Sunday, July 21, 2013


Words come to life in human voice, the same way that stories come to life in their telling. They require the voice - our voice - that most ancient instrument of the human, being human. When I first started performing my poetry, many years ago, people would come up to me after a reading, and say: "you made those poems sound better than they really are." I could never understand that sort of comment. To me, I simply gave them the sound they had, using a voice that loved their words, their rhythms, their music. Words are lures for feeling, and so are stories. When they are alive in the mouth that speaks them, that plays them, they draw us all into the old circle that humans have always made for themselves every time they have allowed a story or a poem or a song, its voice. They wait on us, patiently, with our seemingly interminable silences, hoping for a chance to be heard, to make some palpable shape in a world that - without out - might otherwise fade and die. The world is changed by them, and and so is the sayer, the teller, out of whose mouths they come to life. All the best writing is for the ears, not the eyes.  - Billy Marshall Stoneking


No comments: