Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Poets and Poems: Kate Tempest and “Let Them Eat Chaos”

Let Them Eat Chaos by British poet Kate Tempest includes a note at the beginning: “This poem was written to be read aloud.” And you think, “Well, aren’t most poems meant to be read aloud?” Perhaps, but Tempest is making at least three points with that statement.

First, reading a poem aloud is not a given; most poems are read silently today, as opposed to being read aloud. Reading aloud assumes (or presumes) an audience.

Second, this single collection-length poem was written specifically with the idea of being read aloud.

And third, reading aloud is a performance, which is exactly what you would expect from a poet is also a playwright, and also a recorder of CDs (including rap). In fact, Let Them Eat Chaos is paired with an audio CD of the same name.

Tempest doesn’t blur the lines between artistic forms; she blows them up.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Photograph: Kate Tempest.

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