What do we mean by 'voice' in poetry? In this work, David Nowell Smith teases out the diverse meanings of 'voice' – from a poem's soundworld to the rhetorical gestures through which poems speak to us – to embark on a philosophical exploration of the concept of voice itself. His study encompasses renaissance lyrics and concrete poetry, analyses of metre and discussions of technological treatments of voice, and radical and far-reaching readings of Augustine, Baudelaire, Derrida, Hopkins and Kristeva alongside contemporary poets such as Sean Bonney, Lisa Robertson, and John Wilkinson. It places voice at the crux of debates including political representation through rhythm and melody, the 'origin' of languages and the psychology of language acquisition. Throughout, this informs a reflection on how sounds come to have meaning, and on the ways in which we articulate ourselves as subjects.