I have a new favourite website: People Reading Poems
It is, unsurprisingly, exactly that. I have recently become enamored of listening to poetry read aloud, and now need a hand-occupying hobby to fuss with alongside this aural pleasure. I have friends who would argue for knitting: I think my current personal favourite would be this – making small plasticine models of amusing character, especially when narrated by this clay genius.
The mastermind behind the above website is Jenny Harris, whose face you might have glanced during her time on University Challenge, helping Emma power to the winning position. Anyone can submit a poem, and I have done a reading of Eleanor Brown’s ‘Bitcherel’
It isn’t one of my favourite poems per se, but it is one which I love to read aloud: essentially, I am a sucker for 12/8 syllable stressed couplets. Ergh, where do technical terms lurk when I require them?
I also find things much easier to remember in that meter. Such as, for example, all of the opinions of the major historians of the American Civil war, which I put into (rhymed) verse like that at school for an exam. Alright, I had to mutter like an insane person to get through the exam itself, but, by jove, I kept them all in my head. I only refrain from trying it with shopping lists because life is too short to be involuntarily commited to a psychiatric ward when one only stepped out to buy bread.