Nice voice, nice simple reading:
Hold That Thought by Zack Finch
(This is a recent posting from her own blog by Rose Hunter, reproduced here with permission. PS: We think Rose is too hard on herself – we like her straightforward reading style…)
That was an interesting thing, firstly to find a time here without heavy construction, trucks cars and dogs, TV or blasting music. Solution: 7 am Sunday morning.
So I did those. I am not a great reader of my own work, is my perception, although I like these recordings better than other recordings that I’ve done. I hate all my old recordings. Well I think I was trying too hard and being too fussy. (See previous posts re discussion of hating everything I’ve ever done, also.) I have a lot of stage fright, and turning on my laptop microphone by myself, in my pajamas, constitutes a stage in my mind. I’ve tried to read my poems in front of people once that I remember (unless I’ve blocked any other demoralising instances out) – that was last year, and it did not go well. There were about eight people there and I felt like I was dying of embarrassment. I vowed never to put myself (or anyone else) through that again. So that’s how that is.
My theory is that this goes back to having problems learning to read as a kid. Well, maybe not learning to read per se, but learning to read anything out loud. My mother home schooled me during that time and it got a bit ugly. I’m not blaming her, I’m just remembering how it felt. In any case I developed a phobia of reading out loud. At school I’d freeze up, turn beet red, mumble so hardly anyone could hear me, mix up all the words anyway, and think: “I am so stupid I am so stupid,” and feel like crying. Which I’d try to wait until later to do, so as not to create (more of) a spectacle. I took beta blockers to get through tutorial presentations at university. They didn’t help much. Anything like that has always been hell for me.
Maybe that’s strange for a poetry writer. Or maybe not; maybe it’s one of the reasons I write poetry. To claim my own voice, at least when I’m on my own, at my desk, writing, and reading them aloud to myself at that point, often. I think my poems as they are on the page are mostly strongly voiced, and much bolder than I am in life. When I read them for others, something different happens. I think. You know. It’s pretty hard to see your own work sometimes, at least for some of us, it’s kind of impossible.
Read the full blog post here.
Yes, she has a beautiful voice, but it’s way more than that. She gets inside the poem and reads it to you from the inside. She has that half-humorous ‘let’s pretend’ look and tone on her as she entices you in, but it’s only half-humorous – she conveys that there really is a real world in the poem she is inviting you to enter. Also love those eloquent sketched gestures with her right hand, as if it’s connected to her voice somehow. Previous Voice Alpha post on Carolyn Forché.
A recitation, not a reading – very nicely done in my view.
A reading. I find it a tiny bit overdone, and would have wanted to have less emphasis on the outbreath in many places, but still, he definitely has what it takes.
We talked a while back about people who, while they read, appear to hear a music which both guides and manifests itself in their reading. Cin Salach and Carl Sandburg are my favorite examples of this phenomenon. (NB: They do it well, and engagingly, but I have also heard it done excruciatingly badly.)
Here we have it again, in the voices of two Norwegian poets who do the readings for these two delightful videopoems by Kristian Pedersen (via Moving Poems):
(And just in case you think all Norwegian poets read like this, you can check out more Kristian Pedersen filmpoems at Moving Poems – Norway definitely has its fair share of non-singing poets.)