The “LibriVox Short Poetry Collection 80”, is an open collection of poems for the month of June 2009.
The two recordings I contributed to this collection are Azure and Gold, and Corporal Stare.
It took a long time to find two poems that hadn’t been recorded before for the LibriVox project. My knowledge of poetry & their writers is somewhat limited and rather inadequate.
The journey was a fun one though and I learned about copyrighting, poems about war and that the amount of poetry I’ve read so far is truly the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s to discovery, please take the time to listen to the other contributions to these collections. Eighty and counting!
Azure and Gold by Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
http://www.archive.org/download/short_poetry_080_0907_librivox/azureandgold_lowell_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=1m 30s (mp3 64kb)
Corporal Stare by Robert Graves (1895-1985)
http://www.archive.org/download/short_poetry_080_0907_librivox/corporalstare_graves_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=1m 46s (mp3 64kb)
Azure and Gold
April had covered the hills
With flickering yellows and reds,
The sparkle and coolness of snow
Was blown from the mountain beds.
Across a deep-sunken stream
The pink of blossoming trees,
And from windless appleblooms
The humming of many bees.
The air was of rose and gold
Arabesqued with the song of birds
Who, swinging unseen under leaves,
Made music more eager than words.
Of a sudden, aslant the road,
A brightness to dazzle and stun,
A glint of the bluest blue,
A flash from a sapphire sun.
Blue-birds so blue, ‘t was a dream,
An impossible, unconceived hue,
The high sky of summer dropped down
Some rapturous ocean to woo.
Such a colour, such infinite light!
The heart of a fabulous gem,
Many-faceted, brilliant and rare.
Centre Stone of the earth’s diadem!
. . . . .
Centre Stone of the Crown of the World,
“Sincerity” graved on your youth!
And your eyes hold the blue-bird flash,
The sapphire shaft, which is truth.
This poem can be found here.
Back from the line one night in June,
I gave a dinner at Bethune—
Seven courses, the most gorgeous meal
Money could buy or batman steal.
Five hungry lads welcomed the fish
With shouts that nearly cracked the dish;
Asparagus came with tender tops,
Strawberries in cream, and mutton chops.
Said Jenkins, as my hand he shook,
“They’ll put this in the history book.”
We bawled Church anthems in choro
Of Bethlehem and Hermon snow,
With drinking songs, a jolly sound
To help the good red Pommard round.
Stories and laughter interspersed,
We drowned a long La Bassée thirst—
Trenches in June make throats damned dry.
Then through the window suddenly,
Badge, stripes and medals all complete,
We saw him swagger up the street,
Just like a live man—Corporal Stare!
Stare! Killed last May at Festubert.
Caught on patrol near the Boche wire,
Torn horribly by machine-gun fire!
He paused, saluted smartly, grinned,
Then passed away like a puff of wind,
Leaving us blank astonishment.
The song broke, up we started, leant
Out of the window—nothing there,
Not the least shadow of Corporal Stare,
Only a quiver of smoke that showed
A fag-end dropped on the silent road.
This poem can be found here.
Catalogue pages for this collection: LibriVox and Internet Archive.
Feel free to download the entire collection (34MB@64Kbps), and enjoy the diverse selection of poems chosen and recorded by my fellow LibriVox’ers.