Verses In Vox™ is a short-form audio program featuring dramatic readings of classic poetry. It's a vehicle to experience these well-loved works in a new way while at the same time introducing them to a new audience.
“Excelsior” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem "Excelsior" in the early morning hours of September 28, 1841, and it was published for the first time in a periodical four months later. Excelsior is a Latin word which loosely translated means "ever upward" or "always higher". With that in mind, this poem could be interpreted as a sort of allegory on perseverance and always striving against the odds, or alternatively, blindly following your own desires without heeding the advice and counsel of others. Either way you choose to read the piece, it is beautifully written with lots of vivid imagery as the narrative unfolds.
Full notes: https://verses.porchlightfamilymedia.com/2019/05/excelsior-by-henry-wadsworth-longfellow.html
“Christmas At Sea” by Robert Louis Stevenson
First published in a periodical just a few days before Christmas in 1888, "Christmas at Sea" is a vivid narrative poem that pulls the reader into the scenes. The stark contrast between the warm, domestic scene and the freezing weather onboard the ship is very poignant and is the most interesting part of the piece to me. While the Scottish writer is known more for his novels, he also wrote three volumes of poetry with the first one, A Child's Garden of Verses, being the most known to casual poetry fans.
"In School-days" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Born in rural Massachusetts in 1807, John Greenleaf Whittier began to write poetry at a young age with his first poem being published in the summer of 1826. Shortly thereafter, he began working as an editor of various periodicals. The poem "In School-days" was written in 1869 and Whittier may have drawn a bit on his own experience as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. The poem was praised by the public as well as by other poets with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow commenting, "There is something more in education than is set down in the school-books. Whittier has touched this point very poetically in that little lyric of his." Oliver Wendell Holmes said of the poem in a letter to Whittier, "...I had no sooner read them [the lines] that I fell into such ecstasy that I could hardly find words too high-colored to speak of them to my little household. I hardly think I dared read them aloud. My eyes fill with tears just looking at them in my scrapbook, now, while I am writing."
Full notes: http://verses.porchlightfamilymedia.com/2018/11/in-school-days-by-john-greenleaf-whittier.html
"O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman
Probably the most well-known poem by Walt Whitman, "O Captain! My Captain!" is a moving metaphor for President Abraham Lincoln's leadership of the country during the Civil War and his assassination which shocked the nation. This poem is actually only one of a handful that Whitman wrote in honor of Lincoln, whom he greatly admired. "O Captain" was written in 1865 shortly after the death of the President and was published later the same year in a small booklet containing a collection of 18 of Whitman's poems.
Complete notes: https://verses.porchlightfamilymedia.com/2018/04/o-captain-my-captain-by-walt-whitman.html
"The Crucifixion and Resurrection. An Ode." by Mary Leapor
Mary Leapor was a young poet born into Britain's working class. She died at the young age of 24 and therefore her body of work is not very large, but it contains some lengthy pieces which are quite respected and have received much acclaim to this day. Published posthumously in 1748, "The Crucifixion and Resurrection. An Ode." is a beautiful and vivid depiction of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Leapor recounts this event in her signature style and the poem's first three stanzas seem to focus on the effect Jesus' death had on the natural world and then in the second half she shifts to show what His resurrection means to humanity.
“Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe
The poem "Eldorado" was first published in 1849 in the Boston-based periodical, The Flag of Our Union, a publication which also printed works from Louisa May Alcott. Incidentally, this poem was published just a little over five months before Edgar Allan Poe would meet his untimely–and still unexplained–death. Poe is, of course, known for his melancholy and dark writings and although there are some gray undertones in "Eldorado", they are far less overt than those in many of his other pieces. The text of the poem has been set to music in its entirety as well as adapted into song by many musical acts over the years.
Well Done Poetry Show!
A great show that puts classic poetry to sound and sometimes sound effects. Well done, well read, and just a pleasure if you are into poetry. If you aren't, this show might give you a whole new appreciation for it!
Great show for those who like poetry
This is a well produced show that allows poetry fans to really feel the poetry through the sound effects and dramatic poem reading. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this show!