ONWARD FOLLY

A Ruth Krauss Poetry Primer
(Part I)

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‘Ode’ (1964) – 2 minutes, 3 seconds
‘When I Walk I Change The Earth’ (1978) – 9 minutes, 19 seconds
Performed by Holly Pester

Ruth Krauss (USA, 1901–1993) was a prolific author of extraordinary books for children. Subverting didacticism, she drew on the child’s perspective, describing an uncertain world in which each object, character, behaviour, is unfixed and subject to speculation. Many of these books remain in print.

Krauss’s poetry received less mainstream attention, appearing in periodicals and small edition books produced by independent publishers. Her poetry expanded the inquisitive outlook of her works for children into longer and more experimental forms — rhythmically various and expressive, like lively conversation and laughter.

This first of a two-part primer in Krauss’s poetry presents two new recordings by sound poet Holly Pester. ‘Ode’ is a field of words enthralled by the sun. Typically, for Krauss the sun is not a distant abstraction but an incidental force, observed through its colouring of everyday life: a pattern of light cast by the leaves of a tree, or an upbeat mood. ‘When I Walk I Change The Earth’ is lyrical, reflecting on the patina of human experience through a series of encounters between the poet and the world that leave profound impressions on both. Here Krauss’s poetry is relentlessly curious, outgoing, and yet tender.

Holly Pester was born in Colchester, UK in 1982

Directed by James Langdon
Recorded and produced by Steven Hellier
Artwork by Simon and Tom Bloor
Poems presented with permission of the Estate of Ruth Krauss
This recording is dedicated to Farrah Langdon
HOLE002 © 2015 Sinkhole Audio