Why is it when poetry is read on the CBC it's always in a breathy, overly expressive, strident tone of voice?
It's like the reader is trying to impart to the listeners: Pay attention because this is POETRY and poetry is deep and IMPORTANT.
I heard a poetry reading on the radio the other day - a poem about Leonardo Da Vinci that was written on the theme of 'flight' for a poetry contest, not a bad poem if it hadn't been read in such a ridiculous tone of voice - and it made me think of a poem I wrote:
Morning sleeping, headacheTiredEyes closed, snapOpenA woman's voice, stridentRingingFilled with convictionHumourlessA ferry ride, a duck'sBehindSave me fromThisEarly morning radioPoetry
I originally posted this poem in Feb 2008 in response to being woken up, early Sunday morning, by a poem being read in a self-important poetry voice on the radio. Yes, to answer the obvious question, the poem - the one that was read on the CBC on a cold Sunday morning in a strident poetry voice - was about a ferry ride and mentioned a duck's behind. Obviously, it was very important and soul expanding.
So please, if you ever get the chance to read poetry out loud to an audience, don't use poetry voice. It just distracts everyone from the poem itself and, this is the important point: it's really, really annoying.