Thomas is by no means the only poet who should be heard before he is read. I had but a faint grasp on the poetry of bp nichol before I heard him read it aloud. The dub poets need the voice to convey what the page can not. Any good presenter of his/her own poetry must add something more than can be found displayed in black text on white paper.
Probably because I come from a people who relied on public recitation as a form of community entertainment, on "foardragen," poetry and its presentation aloud mean so much to me. But that's not the only reason. I too love the sound of words; at times I don't care whether or not they mean. In a way it's like opera: who cares what banalities the words may mean, they sound so marvelous!
When I remember Martin Luther King proclaiming, "Let freedom ring!" I hear in my own mind, "Let poetry ring!" Sometimes freedom and poetry are expressions of the same thing.Let's keep the words and language ringing.