Showing posts from September, 2023

The Poem as a Journey - Ismail Bala

There is no one secret to reading a poem, but the closest I know is to think of it as a journey. Where are the thoughts, the sounds, and the feelings coming from, and where do they land? ‘Each word is a step on the road’, Patsy Rodenburg (who is a voice coach at the British National Theatre) often tells student actors. To give words to an audience,   she says, you have to feel the “journey of thought” in them and the shape they take. “Try walking”, she tells the student-actor, ‘the journey of the poem’.  In life, too, poems and journeys go together. Both move. Both take a bit of time and effort. Both let you reflect on other things as you go on. Both can upset and surprise you. There may be boring moments or moments that seem boring at the time, but afterwards, you realise they were crucial. Both give you new windows on the world and take you out of yourself, but let you go deeper into yourself at the same time. They get you to new places. So what is the journey of reading a poem? Ther