Continuing in the celebration of National Poetry Month 2014, enjoy these 10 readings or spoken word performances. From famous British dudes born to read poetry, to a 12 year old Bronx prodigy, to emerging poets, to Poet Laureates, and more. In no particular order.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a natural at reading Shakespeare with his resonant baritone, the refined British accent, his impeccable pacing and enunciation.
Actually, Cumberbatch is just a natural at reading period. Here he is reading "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats.
The following is a book trailer for A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying by Laurie Ann Guerrero, who was just named Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX. I've seen Laurie read several times (she's a friend), and it's always powerful. I couldn't find a video of a live reading, but she does read, "My Mother Woke a Rooster" at the beginning of the video.
Meet Kioni "Popcorn" Marshall, a young Bronx poet who at the time of this video was 12 years old. A force of words and cadence and brevity.
This one is just beautiful and inspiring.
Anthony Hopkins. Is there anything more to be said? Perhaps only that the fellow introducing the poem is also perfectly delightful to listen to in all his buttoned-up splendor.
"Patrick Stewart Recites A Poem In His Native Huddersfield." Could also be titled, "Patrick Stewart Recites A Poem You Can't Understand And We Can't Tell What's More Delightful: The Sound Of It Or His Childlike Joy".
James Earl Jones reading Edgar Allen Poe.
Kay Ryan, 16th U.S. Poet Laureate, introduced by Garrison Keillor.
To close, Josephine Hart and Jeremy Irons on poetry reading. Hart expresses the "compressed power" of poetry, and Irons says of poetry, "it's only when you read it aloud that it starts to sing".
Bonus: Stephen Fry reading The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. Not a poem. A bonus.
For this week's 100 Words writing challenge, I've pulled a word from Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser: