|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #35|
Poetry is what the audience sees and hears, not what authors and editors are unable to write, perform or produce well. Having expended almost a century demonstrating that poetry without performance goes nowhere, it strikes me that many poets don't understand what this arcane skill involves.
Consider Andy Garcia's excerpt from "La Cogida y la Muerte", the first part of "Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías":
Do we really need to speak Spanish to appreciate the distinction between the above and this:
...or, heaven forfend, the following assault on sensibility and taste?
Poets are hardly the only offenders, as I saw in a recent thread on Facebook.
Alison Krauss's rendition of Bob Dylan's "I Believe In You" is pitch perfect singing but there is a world of difference between a song well sung and an experience well imparted. No other renditions involve better singing, including the orchestrated Sinéad O'Connors version, but some are better performances, even though none comes close to Bob Dylan's original:
It pains this fan to criticize Alison Krauss, especially since I seem to be echoing every teenaged Corazoner who ever screamed "Speak from the heart!" in the forlorn hope that high volume angst might cover up ghastly material. Frankly, if the singer's voice doesn't crack, as Dylan's did in studio, and if no one else tears up during this song the singer should be ass-kicked off the stage.
Hey, if you can't do passion, then don't. Or learn. Seriously. Singing may involve nothing more than hitting the right notes but performing is another matter entirely.