on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2014 19 Mai

Cool Words

von: Bob T Bright Filed under: Blog | TB | 7 Comments

I find Anja Utler’s poetry beautiful beyond words – almost literally, because when I listen to her reciting her poetry, I do so without paying conscious attention to her language, but rather, allow the rhythms and any surface or underlying meaning(s) to enter my mind – or rather my superconsciousness, on an intuitive level. Of course, even describing this process is challenging as at each moment of listening, and as I report the process, I’m not absolutely clear whether how I am engaging with the reading (in this case) is actually at a conscious level or not. However, even without  picking out the individual words, I know beyond question that this poetry is resonating strongly with me on an emotional and spiritual level. In many ways the relationship with this particular poet’s writing (and performance of it) is similar to the relationship that I might have with certain musicians and their work – where I don’t know what it is precisely about the music that is affecting me, but at the same time I know that, unquestionably, it is allowing me to tap in to a well of joy. In the UK there is a rather strange attitude towards the German language, with a common view being that the language is ‚harsh‘ or ‚guttural‘ – a view that is derived from exposure to a plethora of war movies and documentaries about a period of history 70 years ago. I always oppose these views – pointing out the beauty of the German language … perhaps this recording would be a first step in convincing those who do not already know it of the validity of such a view.

This entry was posted on Montag, 19. Mai 2014 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    That’s so interesting. Here, on this site, we are always changing (as readers or writers) between these two languages which constantly implies a different thinking mode – apart from that lady (I don’t know her at all and will give her a listen) it’s what one can call a manafonistic meta-text. And meanwhile we can even „read“ Brian in Chinese letters:)

    It was such a good season for Southampton, hope the „new team“ (lots of changes at the Saints, I’ve heared) will do a similarly great job. And this fuckin‘ no-goal by Hummels was 40 centimeters behind the line. F o u r t y fuckin‘ centimeters!!!

  2. Martina:

    Maybe one can say there are two kinds of poetry: the one you can read and the other you have to listen to because of the impact of reading by the poet itself. Anja Utler belongs to the second type. I listened to her reading one time, eleven years ago, in march 2003. It war a ten minute lecture at the famous lyric competition for young poets „Literarischer März“ in Darmstadt. Anja Utler wore a green H&M pullover then (and in my wardrobe was the same one). Have you ever been at a poetry contest, Bob? You feel who would win the first prize. Everyone knew it would be Anja Utler. She studied speech traning at the university of Regensburg and the jury said she would feel the words. Sometimes the words talk with each other and they are on the edge of loosing the content. In any case her lecture is impressing, the temperature is cool, as you wrote, Bob. If you´d like to listen to more poetry, I could recommend the lyrikline-project to you (you can read and listen to Anja Utler´s poetry there as well):

    @ Michael: You can even listen to chinese poems!

    As Brian Eno wrote in his essay „edges and center“: „Would Miles have sounded the same if he´d been a fat heating engineer from Oslo rather than a glamourous member of a glamorous subterranean outsider culture?“ You can transfer this on poetry, at least partly. It ist not only the written word, that counts. It´s about how you say it, not only in poetry.

  3. Bob:

    Hi Michael,

    it’s a dream come true for me to be involved in writing in a German blog, even though my own German is a little rusty! So sorry about BVB…. and sorry to hear about the end of a wonderful dream for Saints (though let’s hope the next one is as great)!

    Many thanks Martina. I think you are so right about the written v the spoken word in poetry. I am hoping to study this myself. I haven’t taken part in a poetry contest, but it is fascinating to hear poetry performed and to note what one likes (and doesn’t like). Do you perform your own poetry? I’m new to the ‚game‘ but when I read aloud, I still hear the diffidence in my voice, which I guess needs confidence and training (even) to overcome. Many thanks for the link and I look forward to exploring further – both the German and the Chinese with Michael!

  4. Martina:

    I wouldn´t say that I perform my own poetry, Bob. But I try to read them in a special way, e.g. I try to emphasize the rhythm in my own way. I took two lessons of a speech training a few weeks ago which was really helpful. It ist important to breath and to pause at the right spot. The more you deal with it the more complicated it becomes, as everywhere.

  5. Bob:

    Thanks Martina. There’s a book that I have been meaning to read (but have not got round to doing yet) related to this:

    I’ll post something when I have read (some of) it!

  6. Martina:

    Thanks so much, Bob. Sounds great. I ordered this book a minute ago. One of the authors is Marjorie Perloff, one of the most famous poetry critic in the US. Do you perform your poetry or do you plan to do so, Bob?

  7. Bob:

    Hi Martina. Great! I think I will get round to ordering it myself. I only started writing quite recently and have only read one poem in public, but am going to do another open mic spot and will try elsewhere from time to time. I’d like to work on developing my own style.

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt | Datenschutz