Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hanging Out with Poe, Coleridge, and Terry Jacobus

A recent post by Mike Shatzkin about "verticals" (a key publishing topic that I'll write more about later) led me to This is a really interesting new site that brings together all sorts of content for poetry lovers, including not just the text of classic and new poems, but audio recordings and in some cases videos. You can read or listen to Shelley's Ozymandias, Poe's The Raven, or Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. (The sound quality on the latter is so poor I wonder whether it's a very early recording of Tennyson himself? Fascinatingly, it's listed as the most popular poem on the site.). You can hear contemporary poets reading their work. Or you can even upload your own spoken-word recordings to a section called "YourMic."

Speaking of Poe, an unexpected benefit of being in the Twitterstream is that I learned about the funny and poignant poem below from a tweet. Here are just the first few lines.

So Edgar Allan Poe Was In This Car
Terry Jacobus

So Edgar Allan Poe was in this car goin' the wrong way on ol' 66
and it's snowin' hard and he's pissed off and worried about
everything so he manages to pull over to the side and his woman
gets outta the car to check out the situation but Edgar won't get
out and his woman realizes that he isn't gettin' out so she goes
to wunna them phone stands near a big pole by the Wrong Way
And calls up his friend Sam Coleridge and Sam says, "Okay,
Hold on, I'll be right out there." ...

The full text (and audio) is on PoetrySpeaks here.