“To hear a poem spoken in the voice of the person who wrote it is not only to witness the rising of words off the page and into the air, but to experience an aural reenactment of exactly what the poet must have heard, if only internally, during the act of composition. “ Billy Collins (b. 1941), U.S. Poet Laureate
The Voice of the Poet series was developed in 2005 by Random House. We only just discovered it and since I am enamoured of Auden’s work and am focusing on him right now, we picked up that one. However, this audio series includes other notable poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Frank O’Hara, and a collection of five women poets: Gertrude Stein, Edna St. Vincent Millay, H.D., Louise Bogan and Muriel Ruckeyser. Each set includes a CD of poetry readings collected from a variety of sources and occasions and a small book with the texts of the poems and a brief commentary by J.D. McClatchy, a poet, literary critic and an editor of the Yale Review. I completely enjoyed the Auden collection, recommend it if you are an Auden fan, and am moving on to get whatever others in the series can still be found. I would have written something else for today, but I just couldn’t pull myself away from this. It’s the sort of thing you enjoy and value if poetry – or a specific poet – is central in your life.
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“Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.”
The day would not be complete without a poem. Here’s Funeral Blues, one of Auden’s more well-known poems . . .
Video uploaded to YouTube by Reifgar