Archive for January, 2010

Charles Plymell on Robert Peters – What Peters Means To Me

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I’ve never been that big of an advocate of “oral” poetry (in fact it suggested sex to my dirty mind). Nor did I care that much for “voice” or “performance” poetry, which always suggested to me a way to present otherwise dull poetry where everyone bows their head to the grave task of “understanding.” I thought of it as more arts org decoration because no one knew what real poetry was when funding it, so applause would thus take cues from Jerry Springer with all the slam and “stuff.” I am old fashioned enough to know that in black ink the love of poetry still shines bright. So what do I get in the mail but the new wave of the future of publishing: a cd of the recorded voice; a little booklet of poems; the photo of the poet’s life all in one neat little package! i revised my thinking on the topic. Maybe it WAS important to hear the old Celtic tremble of Yeats, or the dramatic sculpted prosody of Pound in recordings. So here is the gift of the voice of Robert Peters, Professor Emeritus who is probably the last academic scholar and real voice in American poetry to be heard.