• Poets on my Playlist

    Ott 1 2007, 21:41 di Ainurel

    Listening to authors who read their own work can be a disappointment, or a delight. Sometimes you just get surprised (like when you meet a movie star in real life, and he/she looks much smaller than on the silver screen).

    A generous friend (thanks, 2Serenity! ;)) supplied me with an audio collection of African-American poets, including Harlem renaissance star Langston Hughes. I was certainly surprised by his "ordinary" voice, the very antithesis of drama, although his poetry dealt with very painful and deep-felt themes. In the beginning, he sounded a bit distant, even slightly ironic (or just absent-minded?). Now his voice has somehow grown on me. However, the streamed samples here of The Weary Blues, Negro and My People reveal a different voice, more trained and typical of dramatic recital. A closer examination of the album DREAMER: A PORTRAIT OF LANGSTON HUGHES (where the streamed tracks appear) makes me suspect that the tracks have been mistagged... (see the Amazon page for the same album)

    Uh! I hates a lyin' Gypsy
    Will take good money from you,
    Tell you pretty stories
    And take your money from you--

    But if I was a Gypsy
    I would take your money, too.