Can the ear be deceived?

Another great creative writing session at uni on Friday. One of the things we discussed is what different poets have to say from the Bloodaxe, Strong Words. In particular what drew me in was an extract from Robert Graves where he states, ‘The outward ear is easily deceived.’ What he appears to be saying is that even if poetry is bad or fraudulent but read with a beautiful voice, the ear would be deceived to think it was good. What is your theory on that? Do you agree? By the same cloth how do you feel about a really good piece of poetry being read out aloud by an inexperienced reader? Would it still sound good? Food for thought. I’d love to hear what you think.

Following the theory side of things in class, we moved on to the craft workshop, my favourite part. We read out our own poems and then offered each other critique. The group has a diverse range of age but everyone fits in well. Lots of homework to be completed this week including writing a poem that can be read horizontally or vertical. Quite a challenge.

2 thoughts on “Can the ear be deceived?

  1. maureenger February 26, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    Hi Tricia,
    I remember this quote from Robert Graves and he makes the distinction between the outward ear that is easily deceived and the inner ear that is not. He thinks the eye is the most reliable when it comes to poetry and the eye and the inner ear are closely connected.
    I tend to agree that a really skilled reader could make a poem sound better than it might look on the page. And that a poor reader could muck up a fine poem.
    But I prefer to think that most poems benefit from being read out so that their sound can be more appreciated. And that the poet is the best person to read their own work.


    • Patricia M Osborne February 26, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      Hi Maureen

      Sorry for the delay but been at uni and then choir.Yes I agreed to a certain extent but I think if it was a really good poem then even if it was a poor reader the poem would still shine through. Like you I think most poems benefit from being read out aloud and where possible by the poet. Of course the dead ones would have difficulty in doing that!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s