Poet, Astrid Lorange, says two things I didn’t know I wanted said till now. When asked “what is it about your poetic voice that is unique?” she responds:
I’m not certain I have a poetic voice, let alone a unique one. I certainly have recurrent and insistent preoccupations, and there are certain strains, or tropes, that motivate my thinking and writing. But I’m not terribly keen on the idea of individual and autonomous “voices” – I’m more interested in writing in many voices at once, or in exploring un-voiced utterances … Another way of answering this would be to say that I write with my ear and not in my voice.
On so-called “difficult” poetry:
Some of my most astute and forgiving readers have been young children – who are often attracted to eccentric language events. The problem, surely, is not weird poetry, but the kinds of normalising programs of our cultural ideology. The high premium on representational narrative and expression of psycho-emotional confessionalism has affected the way we approach, collectively, other textual forms.
Well said. There is value, balm, pleasure in representational narrative and psycho-emotional confessionalism. They also strangle us. I know it. Perhaps you do too. And all the well-meaning advice about finding one’s “voice”? Another strangulation.
The interview with Astrid Lorange is featured in the December 2012 issue of The Victorian Writer published by Writers Victoria. Astrid is on Twitter at @astridlorange.