“Most poets can’t read their own writing.” Leslie Norris said this as we mulled over a reading we’d attended the night before. He wasn’t speaking just about Mormon poets, though most poets reading at the previous night’s gathering had been Mormon. He meant poets generally.
His criticism wasn’t an off-handed remark. He meant it as vital instruction. Many people who have heard him read can sense that for Leslie, getting words down on paper was only part of the business of writing poetry. His verse bloomed when he spoke it aloud to an audience. Or we could say a kind of auditory sun rose in his verse when he performed it. That is, if we could hear the sun rise, it would sound something like Leslie performing a poem. Continue reading “Sing, O Maysie!”