Valerie Bloom - 14 June 2006
Sorry about the silence. I've been having a few computer problems.
I come from a culture where the art forms are closely intertwined; so a poem might incorporate music, dance,etc. There was more of a delineation here,I think, until fairly recently,especially when it comes to poetry. Nowadays though, poetry is more often performed than simply read.
Some readers may raise their brows at the idea that poetry can be anything more that the written word. Anything else would be considered a distraction. Of course there are poetry performances which leave the audience less than satisfied, and asking the prickly question we keep coming back to; is that poetry? On the other hand, some performances can move in a way the words alone might not be able to, by giving them a new dimension. Then again there are powerful performances of poems which, when you read them afterwards can leave you decidedly underwhelmed. My feeling is that the words and the performance should complement each other, even if the performnce is only in the voice. Have you seen much performance poetry? And how do you feel about it? How would you feel about a poem which is electrifying in performance but lacklustre on the page?