“Over these many decades, I find unequivocally that each person has a unique one-of-a-kind way to speak/write in their own voice, from their own experiences and fantasies.
“In this sense, each person decides to go whichever way they like, or feel called to, in whatever pattern… depending only on what they themselves wish to accomplish or feel most fulfilled by in speaking, performing or/and writing.
“There is a long tradition of original voice. For instance, like their written works or not, Bret Easton Ellis has his own voice, as does Stephen King, as does The Buke, as does DiPrima and Ginsberg, Sexton and Teasdale and Dickenson. One would not mistake one for the other.
“My friend, the late Kurt Vonnegut, had a charism of personal voice and imagination. Alighieri’s voice is different than Yeats or Blake. Rumi is distinct from Kabir (Persian poets) who is distinct from Mirabai (Northern Indian poet).
“Stafford is different than Bly, though both are prairie poets. Alegria is different than Paz, who is different than beautiful Opal Whitely, who is different from the masterful Koch or the rebellious Sor Juana. Jung is way different than Freud, and Toni Wolff is differently voiced than either.
“I give you only a tiny sample above to speak of those who strove for/ dared to speak and write in original voice… this coming about by their investment, immersion in their personal interests, by way of speaking/writing in wild ways that came to them naturally, by truthtelling, by not sequestering knowledge or imagination, by leaving the constraints of ego, by speaking/ writing from their own life experiences and quandries, and by following through a dark woods, something that is sure-footed.
“I often see that one of the proofs of wild and natural voice seated well, is that though whatever we write or speak takes craft and is hard to do, even so, often also what we write or speak surprises us in some useful way each time we truly unleash.
“Then is when we think things, say things, write things we never could have thought of solely from ego… or when we were closed down, or trying too hard.