Poetry Sounds: Robert Pinsky, “The Shirt”

Poetry Sounds is a new segment at Tate Street High Society that features poets reading aloud their work.  Sometimes, as readers, we forget that poetry is an intensely visceral form, one that began with ancient storytelling and song in which bards interpreted and communicated the  heroics of the time. Former poet laureate Robert Pinsky reminds us of the importance of listening to the genre of poetry in this fascinating interview with the Paris Review:

…the medium of poetry is the column of breath rising from the diaphragm to be shaped into meaning sounds inside the mouth. That is, poetry’s medium is the individual chest and throat and mouth of whoever undertakes to say the poem—a body, and not necessarily the body of the artist or an expert as in dance.

In homage, we’ll start with one of Pinsky’s  poems, “The Shirt,” in which the sound imagery and cadence underlie the power of the astounding narrative that he develops.

What are your favorite poems to read aloud?

About the Author: Abigail Browning

aba-city-lights-poet-picAbigail Browning, Founder and Managing Editor, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, received her MFA in Poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Abigail has poems either published or forthcoming in the Yemassee Journal OnlineThe Greensboro Review, Linebreakand RHINO Poetry. In addition, she was honored to receive the Amon Liner Poetry Award, the Noel Callow/Academy of American Poets’ Prize, and was a finalist for the Linda Flowers NC Arts Prize. She also has a passion for jazz music and dance, and teaches swing-era dances in her free time: www.abigailbrowning.com. Currently, she is studying Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media as a PhD at NC State in Raleigh, NC.

2 Comments on Poetry Sounds: Robert Pinsky, “The Shirt”

  1. Thank you, Abigail.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. My Tongue Is My Choir Singing To My Heart And Soul — Robert Pinsky’s Samurai Song | Becoming is Superior to Being
  2. Celisa Steele Interview Part II: Carrboro Poet Laureate | Tate Street High Society
  3. In The Margins E13: We do it for Love, Sonnets from Tate Street and the Favorite Poem Project | Tate Street

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