Poetry from the Horse’s Mouth

I’m always fascinated by writers’ voices. I’m always curious to hear them, because that’s the voice they hear in their head as they write (well, it’s similar to it, because as anyone who’s heard a recording of their own voice attest, what we hear and what others hear is quite different).

I’m particularly curious to hear poets, because rhythm and tone are so crucial to poetry. So one imagines that the way a poet reads their work is, ideally, exactly how they imagine the poem should sound. Though of course, what’s in the writer’s head might not be exactly translated by their tongue.

Here’s W.B Yeats reading “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” in his later years. To be honest, it might be a little spooky to hear this in the middle of the night, but I like the fragility of his voice, which adds a poignancy to the poem’s desire for a simple pastoral peacefulness. Continue reading