Sep/Oct 2018 • Vol. XL No. 5 PoetrySeptember 1, 2018 |

Welshman and Muscovite

On his first hearing Dylan Thomas at the Y, poetry seemed to be soaring  into an Empyrean of the airwaves,   as if a realm beyond human senses had shifted— giving access to human ears. The very process    of hearing    in him, hearing voice transport, exalted voice, would never be the same. A new dimension of listening had opened. He now   found he could tap into resources    of Spirit carried by the voice chant of poetry unavailable ever before. His level of trance    seemed to peak    in prose reading of A Child’s X-mas in Wales, ascending to the range a cut above even lyric poems, if partly because   there was no catapulting help to vocal   delivery from innate rhythms of verse measure. So the man’s unaided voice projected his soul    more nakedly    and rawly—just the ordered words propelled by natural surge of voice. No other least support … In our day, a close   parallel might be Mikhail Baryshnikov

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Laurence Lieberman's recent books include Flight from the Mother Stone (University of Arkansas Press, 2000), The Regatta in the Skies: Selected Long Poems (University of Georgia Press, 1999), Compass of the Dying (University of Arkansas Press, 1998) and Beyond the Muse of Memory: Essays on Contemporary American Poets (University of Missouri Press, 1995).

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