vocalisms #45: Noah Baldino


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from Voca, the Poetry Center's online audiovisual archive of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

black and white portrait of Noah Baldino

In this recording from the summer of 2017, Noah Baldino describes the experience of living with middle frequency hearing loss, transforming that loss into expressive encounters with what remains: “a perched sparrow’s whistle / or the thrashing of / a lemon in the garbage disposal.” Baldino composed the poem during their tenure as the Poetry Center’s Summer Resident in 2017; a later version republished by Poetry Daily in 2019 reveals gentle yet incisive revisions that make the poem’s music all the more concise and finely tuned. At the end of both versions, the ongoing work of the bees lingers, sweetness and loss mingling.