St. Brigid’s Day

St. Brigid's Day, or Candlemas, is also Poetry on the Net Day, so I bring you this:

THE VOICE YOU HEAR WHEN YOU READ SILENTLY

is not silent, it is a speaking-

out loud voice in your head: it is
spoken,

a voice is saying it as you
read.

It's the writer's words,

of course, in a literary sense

his or her "voice" but the
sound

of that voice is the sound of your
voice.

Not the sound your friends know

or the sound of a tape played back

but your voice

caught in the dark cathedral

of your skull, your voice heard

by an internal ear informed by internal
abstracts

and what you know by feeling,

have felt. It is your voice

saying, for example, the word “barn”

that the writer wrote

but the “barn” that you say

is a barn you know or knew. The voice

in your head, speaking as you read,

never says anything neutrally – some
people

hated the barn they knew,

some people love the barn they know

so you hear the word loaded

and a sensory constellation

is lit: horse-gnawed stalls,

hayloft, black heating tape wrapping

a water pipe, a slippery

spilled chirr of oats from a
split sack,

the bony, filthy haunches of cows…

And “barn” is only a noun – no
verb

or subject has entered the sentence
yet!

The voice you hear when you read to
yourself

is the clearest voice: you speak it

speaking to you.

                            — Thomas Lux


One thought on “St. Brigid’s Day

  1. Hi, Lee, I loved the poem and shared it with a student-teaching, poetry-loving man at school. He liked it too, so thanks. I love your blog and I’m writing one, too. We were hoping to come to your reception but this weekend is crazy, so we can’t. But Pat, Mollie and I are planning to see the show while it’s there. Hopefully we can get to see you and your family, too. We’ll call and try to set up a time, and will repay the $10. I owe you for the tkts.
    Congrats and enjoy Saturday, you deserve it!!!!!!

    Like

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