Don’t you think there is a toneless, mechanical sort of reading (almost a form of self-defense) that has dominated public reading for decades now?

It amost seems to be a reaction against the late nineteenth-, early-twentieth century mode of public reading (compare it with, say, a Yeats recording), and another way in which poets could set themelves up as utterly different from what had come before.

It all seems part of the desire for the inaccessible. The mode is a form of affectation–I remember absorbing this style in college and later rejecting i.