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Sturgeon's House

Poet Voice

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I thought this article would be terrible, but it's actually pretty good.

I, for the record, am an atrocious poet.


Also, he sucks off Yeats, which is fine by me:

Don’t get me wrong! Sometimes Poet Voice is an effective and affecting style. Quoting William Morris, W. B. Yeats once said before a reading, “I am going to read my poems with a great emphasis on their rhythm. That may seem strange if you are not used to it…It gave me a devil of a lot of trouble to get into verse the poems I’m going to read. And that is why I will not read them as if they were prose.” Then he proceeded to read his famous poem, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” in a Poet Voice to end all Poet Voices. He’s basically singing. It sounds amazing, and not only because he’s got a great tenor but because his employment of Poet Voice matches up with the style and content of the poem—they make sense together.
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I personally really enjoy reading skaldic poetry, especially in the original Old Norse versions. The common metrical pattern, drottkvaett, has some pretty confusing rules, and it's amazing that the skalds of the day would be able to compose and memorize 40-verse epics.


One of my favorite single verses, by Egil Skallagrimsson ca.925:


I've been with sword and spear'

slippery with bright blood

where kites wheeled. And how well

We violent Vikings crashed!

Red flames ate up men's roofs

raging we killed and killed

and skewered bodies sprawled

sleepy in town gate-ways.


As you can Imagine, many skaldic poems, like this one, had to do with wars or battles or stories of lords and kings, and the rest are Norse myths.

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