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Reading the modern poem


How to convey the sense of a poem
WD Snodgrass Poet
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But also, there's something else. And that is that I try… try to read the poem differently almost every time because well now the… wait a minute. One… I once or twice had a student who… the best way to work with them was that they would find the right way for them to read this poem and then always do that. Most people — and for me — it… it isn't at all that way. I just keep changing it. And even if I read a line or a phrase all wrong, that's better because it'll make you do the thing you do in conversation. The next phrase will be right because it'll come in answer to that. So even if you mess up that one line, you'll keep the poem alive and the movement of the… of the line. And people will get the sense of that line even if you read it all wrong.

American poet WD Snodgrass, entered the world of poetry with a bang winning several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his first collection of poetry, Heart's Needle. A backlash followed his controversial fifth anthology “The Fuehrer Bunker”, but in recent years these poems have been reassessed and their importance recognised.

Listeners: William B. Patrick

William B. Patrick is a writer and poet who lives in Troy, New York. Among his work are the poetry volumes "We Didn't Come Here for This" and "These Upraised Hands", the novel "Roxa: Voices of the Culver Family" and the plays "Rescue" and "Rachel's Dinner". His most recent work is the non-fiction book "Saving Troy", based on the year he spent following the Troy Fire Department.

Mr. Patrick has been Writer-in-Residence at the New York State Writers Institute and has taught at Old Dominion University, Onondaga Community College, and Salem State College, and workshops in Screenwriting and Playwriting at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. He has received grants from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Tags: poem, reading poems

Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008