I like Ian McMillan's style and delivery - rarely listen to The Verb but if it were rescheduled to a more convenient hour I probably would. Radio 4 at 6.30pm instead of one of the dire comedy shows would be quite good!
I thought Venus and Adonis in the drama slot worked well and it's an ideal way to absorb such longer poems.
I prefer discussions on the lines of Discovering Music (mind you, look what happened to that!) A discussion "reduces" a poem, aeoli? How so?
I agree, fhg, that can happen, though with good readers experienced in radio poetry can be a great experience for the listener. The alternative is not to have it read aloud at all, which is surely not the best way of experiencing a poem.So often poems are ruined by an actorrr's sight-read "dramatic interpretation"
What I meant when I said that a discussion often reduces a poem is that a fine poem is really untranslatable into prose, in its concision and unique sound patterns. A prose description of the meaning of a poem can never be a good substitute for hearing a poem, imo.
I wouldn't mind a brief discussion of a poem, though not a line by line dissection, always provided that the whole poem was read.
On the "Edward Lear" thread, somebody mentioned John Holmstrom's readings of The Dong with the Luminous Nose which I remember brought out an intense sadness that I'd never associated with the poem before.
You are quite right: good readings of poems, by people with a passion for the work (and "radiogenic" voices), can say so much.
For some reason I found the most recent edition of The Verb to be enjoyable.
Whilst lured over there by the promise of hearing Eliza Carthy 'live', I enjoyed a vinegary, and at times engagingly faltering rant from John Cooper Clarke, some translation work by Simon Armitage and a hackneyed but in parts amusing multi-vocal soliloquy from a Joe Bone.
Ian McMillan appeared to take a 'less is more' approach with his own contribution or was that simply because I haven't listened for a while?
I'll be adding it [back] to my regular listening schedule for a while. Recommended
Over to Lat.....
Last edited by Lateralthinking1; 20-01-12 at 17:09.