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The Question

"If you want to listen to a poem, do you want to hear the poet read it or an actor?" asks Curtis Fox in this podcast from Poetry Off the Shelf. (Actors vs. Poets, 04/05/2010)

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/audioitem/2090

Listening to this podcast reminded me of the time when I served as one of the judges for the annual French poetry recital contest for high school age youths. The students had to memorize the poems of their choice by heart and the judges were given a rubric for evaluating their performance based on pronunciation and whether their delivery effectively conveyed the emotional and intellectual content of the poems.

A poet by the virtue of being the creator of his or her poem ought to be able to outdo any actor while a good actor ought to be able to bring out the hidden potentials of a poem. I learned a lot, nevertheless, from what this podcast had to reveal about poetry reading and enjoyed the process.

 

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Unless the author has a good

Unless the author has a good voice, good expression and good diction, I'll always favour an actor.  It's always interesting to hear how a poet would read his/her own work – for curiosity's sake, but just because he/she can write, he/she is not necessarily a good reader.  

 

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Reading poetry out loud

Maybe the best reading is the one by a trained actor that the poet likes?

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