in their own voice also Sylvia Plath

by jhon baker

I’ve come into contact with a lot of live poetry via “The Academy of American Poets” archive Compact Discs. John Berryman, David Ignatow (a personal favorite), George Oppen, Robert Lowell, and three more collections with too many poets to list. I truly enjoy hearing the poet’s voice reading from their works and I’ve managed a large collection of them – some pretty available and some not so much. All Digital now after many hours trying to remaster off of old cassette tapes. My proudest is my Sylvia Plath Collection which has become exceedingly hard to find. In all I have about 2 gigs of recordings not including some of my own which I’ve just begun to do.

My Sylvia Plath Collection is as follows…

Lady Lazarus
The Ghost’s Leavetaking
November Graveyard
On the Plethora of Dryads
The Thin People
Hardcastle Crags
Child’s Park Stones
The Lady and the Earthenware Head
On the Difficulty of conjuring up a dryad
Green Rock, Winthrop Bay
On the Decline of Oracles
The Goring
The Beggars
The Disquieting Muse
Parliament Hill Fields
The Stones
Leaving Early
The Surgeon 2 AM
Nick and the Candlestick (not a good copy)
Poppies in October
Fever 103

short list of some reasons I prefer to listen to poetry:
1. In the Poet’s Voice how can you go wrong?
2. Sometimes the pains intensity makes it hard to focus my eyes.
3. I can enjoy poetry in a darkened room.
4. a good read can make me weep, gladly
5. hearing a poem in the authors voice is like experiencing it again for the first time.

If anyone has any obscure or hard to locate recordings I would love to wrench them from your tight grip. Also trade or even purchase. I hunger for more.

Sylvia part 1

I listen to your voice,
late November,

reliving a moment long
worn away by times
and memory.

did you mean to see it out,
taste of poison
fruits? or come
all questions lingering
and a scar,
a very real scar,
traces round our heart,

I’ll show you if you come to see.
no charge,
no heart beats like ours

out of the ash, we sift
and sift, but find
no more

no phoenix burning
the midnight air.

 – Hoc Scripsi

EDIT: poem submitted for the Jingle Poetry Theme of Dreams Visions and Reveries because I’ve visions of Sylvia at times when writing and feel that connection (especially this last one) and at times I dream of her. Is it cheating?

16 Comments to “in their own voice also Sylvia Plath”

  1. I adore Miss Plath.. I recall with such clarity the first time I heard her reading “Daddy”.. I literally went slack-jawed and wept.. then listened to it 3x in a row..

    I may have some but they may be dupes.. I'll check.. I too love the poets spoken voice.. Has to do with being born deaf, I crave sound…

    A mighty fine post we have her Cpt. Jhon!!!

  2. That was lovely. I must admit I don't know a lot about poets, but I'm learning.


  3. the poets own oral inflections sometimes make things more clear than simply reading…

    great post Jhon…

  4. I am sure you already have, but you might check Pirate Bay for recordings. I have, from time to time, in the past come across some relatively difficult to find poetry there. It seems to be hit or miss most often, but it is worth a shot.

  5. It is a thrill to see you contribute.
    what a talented post..

    your vision of Sylvia is cute and insightful.
    keep sharing..


  6. I think we all dream of others who move us, inspire us. I love that you collect the old works, and you've chosen quite a lady to study and admire.

  7. i thought you did well if you'd accept an amatures comment! mine's here-

  8. take good care, see you on week 14 if possible, get ready early, post on Sunday, you may have better feedback.

    Award/Treats 4 Poetic Friends of Jingle, Happy Thursday!

  9. I like listening to books etc. Sometimes it's nice to just zone out and relax as you hear their voice.

  10. Wonderful bits and great power within your Plath piece. Great influence to have for your writing.

  11. Thank you to everyone with your wonderful comments and to Rabbit for his assistance with my obtaining ten more poems of Plath's to my collection which now numbers 39 tracks – whoo hoo! I've also come into the knowledge that there is a new CD out produced with the BBC and contains quite a bit of new pleasure including an interview and other such nonsense.

  12. I heart Sylvia Plath – there is something so gripping and angry that just oozes from the pages. I can only imagine how powerful it would be to hear it straight from her mouth.

  13. I too adore Plath and a lot more poetry of the same gene. I love to look up the lesser known poets in the same vain too.
    I would love to hear them read as they were written, so I read them out loud!
    Yes, the BBC is really good for things like this. I really enjoy listening to them.

  14. Amazing – Sylvia another who too soon left…I was reading your profile and found that you are in Elgin….well how strange…that is where my mother was hospitalized many time…it is the reason..I have always avoided that path…of never having control of the mind I was blessed with. Thank you for your comments at my Anne Sexton piece..pleased to have found your work ….bkm

  15. I discovered Jeffers and Plath in the course of a chaotic childhood. We who know them know their worth.

    Have you ever checked out Steven Jesse Bernstein? His best spoken word is available from SubPop, with cool jazz back beat.

  16. I had not had the pleasure of checking out Bernstein – I will now. Thank you much.

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