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'discussion' tab above is for posting comments, observations and/or questions about reading ALOUD.
Our hearing is far more sensitive than our sight - we can hear NINE times more than we can see in terms of the range of wavelengths we can perceive.
Next time you are reading Shakespeare or other difficult text, see if it helps to read it ALOUD. Plays and poetry were specifically meant to be
and you might be surprised at how much more you understand when you both
a difficult or unfamiliar text.
a few excerpts to read aloud....
"Macbeth" V, 5, 2374
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
"As You Like It" II, 1, 148
Now, my co-mates and brothers
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of
pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference; as the icy fang
Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I
with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery; these are counsellors
persuade me what I am.'
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
stones, and good
I would not change it.
Richmond is where Edgar Allan Poe made his name while working at the Southern Literary Messenger. Poe's famous poem
was an instant success and is one of the chief ways he is remembered today. Review the poem and then read it out loud to yourself - do you experience it differently?
Heart of Darkness
"Dark human shapes could be made out in the distance, flitting indistinctly against the gloomy border of the forest, and near the river two bronze figures, leaning on tall spears, stood in the sunlight under fantastic head-dresses of spotted skins, warlike and still in
. And from right to left along the lighted shore moved a wild and gorgeous
of a woman.
"She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high; her hair was done in the shape of a helmet; she had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her neck; bizarre things, charms, gifts of witch-men, that hung about her, glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and
in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the
and mysterious life seemed to look at her,
, as though it had been looking at the image of its own
and passionate soul.
"She came abreast of the steamer, stood still, and faced us. Her long shadow fell to the water's edge. Her face had a tragic and
aspect of wild sorrow and of dumb pain mingled with the fear of some struggling, half-shaped resolve. She stood looking at us without a stir, and like the wilderness itself, with an air of brooding over an
purpose. A whole minute passed, and then she made a step forward. There was a low jingle, a glint of yellow metal, a sway of fringed draperies, and she stopped as if her heart had failed her. The young fellow by my side growled. The pilgrims murmured at my back. She looked at us all as if her life had depended upon the unswerving steadiness of her glance. Suddenly she opened her bared arms and threw them up rigid above her head, as though in an uncontrollable desire to touch the sky, and at the same time the swift shadows darted out on the earth, swept around on the river, gathering the steamer into a shadowy embrace. A
silence hung over the scene.
"She turned away slowly, walked on, following the bank, and passed into the bushes to the left.
Once only her eyes gleamed back at us in the dusk of the thickets before she disappeared.”
Constantly Risking Absurdity (#15)
Constantly risking absurdity
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of day
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
for what it may not be
For he's the super realist
who must perforce perceive
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
to start her death-defying leap
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems
Copyright 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
"Living Like Weasels"
- Annie Dillard
"She Unnames Them"
read by the author, Ursula LeGuin
As you listen, reflect on the tone, rhythms and stresses in the authors voice - what are your observations?
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