I love the idea of ‘voice’ in poetry. That is, the distinct attitude and tone that comes through a poem as you read it.
It is as though there exists, an unspoken gift from writer to reader, where one can feel the poet’s personality and unique ‘voice’ shining through.
I recently was introduced to work by the prolific post war writer, Paul Celan. If you get a chance I recommend ‘Homecoming’. A beautiful piece that although uses minimalist language, throughout there is a distinctly sad, hollow voice, presumably from his experiences in wars blatant horrors. These are softly hidden in innocent words that still portray such nightmares through the imagery: “Below, hidden, presses up, what so hurts the eye”. His pain resonates in metaphors for graveyards and how their subsequent sight is unbearable. He also portrays identity lost through metaphors “wooden, a post”, as though he is stunted by it all. Through his other work ‘No Man’ in “we were, we are, we shall”, I continue to hear this voice of soft, understated trauma, seeping through.
There is a wonderful resonant voice behind these words.
As I continue to enjoy the works of fellow bloggers and of other poets, I see a distinct voice more and more.
When I hear these idiosyncrasies shining through a poet’s work, I feel as though I have been invited into another world. Where another language resides and where I am privy to an idea they silently speak.
To all writers, hold on to your uniqueness. It is this differentiation that makes you, you.