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November 1, 2005

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Dylan Thomas Reads

This recording of Dylan Thomas reading his most famous poem is possibly the first time hearing a poet recite his work didn’t disappoint me. Utterly excellent. This is from Boing Boing a while back. Boing Boing later linked to Thomas’ reading of his poem “Lament,” ‘cause they’re awesome like that.

Posted November 1, 2005 at 8:42 | Comments (5) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such, Briefly Noted


The link seems to be down (but Salon's been goofy the past couple of days) but before it went, I downloaded Thomas's total catalog of readings. They're all pretty much wonderful -- Thomas was a great interpreter not just of his own poetry, but Yeats's, Auden's, and other near-contemporaries, and his reading of A Child's Christmas in Wales is as good as you've been led to believe.

I also like the In Their Own Voices box set, although it peters out a little bit when you get to contemporary poets. Charles Simic reading his poems from The World Doesn't End is heaven to a young Surrealist like me. And if you're interested in free poetry downloads, Charles Bernstein and co.'s PENNsound project is pretty unbelievable, although I haven't yet plumbed its depths.

I was surprised to find that I had nearly the opposite reaction to this recording, Matt. I found Thomas' inflections and emphasis peculiar, not the way I heard the poem in my head.

Here's an example of a poet reading his own work that I really do like: Seamus Heaney's "Song":

P.S. I know it's past Haloween, but I also recommend the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf as one of the scariest things I have ever read.

My favorite thing about the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf is that it begins just like blog-posts do: with the word 'So...'

So, Robin, how does that makeyou feel?

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