The Spoken Word
Poetry exists both to read and to be spoken aloud. The experiences are very different not least because when read aloud patterns of sound and music in the lines of verse reveal themselves in ways that do not always appear when read silently. In this section we present audio selections in which the poems are spokenby the poets themselves.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
From “Lady Lazarus,” 1966
Marianne Moore reads:
Bird-Witted | 2:17
Robert Frost reads:
Birches, | 3:04
Langston Hughes reads:
The Negro Speaks of Rivers | 0:51
Ezra Pound reads: Hugh Selwyn Mauberley | 4:59
Sylvia Plath reads:The Stones | 2:45
Robert Lowell reads:
The Old Flame | 2:00
John Ashbery reads:
At North Farm | 2:17
Banner image: Sylvia Plath (detail cropping) / Photograph by
Rollie McKenna /
Gelatin silver print, 1959 (printed later) / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Rollie McKenna /
© Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona Foundation