Poetry Archive
December 9, 2005 2:18 AM   Subscribe

The Poetry Archive claims to be "the world's premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work". The main page will open a RealAudio file whether you want it to or not, so you may prefer to explore the site from one of the inside pages, like the Historic Recordings page, where you can listen to Robert Browning (reciting "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix" and forgetting the words halfway through), Alfred Tennyson ("The Charge of the Light Brigade") or W.B. Yeats (sonorously declaiming "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"). Or if you want something more modern, there's Ashbery, Heaney, Logue, Pinter .. (Warning: all links to individual poets have embedded RealAudio files.)
posted by verstegan (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
[This is good.]
posted by orthogonality at 2:24 AM on December 9, 2005

Really useful post verstegan, thanks. I struggle reading poetry and can only really make sense of it when I hear it (I'm not sure why), so hearing it from the horse's mouth is especially cool.
posted by chill at 3:44 AM on December 9, 2005

This is a marvellous site. Poetry on the internet has been redeemed.

Currently enjoying Hugh MacDairmid reading the Watergaw
posted by johnny novak at 4:07 AM on December 9, 2005

much like the united states' poet laureate , who traditionally creates and facilitates a project of some sort during his/ her tenure (pinksy's was "the favorite poems project," collins' the "poetry 180" project), this seems to be something of a side project of andrew motion, who was the 1999- present(?) uk poet laureate.

though they've probably been posted all over mefi before, check:

The Wondering Minstrels
for your poem- a- day/ week fix
The Academy of American Poets for u.s. poetry event resources, all kinds of archived poetry, and seasonal/ historical date- specific essays on poems and poets...

and see
The Page for an continually updated source of articles from seemingly everywhere on the current state of "poetry, essays, ideas"
riley dog and wood s lot for a consistently interesting/ thought- provoking/ perplexing poetry + visual artist juxtapositions

and don't forget (for the writers out there):
dumbfoundry for "fresh" online journals, print publications, and contests
the new, elegantly designed CallingMarcel for grants, contests, awards, calls- for- entries
(bonus points for media sponsorship by the rockin' The Morning News)

and and and!!!
listen to emerging, diverse voices at From the Fishhouse.
(embedded qt on the frontpage, methinks).

posted by ronv at 8:02 AM on December 9, 2005

oh and if it wasn't clear, like orthogonality said:
the poetry archive [is goooood.]
posted by ronv at 8:04 AM on December 9, 2005

It's very cool, and I'm glad to see poetry get more attention on MeFi.

I do wish that the Poetry Archive:

a) was compatible with Firefox
b) contained poems by Ezra Pound
c) or William Carlos Williams
d) or Gary Snyder
e) or Gregory Corso
f) or Thom Gunn
g) or Denise Levertov
h) or....

... all of whom (with the possible exception of Corso) would appear on nearly anyone's list of Most Significant Poets of the 20th Century (and yes, I have heard sound recordings of all of the above, so they're out there).

But a good start. Thanks for the link.
posted by digaman at 8:32 AM on December 9, 2005

Holy crap, I'm never going to get anything done ever again.
posted by jesourie at 8:34 AM on December 9, 2005

I've been looking at this for the last few days, but my question is--and I didn't think this would be the only thing I'd have to say about such a big and necessary project--why real audio? To do my unintentional impression of a yuppy bourgeois, "How do I get these on my iPod?"
posted by kensanway at 8:45 AM on December 9, 2005

Kensanway: Audio Hijack Pro. It's yummy.
posted by digaman at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2005

No E. E. Cummings.

That's good.

I had read all of Cummings' collected works, and loved the voice I heard them in, before I first heard a recording of him reading one. I was appalled: Slow, ponderous, stentorian, agonizing - made me wonder if he actually got what E. E. Cummings poems were about.
posted by soyjoy at 9:14 AM on December 9, 2005

I do wish that the Poetry Archive:
a) was compatible with Firefox

Ah, that explains why I haven't been able to join in the fun.

I was appalled

Another lousy reader is T.S. Eliot; he makes "The Waste Land" sound even drier than your tenth-grade English teacher did.
posted by languagehat at 9:20 AM on December 9, 2005

Great post, thanks. I didn't find any Paul Celan on there, so here are some sites that include his works read aloud.
posted by vkxmai at 9:23 AM on December 9, 2005

Thanks for posting this, verstegan! There's also Laurable's list of audio links. And when a mad scientist finally invents a time machine, I will bludgeon them with a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and go back and record Robert Burns.
posted by steef at 9:39 AM on December 9, 2005

I love John Ashbery. But he's not that great at reading his own work. IMHO, that's kind of his point. Charles Wright is another--the man admitted to me once that he hates reading in public. It shows.

Great post.
posted by bardic at 11:35 AM on December 9, 2005

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