Never having succeeded at school, I’ve always thought of poetry as the holidays, not term time.
In November I am going to have the privilege of participating at the 26th Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. It will be my second time at the Festival, and my fourth visit overall. I have just received the programme, so it must be true.
I am also a judge for this year’s Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.
The prospect of the holiday reading that lies in front of me – relaxed and studious, intuitive yet intense – is a delicious one.
As a result I won’t be here as much as usual over the next few weeks.
I’ll be posting more news about this on Saturday. In the meantime, I wish all of my readers a very happy summer of reading.
The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently
is not silent, it is a speaking-
out-loud voice in your head: it is spoken,
a voice is saying it
as you read. It’s the writer’s words,
of course, in a literary sense
his or her voice, but the sound
of that voice is the sound of your voice.
Not the sound your friends know
or the sound of a tape played back
but your voice
caught in the dark cathedral
of your skull, your voice heard
by an internal ear informed by internal abstracts
and what you know by feeling,
having felt. It is your voice
saying, for example, the word barn
that the writer wrote
but the barn you say
is a barn you know or knew. The voice
in your head, speaking as you read,
never says anything neutrally – some people
hated the barn they knew,
some people love the barn they know
so you hear the word loaded
and a sensory constellation
is lit: horse-gnawed stalls,
hayloft, black heat tape wrapping
a water pipe, a slippery
spilled chirr of oats from a split sack,
the bony, filthy haunches of cows…
And barn is only a noun -no verb
or subject has entered the sentence yet!
The voice you hear when you read to yourself
is the clearest voice: you speak it
speaking to you.
Thomas Lux from New and Selected Poems: 1975-1995 (Mariner Books)