National Poetry Month was started the same year I was born. But, arguably I am more popular out of the two.
Enough joking. Dad and I decided this year to do some poetry reading recordings. This is much like what we did last year.
We picked poets from different eras and recorded us reading poems by the poets. This time we stuck to poets we had not ever done this for before.
We also did a few YouTube videos. mostly I did, actually. We did plenty of extras in both playlists below.
This year’s sound playlist is a bit longer than last year. Maybe we just really felt we needed to read poetry this April. I can’t explain it.
I am really happy with this playlist and the YouTube videos. I hope you are too. If you are not, (and even if you are) explain to me what exactly you did for poetry month that was so exciting. I don’t know what else to say.
It is week two of poetry month and I present to you, finally another recording by Micah Bauman. Today, I am reading a poem by dear romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelly.
An Exhortation by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Chameleons feed on light and air:
Poets’ food is love and fame:
If in this wide world of care
Poets could but find the same
With as little toil as they,
Would they ever change their hue
As the light chameleons do,
Suiting it to every ray
Twenty times a day?
Poets are on this cold earth,
As chameleons might be,
Hidden from their early birth
In a cave beneath the sea;
Where light is, chameleons change:
Where love is not, poets do:
Fame is love disguised: if few
Find either, never think it strange
That poets range.
Yet dare not stain with wealth or power
A poet’s free and heavenly mind:
If bright chameleons should devour
Any food but beams and wind,
They would grow as earthly soon
As their brother lizards are.
Children of a sunnier star,
Spirits from beyond the moon,
Oh, refuse the boon!
Click here to read my poetry reading of a poem by Aphra Behm. But before dad and I post more poetry recordings, check out last years playlist by clicking here. Or check out a few of my recordings below.
Below is my first poetry reading of poetry month. Dad and I are going to be posting once a week these recordings by poets we have not read aloud before. Anyway, below is the first recording of mine, a poem by Aphra Behn.
P.S. There is a bird chirping in the background of this recording. He’s just singing along to the song.
Song by Apbra Behn
Oh love! that stronger art than Wine,
Pleasing Delusion, Witchery divine,
Wont to be priz’d above all Wealth,
Disease that has more Joys than Health;
Though we blaspheme thee in our Pain,
And of Tyranny complain,
We are all better’d by thy Reign.
What Reason never can bestow,
We to this useful Passion owe:
Love wakes the dull from sluggish ease,
And learns a Clown the Art to please:
Humbles the Vain, kindles the Cold,
Makes Misers free, and Cowards bold;
And teaches airy Fops to think.
When full brute Appetite is fed,
And choakd the Glutton lies and dead;
Thou new Spirits dost dispense,
And fine’st the gross Delights of Sense.
Virtue’s unconquerable Aid
That against Nature can persuade;
And makes a roving Mind retire
Within the Bounds of just Desire.
Chearer of Age, Youth’s kind Unrest,
And half the Heaven of the blest!
Keeping Things Whole
by Mark Strand
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
Please enjoy my reading of Jean Janzen’s poem, published in the collection Snake in the Parsonage, In November. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do. And if not, hey there’s other poems.
The above recording was recorded to celebrate Halloween this year. It is the anniversary of John Keats birth. A man that only lived to 25. Think of all the other poems he could have written. Anyway, as to not make you more sad, I will not comment any further on that detail. The poem’s words are below. Also, there are plenty of other poems I could have read for Halloween. Click here to check out a collection of “Halloween Poems” put together by the poetry foundation. There are also other John Keats poems that could put you in a spooky mood such as this one, Tis the Witching Time of Night.
“This living hand, now warm and capable”
BY JOHN KEATS
This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calm’d–see here it is–
I hold it towards you.