What We’re About
I’ve started this blog as an exciting collaborative literary project. It is a space to come and hear recordings of people reading poems they love, and to share your own favourite poetry. When we perform a poem the way we feel it ought to be done, we are interpreting the poem for an audience, according to our own personal understanding of its meaning. Reading aloud and literary interpretation can in effect be one and the same act. In literary theory, the idea that the author does not exert absolute authority over the interpretation of their text is well-established and widely accepted as a basis for criticism. However as far as performance is concerned, the internet gives us the wonderful www.poetryarchive.org, featuring poets performing their own poems, but no equivalent space for their best readers to have their say. So let’s not allow the authors a monopoly on interpreting their own work in performance – instead let’s share old favourites and new discoveries together, and make them sound how we think they ought to!
Poetry began much longer ago than writing, and has roots deeply planted in pre-literate, oral culture. In the Classical world, poetry was written to be performed – the idea of always reading silently to ourselves is no older than the printing press, which, when you think about it, is not very old at all. There is great and ancient pleasure in being read to, and in hearing poetry spoken aloud, so I hope you will come here to listen and be inspired to contribute your own favourites to the collection.