Wednesday, 23 March 2011

How to read out loud

Someone who is not really into poetry said to me at the weekend that he "got" my poems better when he heard me read them out loud. To begin with I was perturbed by this but then I realised that a most of my best work is MEANT to be read aloud. This doesn't work so well for the series of prose poems that I have been writing though, I just don't seem to know how to read them out. Tonight I am thinking that I might have to lay them out on the page differently for reading out - maybe breaking the text up. I am reluctant to do this though - they are written as prose poems surely they should be read out as such? - if I need to divide them up to read them better then surely that should be how I present them too? It's a dilemma.

And talking of reading aloud I saw Alice Oswald read at UEA a couple of weeks ago and she was awesome.  The best reader I have seen since I saw Robin Robertson last year.  I love her work anyway but she was a mesmerising reader, absolutely spell-binding.


The Word & Image said...

Why do you feel the need to adapt your prose poems to be read aloud? I think the use of capital letters and italics suggest multiple voices in these particular poems. I think you would be compromising your poems if you put it in stanzas to be read aloud. Perhaps a script would be more appropriate; I suggested before that you might record them. I think your prose poems are more subjective than this though, part of their charm is the invitation to imagine, even remember, this child's voice and this is more effective not read aloud.

Julia said...

It was because I find them hard to read out loud - and I feel like you ought to be able to read a poem out loud I guess. Plus if I made a collection of them I feel like i might need to read them...but I agree they do work better on the page. I haven't tried recording as I don't have a recorder at the moment - I will have to try and borrow one!