Words and Sound

Ivoryhut Maui sunset behind clouds

 
 
There are few things that can make me just sit still, or instantly transport me to a different time and place: the cry of a plaintive violin, a lingering sunset, the warm nuzzle of Pacific waters, music that gives heartache such enviable beauty. And poetry—the kind that cuts right through, needing no excess of words to drown its sentiment, letting you fill the necessary spaces with your own voice.

 
When a poem is so masterfully written, hearing it read aloud is often a hit-or-miss affair. When it misses, it’s almost painful to hear. But when it hits, oh, what new life it gives to those familiar words.

 
Tracks like these that make me glad for the gift of hearing. I think of how certain sounds can arouse the tenderest of emotions. How a slight dip in tone can so lovingly caress a consonant, or embrace a vowel. And then I am as easily lost, swimming in the melodic hum of voices as surely as I am afloat in the powerful imagery the poet paints.

 
These make me feel sad and joyful at the same time, grateful to be human, that we can be so moved by the simple chemistry of words strung together. The effect is consistent and immediate, no matter how many times I’ve listened to these same words before.

 
And because it’s cold and gray outside, and I’m sitting at my desk right now thinking that it must be cold and gray everywhere else in the world, I thought I’d share some of them with you.

 
Nothing goes better, I think, with gray.

 
 

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Pablo Neruda: Tonight I Can Write (read by Andy Garcia)

 
 

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Pablo Neruda: I Like For You To Be Still (read by Glenn Close)

 
 

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William Shakespeare: Sonnet XXIX (read by Ron Perlman)

 
 

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Matthew Arnold: Longing (read by Ron Perlman)

 
 

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Rainer Maria Rilke: Love Song (read by Ron Perlman)

 
 

5 Responses to Words and Sound
  1. Wenderly
    March 6, 2011 | 8:16 am

    It’s cold and gray here too- but not any longer thanks to you!

    What a lovely addition to my morning coffee.

    Thank you.

  2. Amy | She Wears Many Hats
    March 6, 2011 | 8:40 am

    So very true. I too am very thankful for the gift of hearing. What a blessed gift for sure.

    A wonderful way to start the day – thanks!

  3. Tabitha Blue / Fresh Mommy Blog
    March 6, 2011 | 9:12 am

    Absolutely perfect with gray!!! Made my morning beautiful, and so did that gorgeous photo. I’d love to have you link up with Sunday Citar (a Sunday quote link), please consider it?! This would be wonderful to add.

    Have a blessed Sunday!

    :)

  4. Laura Cee
    March 6, 2011 | 7:39 pm

    It is cold and gray outside here too, funny I had that same thought of it being the same way every where because it’s cold and gray here.

  5. Bluebirds and Butterflies
    March 31, 2011 | 1:25 am

    Thank you for giving us the gift of hearing these beautiful poems read so beautifully… I am adding your blog to my list of “other nests to visit” on my own blog. Now that I have heard these poems, I am going to listen to them again…and again…beautiful! Have a wonderful day. Kim

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about me

I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.



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