Brenda Clews is a poet with a Mac who blogs at Rubies in Crystal. Here she reads the poem read by the Voice Alpha gang last week – How To Make A Raft by Elisa Albo, donated by the poet to Voice Alpha‘s list of poems for which the authors have given advance recording permission for Dear Voice Alpha, the VA reading advice program. Feel free to add your observations on the readings! If you would like to send in a reading of How To Make A Raft for Voice Alpha critique, email the MP3 to nic_sebastian at hotmail dot com.
All the other readings took the poem along at a fair old clip, driven by the sense that there was some sense of urgency behind the directions being issued. There’s an interesting dynamic to this slower pacing suggestive of the need for the information to be absorbed carefully. If one goes with the scenario of there being time on the side of the protagonists then, with its clarity of diction and its use of cadence, Brenda’s rendition works well and provides an alternative interpretation to that underpinning the other readings.
I, too, liked the different quality of this reading. There was a brightness and a bounciness that somewhat undercut the serious subject matter of the poem. At first I found it jarring, but then I decided that it fit: one must have a sort of bright, almost childlike outlook/faith to attempt that passage on such a flimsy craft. At one point, my speakers started to split, so that one item on the list came through the right speaker, then the next item on the left, and so on–it made me wonder if one could do that on purpose and what the effect would be if a whole list poem was done that way.
Hi Brenda – thanks once again for sending in your reading! I found your voice pleasant to listen to and your diction very clear. As a matter of personal taste, I found your pace somewhat slow overall, especially at the beginning, but I enjoyed the variety of texture you presented among the various lists, using pace, volume and voice energy to differentiate. In all, there was perhaps a touch of a ‘dramatic children’s fairy-tale/story-telling’ atmosphere, but overall, I greatly enjoyed the energy and enjoyment you communicated very clearly in your reading.