PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Bill Manhire, Warm Ocean and other poems David Rosenberg, On Harold Bloom: Poetry, Psyche, God, Mortality Frederic Raphael, Obiter Dicta Gwyneth Lewis, The Auras Vahni Capildeo, Odyssey Response
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This report is taken from PN Review 77, Volume 17 Number 3, January - February 1991.

Bravo PBS! Carole Taylor

Recent advances in the psychology of perception linking language patterns with neurological processes offer us (and by us I mean readers, listeners, and interpreters of the arts) a more concrete understanding of the communication process. Notably, John Grinder and Richard Bandler identified and linked patterns of behaviour and language common to us all: concurrently we each present (in behaviour) and re-present (in language) a unique personal model of reality to the world, in hopes we will be understood.

In the field of musicological thought a comparable development is evolving. Narrative does not reside in the music but in a plot imagined and constructed by the listener. The composer does not 'speak' to us on a linguistic level, but on a behavioural one: Carolyn Abbate and Jean-Jacques Nattiez suggest we hear the sound of narrative 'but we do not know exactly what the voices are talking about'.

What can we say about the power of speech in contemporary poetry? Opinion varies among poets as to the value of poetry live, but most listeners would agree, I think, that poetry does gain by being heard. At the Poetry Book Society International Day we had a unique chance to experience poetry live all day long. With Kit Wright, Liz Lochhead, Derek Walcott and Joseph Brodsky the variety of performances was considerable - enough so to try and pursue this issue of communication a bit further.

Kit Wright opened the Day with a breakfast reading, compatibly joined ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image