by Richard Armitage (narrator)
I’m already honouring my resolution to read more poetry this year.
& what better way than to listen to the silken voiced Richard Armitage turn a 3★ poem like Maud by Alfred, Lord Tennyson into a 5★ experience. Armitage captures all the passionate yearning in this poem that I have previously missed.
Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare. Played twice to get the full impact of this beautiful sonnet, read by this beautiful voice. 5★
Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. Sampled as this poem is mentioned in [book:I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings|13214]. But even Richard (may I call you Richard? ♥) can’t lift this maudlin bit of dreck! I’m now “reading” these poems on You Tube, so this book may feature a different recording, but the title and the first couple of lines weren’t that clear for me. 3★
So now we are into February. & what better way to start the month than to hear Richard read one of my favourite love poems, How do I love thee?by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The reading was over all too quickly. 5★
She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron. On You Tube it was nearly as much of a pleasure to watch Richard reading as it was to listen to his beautiful voice. You could see he felt every word. Such a passionate poem! I’m going to re-listen. 5★
Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. This man was created to read love poetry! So passionate.5★
I carry your heart by e. e. cummings. This may not be the best poem in the collection but I think this is Richard’s best reading. Wow! I’m all a tingle! 5★
Meeting at Night by Robert Browning. Determined cheapskate that I am, I have found Richard reading this on You Tube as well! So beautiful. 5★
Bright Star by John Keats. I had to leave You Tube & listen on Soundcloud for this poem. Richard’s voice changes from silk to velvet for this one. It really is a wonderful poem! 5★
I’m having to dig even deeper to find Richard reading these poems for free! I found this one on someone’s Twitter page.
Give All to Love by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Richard’s Voice sounded deeper than usual – almost raspy. Not my favourite of the selected poems. 4.5★
& I am back to You Tube!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 As soon as I heard it I remembered it. Not a love poem but some beautiful writing, beautifully read! 5★
Sadly I haven’t been to find all Richard’s readings online. But I have been able to read the poems. I’m going to rate them individually, but include the ratings in my overall review of this book – because who can compare to Richard? ♥
To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44688/to-his-coy-mistress Narrator: Unknown.
The reading is average other than he does convey Marvell’s impatience. This is a wonderful poem about frustration and longing & I would love to read more about Marvell who (to put it mildly) had a most interesting life. A 5★ poem, a 3.5★ reading.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe, read by the one & only Richard Burton. Discovered on You Tube & as a bonus, Burton also reads The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd by Sir Walter Ralegh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=-KOiyhOUR4E
Was the first poem sped up? Burton appears to be rushing which is contrast to his reading of the Ralegh poem. Both poems were wonderful 5★ for the poems & Burtons reading of the Ralegh, 4★ for his reading of the Marlowe. Even rushed Burton still has a wonderful voice made for reading poetry.
The Dream I’ve just been listening to Edna St Vincent Millay reading her own poems on You Tube. So wonderful, considering Millay died in 1950. I recommend you do the same, but so far I can’t find Ms Millay reading this one! On Sound Cloud Xe Sand with her lovely, almost ethereal voice does a very fine job, but this isn’t my favourite Millay poem. 5★ reading 4★ poem.
I’m going to ignore Annabel Lee and give the Armitage readings 5★ I can’t decide if I prefer to listen to Armitage or Burton – & I really don’t need to. Both were quite fabulous!