A Voice of His or Her Own

A poet should really represent only himself or herself.  Not any specific political, social, or ethnic group. And I think that there is an inner core, an inner voice that should be speaking in its own voice, and not in the voice of some platform or group.  Unfortunately, we know too many historical examples of very gifted poets and authors who associated themselves with some movements and eventually turned out to be in a big internal or external crisis.  We remember Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg, really great lyrical poets in their strongest verses.

I would say that every poet should find or hear the voice of his or her own soul, its original intonation.  There are a lot of great influences and the person, who either does not have a significant original voice or is not trying hard, can easily be seduced by infectiously wonderful cadences and voices in poetry surrounding him or her and use this. Contemporary American poetry is somewhat different because it is mostly in free verse so to a lesser degree one can recognize a specific voice.  Although an American poet could fall into this prosody trap as well.

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