What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your writing voice?

I'd like the voice in which I speak poems to people to certainly be my own voice. I don't want to turn it into a solemn poetry voice, which I detest. I hate that kind of pompous, serious, "This is poetry so listen" voice. Can't do it. I hate it. I want it to be real. And I want it to use my own rhythms, my own speech rhythms, but I intensify them for poetry, and what I'm aiming at is somewhere in between speaking and singing. That's what I'm going for when I'm doing poems out loud. Sometimes I use my own voice, sometimes I use voices of other people - people I've met, enemies, friends, famous people - different styles, like I do some Country and Western poems sometimes, and I have to do an accent for that, and I've got a Scottish poem that I do, using my father's Scottish accent as far as possible, and I get away with it in Scotland. So, you know, it varies, I like to vary it. When I'm doing a poetry reading it's a variety show: I like to have a sad poem and then a serious poem and then a funny poem and then an angry poem. I like a patchwork quilt of different moods and different kinds of poems, so, yeah, different voices for different poems.


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