My Voice

I tried to read aloud some poems so that I can listen to the recording later when I do chores. I was shocked to discover that my voice sounds terrible. It is a little throaty, a little whiny, a little diffident, a little apologizing, with that typical unwillingness in exertion. I love myself as a sloth but sometimes I hate myself being a sloth. I wonder how much other people have to suffer when they listen to me.

I am not talking about my accent. I love my Asian accented English, just like Hong Kong people being proud of their Hong Kong English and Singaporean of their Singlish. Well, to be honest, my love for my accent comes mostly from the fact that I know I will never be able to change it. I tried to learn the American accent, but couldn’t make it. So my love is more of a demonstration of resignation to my deficiency in learning. Now I am stuck with this accent and loving it is the best way to live with it.

The reason I want to record my appalling voice is that there’s no good audible books on T. S. Eliot and several other poets I like. There’s just one or two of selected T. S. Eliot poems, each three-hour long. Only three hours. Eliot is not so prolific like other writers, but still he writes poems, plays, and essays, much longer than what the meager three hours would allow him to express.

When I think about T. S. Eliot, at the age of BLM, I can’t help feeling bad that he’s such a racist. I don’t care much about big statues or monuments, but I do care about writers I like. Ezra pound–a Nazi; Everlyn Waugh–a heartless bigot; Somerset Maugham–every time he talks about the natives of Southeast Asia, I prayed that he be nice and polite. Of course Somerset Maugham broke my heart. I really like his stories and his writing, but his thinly veiled contempt for anybody who doesn’t look like him is … too much.

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