Can you talk about the importance of sound in your poetry?

I certainly try out poems in my mouth as I'm writing them - I'll often read out loud as I work, and sometimes, very occasionally, whole phrases of poems occur to me almost like phrases of music and I'm very very concerned with the music in the work. My job for a long time actually was working at the Festival Hall (part of the South Bank Arts complex in London) involved quite deeply in all of the arts actually that are performed there, but perhaps especially music. And I spent a lot of time talking to composers and orchestral musicians and soloists about music and about words, what they thought about language and its relationship with music and it was like an incredible university education in what lyrics are and how intonation works - how vowels are percussive, what rhythm is and that is something that's now deeply engrained


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