Analysis Breaks Down the Annoying “Poet Voice” | Smart News


Anyone who has been to a poetry reading in the last half-century—mind you, not a poetry slam, but an honest-goodness literary reading—has likely encountered the lilting, emotionless, interrupted and often down-slurring cadence that has come to be known as “Poet Voice.” No matter how impassioned, angry, funny or Whitmanesque a poem sounds on the page or in a reader’s head, when it is read aloud many authors or their surrogates use the low-energy style that is a comfort to some and causes others to rage, rage against the dying of the poem.

Now, reports Cara Giaimo at Atlas Obscura, a recent study has looked at Poet Voice, analyzing the performances of 100 poets to figure out what defines…

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