Say Ah

I was listening to an interview with long-time Shakespearean actress Tina Packer, who said that, after so many years of reciting the same soliloquies, she found them residing in her body such that the very speaking of consonants and vowels became rich in a way she had not noticed before, that they themselves contained the character’s complex emotions. And I thought of my many years of voice lessons wherein I learned to have a kind of strategic relationship with consonants and vowels, using a consonant to help launch my voice, for example, into a note. What I never sufficiently grasped, I think, was this idea of how emotional complexity can reside in and be expressed through the vowel. And I realize that in my poetry I tend to be entranced with consonance, but pay insufficient attention to assonance and the power of vowels. Newly awakened, I plan to play in these vast or narrow spaces.


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