Emily Dickinson - Hope Is The Thing With Feathers - Read by Elise Paschen Hope Is The Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Hope is the thing with feathers — That perches in the soul — And sings the tune without the words — And never stops — at all — And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard — And sore must be the storm — That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm — I've heard it in the chillest land — And on the strangest Sea — Yet, never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb — of Me.
Theodore Roethke reads his poem The Waking The Waking by Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go. We think by feeling. What is there to know? I hear my being dance from ear to ear. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. Of those so close beside me, which are you? God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there, And learn by going where I have to go. Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how? The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair; I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. Great Nature has another thing to do To you and me, so take the lively air, And, lovely, learn by going where to go. This shaking keeps me steady. I should know. What falls away is always. And is near. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I learn by going where I have to go.
Ted Hughes reads Tennyson's The Eagle The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) He clasps the crag with crookèd hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ringed with the azure world, he stands. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls.
Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken - Arrows Of Desire Poetry Series The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (1874-1963) Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth. Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Ted Hughes reads A Woman's Beauty From The Only Jealousy Of Emer by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) A woman's beauty is like a white Frail bird, like a white sea-bird alone At daybreak after stormy night Between two furrows upon the ploughed land: A sudden storm and it was thrown Between dark furrows upon the ploughed land. How many centuries spent The sedentary soul In toils of measurement Beyond eagle or mole, Beyond hearing or seeing, Or Archimedes guess, To raise into being That loveliness? A strange unserviceable thing, A fragile, exquisite, pale shell, That the vast troubled waters bring To the loud sands before day has broken. The storm arose and suddenly fell Amid the dark before day had broken. What death? what discipline? What bonds no man could unbind Being imagined within The labyrinth of the mind? What pursuing or fleeing? What wounds, what bloody press? Dragged into being This loveliness.
Walt Whitman - A Noiseless Patient Spider - Read by Bob Gonzalez A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman (1819-1892) A noiseless patient spider, I marked where on a promontory it stood isolated, Marked how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be formed, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somwhere, O my soul.
Percy Bysshe Shelley - Love's Philosophy - Read by Bob Gonzalez Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) The fountains mingle with the river And the rivers with the ocean, The winds of heaven mix for ever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single, All things by a law divine In one another's being mingle — Why not I with thine? See the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven If it disdain'd its brother; And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea — What are all these kissings worth, If thou kiss not me?
Ted Hughes reads Shelley's Ozymandias Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away".
Percy Bysshe Shelley - Ozymandias - Arrows Of Desire Poetry Series Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away".
Ted Hughes reads Shakespeare's Sonnet 147 Sonnet 147 by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) My love is as a fever, longing still For that which longer nurseth the disease, Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, The uncertain sickly appetite to please. My reason, the physician to my love, Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, Hath left me, and I desperate now approve Desire is death, which physic did except. Past cure I am, now reason is past care, And frantic-mad with evermore unrest; My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are, At random from the truth vainly expressed. For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
Seamus Heaney - Follower - Arrows Of Desire Poetry Series Follower by Seamus Heaney (1939-) My father worked with a horse plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. The horses strained at his clicking tongue. An expert. He would set the wing And fit the bright-pointed sock. The sod rolled over without breaking. At the headrig, with a single pluck. Of reins, the sweating team turned round And back into the land. His eye Narrowed and angled at the ground, Mapping the furrow exactly. I stumbled in his hobnailed wake, Fell sometimes on the polished sod; Sometimes he rode me on his back Dipping and rising to his plod. I wanted to grow up and plough, To close one eye, stiffen my arm. All I ever did was follow In his broad shadow around the farm. I was a nuisance, tripping, falling, Yapping always. But today It is my father who keeps stumbling Behind me, and will not go away.
Lucille Clifton - She Lived - Read by Lynn Sherr She Lived by Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) after he died what really happened is she watched the days bundle into thousands, watched every act become the history of others, every bed more narrow, but even as the eyes of lovers strained toward the milky young she walked away from the hole in the ground deciding to live. and she lived.
Pablo Neruda - Love Sonnet 17 - Read by Joanna Gleason Love Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) I do not love you as if you were a salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Christina Rossetti - Remember - Read by Rebecca Luker Remember by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.
Ted Hughes reads Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (1874-1963) Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.