Thursday, March 02, 2006

Be a Poet, Not a Hoarse

While this is a journal writing blog, it is poetry, poetry writing and reading poetry aloud that are my original, closest and dearest disciplines.

Have you ever tried reading at an open mic or a featured 20-minute reading with a whopping case of laryngitis?

Jitters can occasionally tighten my vocal cords, too, and make it harder to deliver without sounding hoarse or more faint. There are a few natural measures you can take to alleviate hoarseness before a reading. One of the best throat coaters and soothers is room-temperature pineapple juice. Drink it throughout the afternoon and bring a couple of cans to your reading.

Another tried-and-true voice reliever is slippery elm. There are several teas available. The smell (and taste) remind me of country straw, but it is an acquired taste that grows more pleasant the more often you drink the stuff. Unfortunately, the slippery elm lozenges available are fairly awful tasting, but work well.

Of course, drinking pure room temperature water keeps your throat hydrated. You might think a glass of wine, or maybe two, might lubricate your throat while also loosening your delivery. But, actually, liquor just might dry you out even more and you might end up slurring the words of your poems. Believe me, I know from experience. ◦

No comments: