Saturday, June 7, 2014

The ten best recordings of poets

Richard Carrington and Andrew Motion set up the Poetry Archive, a continually expanding online audio library of poets reading their own work. One of Motion's ten favorite recordings in the collection:
"Filling Station"
Elizabeth Bishop, 1965

When I started reading poems seriously in the mid-1960s, the general view of contemporary American poetry was that Robert Lowell was driving the bus, John Berryman was wandering up and down the aisle, and Elizabeth Bishop was sitting quietly at the back. But quietness can turn out to be loud – or resonant anyway, and now by common consent, Bishop is in the driving seat. Her recitation of Filling Station – self-deprecating, nearly throwaway – tells us a great deal about her late style. And for all its modesties it is absolutely mesmeric and authoritative.
Read about--and listen to--the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue