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The Line

TerryO
Member
Joined: 9:40 AM - Nov 28, 2014

3:01 PM - Feb 05, 2018 #1

As noted in the thread on the Beach ("You Tilt into the Electric Age"), I am starting a thread on the line. Here is post from the Beach for starters:

As for the shape, I am trying to learn to score poems the way I speak them. I italicized speak in the prior sentence because I raised my voice there as I typed it--saying the words aloud. I am reading Sound Ideas: Hearing and Speaking Poetry by Fran Quinn and B. Eugene McCarthy. Fran lives here in Indy and I took a workshop from him a few weeks back. He is trying to get me to listen to the emotion in my own voice and to get that on the page. He suggests that I read poets such as late William Carlos Williams (the three-part line), Charles Olsen (projective verse), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Paul Blackburn, Hilda Morley, and Denise Levertov--not for their ideas, necessarily, but for the way they phrase their lines--taking line breaks seriously. 

As part of my training my ear, I have been listening to taped readings of poets (PennSound has a large collection of recordings of poets reading their own poems.) It has been enjoyable. I have also been reading poems aloud to my room, finding the voice, if I can. From this exercise I have come to feel that much of my own poetry gets hung up in ideas more than emotions.That is to say, I am much more comfortable with my ideas than my own feelings—they are the content out of reach for me. That's what I want to get to. If line breaks will help me get there, well. I'm all for it.

Any thoughts to add to this? I will be back with quotations from various sources on the line.

t.o.
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churinga
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Joined: 8:06 PM - May 22, 2016

6:29 PM - Feb 28, 2018 #2

When I was in my 20's I spent a full time year at a speech and drama school, we spent every morning reciting poetry, the teacher making us discover the emotional meaning of poems and then recreating that with our voices.  It was great training for actors, but although I didn't realise it at the time also wonderful training for poetry, both appreciating ti and writing it.  I would recommeded reading aloud to anyone as a way of better 'hearing' how poetry works. I don't write much anymore but I still read my poetry aloud, it is different from simply reading it inside one's head.  I also think learning one's poems and reciting them 'by heart' is a thousand times more effective than simply reading them from the page.  
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