Poetry Sounds is a new segment at Tate Street High Society that features poets reading aloud their work. Sometimes, as readers, we forget that poetry is an intensely visceral form, one that began with ancient storytelling and song in which bards interpreted and communicated the heroics of the time. Former poet laureate Robert Pinsky reminds us of the importance of listening to the genre of poetry in this fascinating interview with the Paris Review:
…the medium of poetry is the column of breath rising from the diaphragm to be shaped into meaning sounds inside the mouth. That is, poetry’s medium is the individual chest and throat and mouth of whoever undertakes to say the poem—a body, and not necessarily the body of the artist or an expert as in dance.
In homage, we’ll start with one of Pinsky’s poems, “The Shirt,” in which the sound imagery and cadence underlie the power of the astounding narrative that he develops.
What are your favorite poems to read aloud?