Poetry Forum

Full Version: How do you read it?
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Slowly, line by line absorbing each word?
Fast only pausing for punctuation and line breaks?
Softly with no caps, do you read in your own voice?
Do you read it several times in several ways for it to 'work'?
Do you skip ahead and pick out your own importance?

How do you know how to read it?  It's not like music where they say 'rapido, fortissimo, dulce'
Maybe how you write it is how your read it, and for some people everything is leaves of grass, and for others it's house of leaves.

How do you read your own poems, or how do you read other poet's poems?

I'm assuming the latter, but not completely sure.

I usually read fast, most of my poems are made for music except the napms So those are usually fast. There's been a couple things where I tried to right to make the reader read slowly (myself) but does it work? Or a piece to gradually read faster even if the reader is naturally slow. If it's recited the listener is forced at the pace of the reader. Most poetry seems up to interpretation, but sometimes I've seen disclaimers
I think it's hard NOT to read your own poems fast.  No matter how many times I read them over or read them aloud, I miss the most obvious flaws.  The next hardest thing is to put it aside for the next day.  To read it again the next day and the next as well.  To hold back on posting it into the forum, before I've waited a few days and let myself become detached from those first moments of writing.  And I can never really deatch myself enough to read it as a stranger would read it.

Ideally my word processor would just slowly reveal what I've written, one word or one line at a time.  And read it aloud to me in another voice. And critique it.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Even some simple criticisms, like "you used this word twice".  That's the Siri I need.
First thought is that it's up to the poet to influence the reading as much as their skill allows. Mood, pace, fluidity, etc. can all be suggested to the reader through the employment of relevant devices. A quick example...

from Ginsberg's "Howl"

"... who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow

toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,"

the writing directs the reader to the point where it's near impossible to read it much differently than the writer intends. The absence of commas between "boxcars" subtly and not so subtly influences the meaning, mood and tempo of the read. "The Raven" is another familiar example. It's construction allows even the clumsiest of readers to follow as Poe intended.

I haven't had the good fortune to have had much of my poetry read back to me, but I would suggest it's a very worthwhile exercise.
(08-06-2021, 05:21 AM)Tiger the Lion Wrote: [ -> ]I haven't had the good fortune to have had much of my poetry read back to me, but I would suggest it's a very worthwhile exercise.

This is a brilliant suggestion. Now I just need volunteers....or  I might go on Upwork and hire a voice artist to read my pomes back to me.
'Make it sound like Richard Burton.'
'Now Ricky Gervais'