The Fall of the City: A Verse Play for Radio

The Fall of the City: A Verse Play for Radio

The Fall of the City: A Verse Play for Radio

The Fall of the City: A Verse Play for Radio

Excerpt

Any introduction is a confession of weakness. This one is no exception. It is written because I am anxious to persuade American poets to experiment with verse plays for radio and because I am quite certain the radio verse play I have written will not persuade them of itself.

The argument for radio as a stage for verse is neither long nor sensational. It consists largely in asserting what everyone knows. But such is the character of what everyone knows that no one knows it with enthusiasm. On the basis of the most obvious and elementary facts every poet with a dramatic leaning -- and what poet ever lived who was really satisfied with writing the thin little books to lie on the front parlor tables? -- should have been storming the studios for years. And yet actually the storming has been thin and infrequent. The British Broadcasting Corporation has presented a few verse plays written expressly for radio and one of them, Geoffrey Bridson March of the '45, is said to have been both interesting and exciting. But the American slate is still approximately clean.

The first fact which everyone knows is that radio is a mechanism which carries to an audience sounds and nothing but sounds. A radio play consists of words and word equivalents and nothing else. There is no visible actor disguised to assume a part. There is no stage-set contrived to resemble a . . .

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