19 May 2007

All Her Pretty Follies Flung Aside

Alyssa Milano, Millay of someone's dreamsIn for some literary oddities? Poetry Out Loud has put together a small vault of famous people reciting famous poems, including:
  • Anthony Hopkins reading "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and Dylan Thomas's "Fern Hill";
  • Angela Lansbury reading Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much With Us" and Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach";
  • Alfred "Doc Ock" Molina reading Browning's "My Last Duchess" and Auden's "The Unknown Citizen";
  • American poet Rita Dove reading Keats' "When I Have Fears"; and
  • Alyssa Milano, for once not doing softcore porn, reading Edna St. Vincent Millay's "I think I should have loved you presently" and Anne Bradstreet's "To My Dear and Loving Husband." There, now that justifies the gratuitous picture at the right.
The real weirdness, though, comes with David Schwimmer-- of all people-- reading Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky." *shiver* What, Lisa Kudrow wasn't available to read "The Raven"?

It could have been worse, though. Imagine Matthew Perry stammering his way through "Signor Dildo."

Ironically, they missed the obvious: they should have had Hopkins read Hopkins. Sir Tony would have had a field day with "The Wreck of the Deutschland" or "God's Grandeur."


John Mutford said...

Personally I think Alyssa Milano reading any poem is weirder than Schwimmer doing "Jabberwocky". At least they had the good sense to give him something like that instead of a serious piece.

John Mutford said...

Okay, so I just listened to them. I'll give credit where credit is due. Allysa is definitely the lesser of the two evils here.

Dr J said...

LOL, John: Admittedly, Alyssa sounds worse in theory, but in actuality, Schwimmer's takes the prize.

BTW, meant to write a response here to your thoughts on difficulty in poetry (following your reading of Thomas), but just never got around to it. (Also fear it would have quickly turned into a cyber-tome.) Hopefully I'll find the time, or more accurately the energy, to put it together. My apologies.

BTW, any news on the Canada Reads spot?

sylvia said...

Will listen to more later, but I must say I like Molina's "My Last Duchess" -- appropriately creepy-while-pretending-to-be-charming.

Dr J said...

Yeah, Syl, Molina suits the part well. One of my favourite poems, too.

j said...

oh boy, molina on last duchess? (ok, that sounded weird, no salacious joke intended)creepy...anthony hopkins would be seriously creepier (think fracture with more brains)

but always figured a crisp english accent reading that poem will scare the hell out of any eager marrying type (there's a prose version of it in a whodunnit short story series by some guy with the name barnard)

thought of poe the minute a friend said his new baby was named raven, freaky...

your word verification sounds like shut chick, was that a hint? ok, leaving now ;p (now it spells like the sound equivalent of deaf up)

sylvia said...

Listened to some more. Hopkins reading "Prufrock": good. Lansbury reading "Dover Beach": surprisingly not terrible. Milano reading Millay: bad, but less bad than I expected. Schwimmer reading "Jabberwocky": almost, but not quite, on par with Shatner singing the Beatles.

Dr J said...

More like Leonard Nimoy singing "Rocket Man," methinks.

RK said...

I've listened to a few of these and cannot BEAR any more. They are FRIGHTFUL. Even Hopkins reading Fern Hill is hurrying as if he fears we might be (God help him) bored. Who needs more than Saint Dylan T. Himself?
Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Someone show me how to put this stuff on the web and I promise, I swear, I solemnly swear I WILL DO BETTER (which AIN'T HARD). Aaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh.

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