Friday, March 30, 2007

Poetry

I had a voice over industrial job today--which was nice. It's the third I've done for this particular project and it's nice that I got it because (as repeatedly mentioned) I DON'T HAVE A DEMO TAPE. The owner of the recording studio said I should have one and that he could prob. get me work if I did it. Of course, he also makes them so...

The project is reading a textbook for adult or young adult illiteracy. It has a very..., well, black slant. First time I read a part in Raisin in the Sun. Second time I read some poems, among them "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, " and the history of Hip Hop (condensed). I kept falling over the names. Back when Cogitate (the board) was still alive I thought about putting that one up and then it (the board) fizzled and I didn't bother. It's funny because Maya Angelou has become such a subject of parody (Family Guy had her hosting a cooking show--"Like the bread, I rise, I rise) that I had forgotten that it is a lovely poem. Likewise today I was reading a section on Poetry Slams, but printed above my text was "I, Too," by Langston Hughes.

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,
"Then.Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

It's so simply and yet the plainness of the text, and the basic conceit are deceptive because it's so carefully crafted and so powerful in it's simplicity. It's conversational, and yet declarative. It has a truth, a verisimilitude to it. I don't know why, because you read a poem with equally simplistic language by an amateur and you don't believe the images, or they seem cliche, and this one doesn't for me. Interesting.

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