Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Chris O. Cook on poetry readings
Cal Bedient once said that a poem should always be pleasurable but that it should never be the first duty of a poem to entertain. I not only agree, but consider the distinction to be one of the most valuable things I have ever heard anyone say about poetry. But a poetry reading is not a poem. To say that a reading should be genuinely engaging on the level of a musical performance, and that poets should work to make this so, is not to say that poetry should be composed with an eye towards wowing a crowd.