Playlist created by poetictouch | 242 videos |
Seamus Heaney reads his poem The Railway Children The Railway Children by Seamus Heaney (1939-) When we climbed the slopes of the cutting We were eye-level with the white cups Of the telegraph poles and the sizzling wires. Like lovely freehand they curved for miles East and miles west beyond us, sagging Under their burden of swallows. We were small and thought we knew nothing Worth knowing. We thought words travelled the wires In the shiny pouches of raindrops, Each one seeded full with the light Of the sky, the gleam of the lines, and ourselves So infinitesimally scaled We could stream through the eye of a needle.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) - Kubla Khan - Read by Robert Sean Leonard For Video+Text go here: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2073656402414
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) - All The World's A Stage or The Seven Ages Of Man - Speech by Jaques in As You Like It - Act 2 Scene 7 - Performed by Larry Lamb - BBC Off By Heart Shakespeare - May 2011 For Video+Text go here: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2073478157958
Richard Burton reads Thomas Hardy's The Sunshade by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) Ah — it's the skeleton of a lady's sunshade, Here at my feet in the hard rock's chink, Merely a naked sheaf of wires! — Twenty years have gone with their livers and diers Since it was silked in its white or pink. Noonshine riddles the ribs of the sunshade, No more a screen from the weakest ray; Nothing to tell us the hue of its dyes, Nothing but rusty bones as it lies In its coffin of stone, unseen till to-day. Where is the woman who carried that sun-shade Up and down this seaside place? — Little thumb standing against its stem, Thoughts perhaps bent on a love-stratagem, Softening yet more the already soft face! Is the fair woman who carried that sunshade A skeleton just as her property is, Laid in the chink that none may scan? And does she regret — if regret dust can — The vain things thought when she flourished this?
Eric Portman reads John Keats' The Mermaid Tavern The Mermaid Tavern by John Keats (1795–1821) Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern? Have ye tippled drink more fine Than mine host's Canary wine? Or are fruits of Paradise Sweeter than those dainty pies Of venison? O generous food! Drest as though bold Robin Hood Would, with his Maid Marian, Sup and bowse from horn and can. I have heard that on a day Mine host's sign-board flew away; Nobody knew whither, till An astrologer's old quill To a sheepskin gave the story - Said he saw you in your glory, Underneath a new old sign, Sipping beverage divine, And pledging with contented smack The Mermaid in the Zodiac. Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Eric Portman reads William Wordsworth's London, 1802 London, 1802 by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) O Friend! I know not which way I must look For comfort, being, as I am, opprest, To think that now our life is only drest For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook, Or groom! — We must run glittering like a brook In the open sunshine, or we are unblest: The wealthiest man among us is the best: No grandeur now in nature or in book Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense, This is idolatry; and these we adore: Plain living and high thinking are no more: The homely beauty of the good old cause Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence, And pure religion breathing household laws.
Michael Hordern reads Siegfried Sassoon's On Passing The New Menin Gate On Passing The New Menin Gate by Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) Who will remember, passing through this Gate, The unheroic Dead who fed the guns? Who shall absolve the foulness of their fate, — Those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones? Crudely renewed, the Salient holds its own. Paid are its dim defenders by this pomp; Paid, with a pile of peace-complacent stone, The armies who endured that sullen swamp. Here was the world's worst wound. And here with pride "Their name liveth for ever," the Gateway claims. Was ever an immolation so belied As these intolerably nameless names? Well might the Dead who struggled in the slime Rise and deride this sepulchre of crime.
Michael Hordern reads Siegfried Sassoon's The General The General by Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) "Good-morning; good-morning!" the General said When we met him last week on our way to the line. Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine. "He's a cheery old card," grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack. But he did for them both by his plan of attack.
Sir John Gielgud reads Shakespeare's Sonnet 30 Sonnet 30 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste: Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe, And moan th' expense of many a vanished sight. Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Sir John Gielgud performs Macbeth's soliloquy Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow Macbeth - Soliloquy - Act 5 Scene 5 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Sir John Gielgud reads Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd, Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate; For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Harold Pinter (1930-2008) - Political Poems - Performed by a group of actors: Michael Sheen - American Football (1991) Janie Dee - The Disappeared (1998) Roger Lloyd Pack - The Bombs (2003) Harry Burton - I Shall Tear Off My Terrible Cap (1951) Jeremy Irons - Cricket At Night (1995) Lindsay Duncan - After Lunch (2002) David Bradley - Weather Forecast (2003) Gina McKee - Meeting (2002) For Video+Text go here: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2066313858855
Harold Pinter (1930-2008) - Apart From That (2006) - A Short Sketch - Performed by Jeremy Irons and Indira Varma For Video+Text go here: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2066206296166