I knew that there were crimes and evil men,
Misery and hate; nor did I hope to pass
Untouched by suffering, through the rugged glen.
In mine own heart I saw as in a glass
The hearts of others ... And when
I went among my kind, with triple brass
Of calm endurance my weak breast I armed,
To bear scorn, fear, and hate, a woeful mass!
I read it. Then Janet asked me to read it down again. I felt deeply stirred by the first line as it translates so wonderfully to the present. After "misery and hate" I began to lose it, oh did the tears fall steadily. It was nearly embarrassing, but hey, it's acting class. Tears happen. I am more pleased by the thought that my emotional access is greater each time I perform, and that the text is a gateway to that. Once one ingests the text and it resurges from the heart and the stomach, the emotion and meaning resonate richly through the voice. It's astounding to me how often I do not speak ON my voice. How can it be so consistently disconnected all the time? I know the answer and am working on it.
I was skeptical about this performance poetry stuff, but ultimately glad that I have an excuse to jump back into the Romantics. So many beautiful words, so many sadly beautiful thoughts and feelings, so many years ago yet so relevant today.
Okay, back to finding more texts, more plays and more work.