Wednesday, March 30, 2011


At this week's graveside service for Elizabeth Taylor, the actor Colin Farrell read a poem in her memory: Gerard Manley Hopkins' "The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo." Farrell is is rumored to be portraying Sir Richard Burton in an upcoming biopic; though I am ignorant of the reason this poem is associated with Burton, here in any case is a YouTube recording of the great actor (Burton, that is) reading the poem aloud [I found this via Hugh Fitzgerald's post at The Iconoclast blog].

Following the advice of users who were recommending in the comments that follow that video, here is Geoffrey Hill reading the same poem.  [via Eric Vondy's].

Hill for many years was on the faculty here at Boston University; he is currently serving as the Oxford Professor of Poetry in England. Bonus: at this video, you can hear Hill read Shakespeare's Sonnet LXVI, my favorite: "Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry."

Nadejda Mandelstam thought that this, Sonnet LXVI, was the one moment in his sonnets where William Shakespeare is 'fully revealed' (see her letter to Arthur Miller in 7 i 68, as reproduced in Russian Review V.61, No.4).


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