Tennyson reading poetry

September 14, 2006 at 1:58 pm (General)

You can listen to Tennyson reading from “The Charge of the Light Brigade” at The Poetry Archive. There, you can also listen to another charming dactylic poem by Andrew Motion, “The Dog of the Light Brigade.” The latter is indicative of just how comic Tennyson’s unsubtle metrical tricks sound to modern ears.

I have also managed to figure out the simplest way for you to listen to Tennyson reading from “Maud.” (These historic recordings, as I mentioned, were made circa 1890 by Thomas Edison himself.) The recording is included in an audiobook titled Poetry On Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work (1888-2006) (Shout! Factory, 2006), and there’s an excerpt from “Come Into the Garden, Maud” available on Amazon.com. In this excerpt, Tennyson is reading the following lines:

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.

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