward and stilted or overly portentious, says the chick who just gave her first fiction reading."

How did that go?

message 14: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) No portentiousness, I guess.

message 15: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I already knew that.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

poetry needs a velvet voice...
sayeth she in her dulcid Dublin accent... :-)

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

HA!! and continues oh-so dulcidly!

message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i kind of could go for some of the free verse poetry stuff maybe. not beat poet stuff but more the passionate free verse kind

message 19: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Do it, Kevin! Do it!

message 20: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments I didn't consider the accent angle. I think I could listen to Scottish poetry.

message 21: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments think i will do a youtube of me doing some free style poetry

message 22: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments Please attempt a Scottish accent.

message 23: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments working on this one:

Yir eyes ur


a mean yir

pirrit this wey

ah a thingk yir

byewtifl like ehm


fact a thingk yir

ach a luvyi that’s


jist thi wey it iz like

thahts ehm

aw ther iz ti say

message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I like slam poetry done right - real performance poetry. Nikki Giovanni, Alix Olson, etc.

I often don't get poetry, and sometimes it makes more sense when read aloud, but I'm not likely to go out of my way to go to a poetry reading.

message 25: by Her (last edited Apr 06, 2010 06:27AM) (new)

Her Majesty (hermajesty) | 122 comments BunWat wrote: "Overly portentious readings make me crabby. I want to mock and throw peanuts."
true, you just want to throw something at them. I was thinking a book, but peanuts 'll do.

@Gretchen, sorry :]

Abigail (42stitches) | 150 comments I like poetry readings. In fact, I used to go to this coffee shop where on open mike music night, this one guy played keyboard and sort of sang these poem-like songs. It was awesome. But on the open-mike poetry night, it seemed like everyone was imitating the same beat poet because they all used the exact same rhythm regardless of content or style of poem. Does that bother anyone else?

message 28: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) There are only so many truly creative people, Ab. Everyone else imitates. I try to look past it.

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