This was the first poem I ever memorised and recited. I don’t remember exactly how old I was. Six? Seven? I think it was for my first ever AMEB Speech and Drama exam.
Saying these words again took me right back to the lounge room of my teacher’s house…
A very rough, impromptu recording of a sight reading of Mary Oliver’s poem ‘The Journey’.
It’s funny what you remember.
On an early PC, perhaps one of the first ones that included a CD-rom drive, I had an Encylopedia Brittanica program. Or, something along those lines. It included snippets of multimedia in its entries.
The thing I remember particularly enjoying – perhaps because I was fairly engaged with poetry at that age – and still very clearly ‘hear’ in my mind, was T. S. Eliot reciting the lines:
I’m moved to tears by this video. I’m moved mainly because of the audio: the power of the poem and the way that it is read (it’s David Whyte’s reading and discussion of Mary Oliver’s ‘The Journey’) and because it feels particularly pointed and necessary for me at this moment in my life. However, it’s also the vision of an absolutely enthralled non-human audience member and the reminder that tone, meaning, intention and emotion can all be communicated regardless of the actual words spoken.