Magazine article Newsweek

In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry

Magazine article Newsweek

In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry

Article excerpt

Poetry comes alive in an ear-opening new CD set

POETS DO US SUCH A FAVOR WHEN they read their own work. They save us the daunting task of untangling those thick words on the page. They spare us the embarrassment of not knowing where the pauses and emphases lie. They speak like kings, even the ones with New Jersey accents. "In Their Own Voices: A Centry of Recorded Poetry" isn't for people who love poetry--its for anyone who loves the music of words, their song-like wash of ecstatic emotion. This four-CD set works like a greatest-hits collection: it starts with a rare, circa-1890 Edison cylinder recording of Walt Whitman (whose voice isn't gruff and bearded like you'd expect, but fair and sweet) and continues on through the jazz age, naturalism, surrealism and the Beat Generation to contemporary greats like Maya Angelou. Dylan Thomas reads "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" with priestly fervor. …

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