Wednesday, 4 February 2009

self-regarding vibrato

A few years ago I was half-listening to (or reading – I can’t remember) a classical music review when suddenly my attention was drawn to a phrase of the reviewer’s that noted a certain violinist’s ‘self-regarding vibrato’. This idea stuck with me: that an artist can draw attention to his or her personal skills to the detriment of the art. It struck me then, and still does, that this concept is perfectly descriptive of the kind of poetry produced by the average Faber author of the last few decades. These so-called ‘mainstream’ poets almost all fall over themselves striving for the startling effect though it ends up being to the detriment of poetry itself.

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