Tuesday, 21 March 2000

From "Don't Start Me Talking"

HUTCHINSON: I would say most poets don’t read their work very well, even when it’s well written. There’s too much modish display, or straightforward ineptitude. Sorley McLean had a true bardic presence, with a few unconscious eccentricities, and MacCaig made a virtue of relaxed self-deprecation, and deliberately didn’t make things difficult for the audience – though a touch of the crocodile was never very far away. But too many contemporaries convey no presence at all: nothing is heightened; there’s neither growl nor benison. They rarely give the sense of being moved themselves by what they write or have to say, so they can hope for is polite acquiescence.

As an aside I’d say actors over-egg it. Not all of them – but most of them do.

No comments: