Poems to use as vocal warm-ups and pronunciation exercises that leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.
Yves Bonnefoy, a French writer, reminds us to pay attention to the details. As you read this poem, take time to understand the meaning. This highly sensual poem is a great way to remind you to use all your senses when speaking. This is also a very powerful poem to recite. Try varying your pitch and volume, pause for dramatic effect. When you deliver that opening line “I want you to listen”, how will you make your audience tune in? Expand your voice and your presence to fill the entire room.
Passer-by, these are words…
Passer-by, these are words. But instead of reading
I want you to listen: to this frail
Voice like that of letters eaten by grass.
Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee
Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names.
It flits between two sprays of leaves,
Carrying the sound of branches that are real
To those that filigree the still unseen.
Then know an even fainter sound, and let it be
The endless murmuring of all our shades.
Their whisper rises from beneath the stones
To fuse into a single heat with that blind
Light you are as yet, who can still gaze.
May your listening be good! Silence
Is a threshold where a twig breaks in your hand,
Imperceptibly, as you attempt to disengage
A name upon a stone:
And so our absent names untangle your alarms.
And for you who move away, pensively,
Here becomes there without ceasing to be.