The poetry voice revisited

Have a listen to this:

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And then have a listen to this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.posted with vodpod

Is it just me, or is there a bit of overlap there in terms of speech patterns? I know Ajay Rochester from The Biggest Loser used to be a poet, but I’m getting the impression that she may not be Channel Ten’s only secret versifier.

Or maybe I’ve got it arse-backwards and the poetry community is rife with secret newsreaders…


Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in crappin' on about the inconsequential
2 comments on “The poetry voice revisited
  1. themoralhighground says:

    This reminds me of the Jana Wendt voice, sported by every female newsreader and tv journo since she first came to prominence in the 70s. Jana isn’t on tv anymore but they STILL do it. I wonder if the young ones even know who they are imitating. It isn’t normal – Ita Buttrose doesn’t talk like that – her rather nasal lispy voice was proof that once, content was privileged over delivery. Not true now.

    Maybe poetry has the same issue. If you declaim all poet-like, you must be good, eh?

    For comparison’s sake, here is a great Gertrude Stein page.

    Have a listen to her reading her own work. I really didn’t love her on the page until I heard her read her own work – I can’t imagine anyone else doing it justice, and as I have a little Gertrude who speaks her writing in my mind now, I can page-read it far more easily.

  2. Adam Ford says:

    That’s a really good point Anna – thanks for posting that. So if newsreaders are all copying Jana Wendt, who are the poetry-voiced poets copying? Ginsberg? Scott-Heron? Plath? This bears some investigation…

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About Adam

I'm a dad and the author of the poetry collections The Third Fruit is a Bird and Not Quite the Man for the Job, the novel Man Bites Dog and the short story collection Heroes and Civilians.

I'm currently working on "Dance to the Anticlinal Fold", a spoken word walking tour that will be part of the Castlemaine State Festival in 2019. Find out more about the show here.

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