Hearing is one of our less evolved senses and we mainly rely on our sight to better understand the world around us and to enjoy ourselves. You might think that because of this our hearing is merely a necessity to survive but unlike other animals we have higher thinking that allows us to understand the things we hear in a different way. This extra appreciation led to the invention of music and activities with the purpose of entertaining, and poetry is one of them. Some people consider that poetry can only entertain if it is read silently but this is not completely true. The spoken word is a truly beautiful thing, let’s explore how it can make poetry that much more enjoyable.
The Spoken Word
We have always loved to hear people reciting poems and telling stories which became one of the main ways to pass on the history and customs of a particular culture. Gradually this tradition transformed into an art form and spoken poetry and reciting are some of the best skills an actor can develop and definitely one of the things that impresses us the most in a performance, helping the enjoyment.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many options for audio books and that sometimes you can find one easier than a regular book?
The answer for this is that we can get emotions and feelings by hearing a human voice that has oratory and acting skills. There are many people that actually prefer this method to enjoy a book rather than reading it. But when we talk about poetry there is something else too. We are beings that like order and patterns and one of the main reasons we like listening to poetry is because it has a certain musicality that we enjoy and in turn a way of evoking emotion. If the actor who’s reciting is accomplished, we might even shed a tear if the poem is a sad one or experience feelings of joy.
The Power of The Poem
It has actually been proven that it is more pleasant and relaxing to listen to poetry then to listen to regular music because the mind has to focus on only one aspect – the spoken word itself. With music the brain has to take the whole musical information and process it so if you listen to one hour of music and one hour of poetry you will feel more relaxed after the hour of poetry. It has a different effect on our overall understanding than a story or other form of writing.
The beauty behind this is that you can really get what the poem was about because the actor knows the rhythm and how to place emphasis on the peak points and low points in the poem. It is like you get a whirlwind of images and emotions by making little to no effort. You stimulate your brain in one of the most pleasant ways.