I recently posted a spoken word poem which was, itself, a re-run of my Rapid Rhyme #30. This started off by saying that “None of us are Poets” but went on to suggest that we could all have a go and have fun along the way. We do, after all, primarily blog for ourselves.
I had some lovely responses, but also a couple of “should I really be trying to write poetry – who do I think I am?” replies.
Caroline at doesitevenmatter3 thought that the fewer comments received, whenever she posted poetry, was a commentary on her poetry writing.
Sue, at nansfarm, received a comment of “good try” for her poetry, which she equated with a school report saying “could do better!”
My reply was:
I think we all tend to be self-deprecating about our output and, in truth, there is a huge spread of talent in varying degrees across WordPress. There are some sites that produce poetry every day, even some that produce multiple poems every single day. How on earth they do it is beyond me.
I have learned to love haiku, and appreciate its subtlety, simplicity, and elegance. I have always liked limericks and have posted several hundred. I love rapid rhymes that tend to be written to the pace of my walking, and I appreciate more complex forms that I occasionally have a go at. Some modern rap I find to be really sophisticated and colloquial forms of poetry can be a joy to listen to.
I find myself listening to more spoken word poetry and comparing one narrator with another. Some recordings are absolutely abysmal in my opinion, but that is only my opinion. Each of us hears differently, and appreciates differently. Just because someone has a brilliant acting voice, or book reading voice, does not mean they do justice to poetry.
Try it out for yourself. Choose a poem you really like, or a well known classic. Look up different readings and listen to them. You may find a perfect example – for you, and that is the whole point – it is a personal preference.
For example, If I choose “Daffodils” which many people are familiar with and listen to a reading by XXX I may love it. If I listen to YYY reading it, I may loathe it. It is the same poem, with the same brilliant words, and the same lovely images but spoiled for me because I do not hear it the same way! Perhaps I just don’t like the way it is presented. Maybe it is because the reader doesn’t really believe in what they are doing. Let’s face it, some people could read a railway timetable and make it irresistibly entertaining. Stephen Fry springs to mind!
Here, for your enjoyment, are some alternative versions of William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’
(Cumbria – England) – BBC – 12th April 2016. This may not play outside UK.
A reading by Ralph Fiennes
And now one that I do not enjoy, read by Jeremy Irons
Here it is set to music by Dave Camlin, recorded and performed by Sing In! and Sing Owt! community choirs in west Cumbria in March 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis.
and, finally The Wordsworth Rap – Cumbria Tourism