engaging tongue and ear

Tonight I read Yeats aloud for about an hour, and I shall do this. An hour in the morning and an hour at night. Up to the inventing of Caxton’s press, and for most people long after that, all reading was done aloud….Eliot says the best thing a poet can do is read aloud poetry as much as he can….Silent reading only employs the parts of the brain which are used for vision. Not all the brain. This means a silent reader’s literary sense becomes detached from the motor parts and the audio parts of the brain which are used in reading aloud—tongue and ear.

—Ted Hughes in a letter to Sylvia Plath, The Letters of Ted Hughes (Farrar and Giroux, 1956), selected and edited by Christopher Reid.

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