Friday, September 18, 2009

Withhold No Atom's Atom

We've got a bit of a running theme today: drama and poetry.

There's a new movie out about poet John Keats and his muse, Fanny Brawne, about whom he wrote: "Yourself—your soul—in pity give me all, Withhold no atom's atom or I die." Looks like it is getting good reviews.

A while back (April 2008, to be precise), I talked about making a poetry calendar. If you are interested in trying that cool project, here's a terrific reference for you: Birthdays of the Poets. Clicking on that will take you to September, but from there you can find the other months in the "blogroll." Today is the birthday of Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784, who described actors trying to keep up with the whims and fancies of their audience as chasing "the new-blown bubbles of the day," and he said, in Drury-lane Prologue Spoken by Mr. Garrick:

"The stage but echoes back the public voice.
The drama's laws the drama's patrons give,
For we that live to please, must please to live."

Now, let's look at an actor (Matthew Macfadyen) performing a few poems. This actor was new to me and I was impressed by the way he brought the poems to life.

Matthew Macfadyen reads When You Are Old, This Is Just To Say, and Sonnet 29.

Have you visited They have videos of regular folks talking about/reading their favorite poems. Seph Rodney talking about Sylvia Plath's "Nick and the Candlestick" is pretty special. Also Donna Bickel reading Stanley Kunitz's "Hornworm: Autumn Lamentation." Just wander around, see what you find.

One last thing...I get a huge kick out of Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac (I get the daily email sent to can sign up here). You can go to the site to hear Mr. Keillor read them himself.

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