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The Oral Aurality of the Radio Waray Siday

Maria Rocini E. Tenasas


The end of print culture raises many disturbing questions about the position of poetry amidst these immense cultural and technological changes. What will be the place of the poet and his poetry in society now that we are at the cutting edge of technology? What will be the advantage of poetry in what Walter J. Ong calls the technologizing of the word? This study focuses on how the Waray siday as vernacular poetry from the margins emerges into a new form of oral history, known now as secondary orality, as it finds its way on the radio. It analyzes the distinct oral and aural qualities of the radio Waray siday as oral poetry, and how this soundscape somehow contributed to the characteristics of Waray language as reflected in the radio Waray siday. It illustrates how the interplay of orality and aurality create sense and affect in the radio Waray siday that makes it a revitalized, modernized, and powerful poetry. Analysis is grounded on the affect theory which posits that the affective power of the voice (orality), combined with the intimacy of the listening process (aurality), results in a change in behavior realized by listening to the reading of oral poetry; the orality theory which contends the intrinsic superiority of oral to written poetry, even in the age of print; and the radio inclusive theory which shows the link between the radio text, context, and reception. It describes the hybridity of the radio and its intertextuality—an exploration into a multidimensional phenomenon. This paper emphasizes that the meaning of poetry exists in relation to sound (letters waiting to become sound) and visual shape—that sound/shape articulates (and creates) meaning transcribed by a writing that “listens” to reading.


radio poetry; regional folk poetry; secondary orality; soundscape; sound culture; vernacular poetry

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2020.03507