Business Reads

[audio:http://files.getdropbox.com/u/375985/BusinessHorner.mp3]

That was boring and exemplifies why to create voices for reading poetry that differ from the voices we use for day-to-day reading. We spent years being taught and training day-to-day voices to scan for general concepts, analyze context and second-guess usage in a wild-eyed attempt to understand what, exactly, the writer meant by incentivize. Our day-to-day voices do not attempt to uncover, much less emphasize, supporting rhythms; they do not stress and inflect; they do not go for the gold. The few souls who allow excitement for language and idea access to their voices frighten the masses; intimidate those who hear enthusiasm as noise and loud as confrontation.
With Business, I get as close as I can get to my inner, day-to-day voice; my speaking voice controlled and modified to mimic the Business voice in my head. The reading is meant to sound flat and stress free. The voice, in my opinion, crushes a fun nursery rhyme into a two sentence status report.
Unfortunately, if you find and listen to academics and poets reading poetry, they sound like Business; flat, uninteresting, boring. Why? We have a tradition; those of us who speak and write English were taught that poetry should be read in a conversational voice.
Keeping poetry and conversational voice close comes from where? I really do not know. It seems, on the surface, a noble endeavor, a way to keep poetry from seeming more pompous to non-readers than it is already. But we need to ask ourselves, in this time when conversation has decayed to mumbled patois: unrhythmic, uncommitted, uninspired, uninspiring, pebble-mouthed blather, do we need to drag poetry down to the level of conversation? Or do we have a duty to raise conversation to poetry?
© 2009 Chrome Poet


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