What poems, or portions of poems, cry out to be read aloud?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Pub Poetry Slam Forum : One Thread

As Mary Sunshine observed elsewhere in this forum, an important measure of a poem is how it sounds, and at least half the pleasure for me is reading a poem aloud, several times even, getting a sense of how its lines are meant to be emphasized and inflected.

We never get to hear poetry - when's the last time you heard recordings of Dylan Thomas reading his work? - and that's a damn shame. My question is this: Can you point to individual portions of Slam poems that are, for you, a joy to read aloud?

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2000


Well, hell, MB, of course i can. There are dozens, of course, and more worth mentioning almost every week, but somehow the one that sticks with me is a kwanlu poem from Week 12, "CHILD'S PLAY":

At 1800 Greenwich Time,
Sojourner blinks
a newborn's eye
beneath Barsoomian clouds.
Ambles down
the waiting ramp
(a species holds its breath).
Digs a shining, cautious toe
into the dust

I could say Barsoomian all day, even if it didn't summon up all that classic old SF.
I must admit that the poem that gives me the most pleasure from my own little pile is Vigil.
A final note: I learned to love spoken poetry from the Clancy Brothers, bless their corny Irish hearts. They recorded live versions of Yeats' O'Driscoll (The Host Of The Air), which is my little party piece, and a Seamus Heaney classic, Requiem for the Croppies.

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2000

You have dated yourself now MB. Who born after 1960 would know what a party piece is? I happen to have a favourite party piece of my own, a wonderful poem which is nothing but sounds... the words were created just for their sounds. The poem has no meaning till it's recited aloud.
...Long time the manxiom foe he sought,
Then rested he 'neath a tum tum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jaberwock with eyes aflame
Came whiffling through the tulgy wood,
And burbbled as it came.

One, two, one two, and through and through
His vorpal blade went snicker snack,
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumping back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms my beamish boy,
Oh frabjous day, caloo, calay."
He chorkled in his joy.

Oh, what a glorious thing to recite, complete with sword waving and chorkling. Such lovely sounds they are, far better than mundane words that actually mean something.

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2000

i like reading the author's names aloud....the rest of the poem i scream loudly inside my head....

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2000

Anything written by an Irishman or Italian - and Sir Thomas Moore.

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2000

I was blown away to see "Child's Play" quoted here... *s* Anyway, yes, anything by Dylan Thomas, although, perhaps, my favourite is "And Death Shall Have No Dominion". (Just in passing, a long-time bemusement of my own: why do so many poets read their poetry as if they were Congregationalist ministers halfway through a 3-hour sermon? AAAAAGHHH!!! The "poetic" nasal drone...) Also, I like hearing ancient stuff in the original language, "Beowulf" in Anglo- Saxon, "Canterbury Tales" in Middle English, "The Iliad" in Greek. I don't *understand* any of it, except for intermittent bursts of Chaucer, but the swing and the sound of it gives me goosebumps and tears...

-- Anonymous, June 28, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ