Sunday, 8 May 2016

Poetry properly performed - Tom O'Bedlam's 'Spoken Verse'

There is a YouTube channel called Spoken Verse where scores of poems are performed by the pseudonymous Tom O'Bedlam.

'Tom' has a natural bass, somewhat gravelly voice (a bit like Joss Ackland, but not so resonant) and he is probably - taken all round - the best speaker of poems I have ever come across.

Try this: 'If' by Rudyard Kipling

The man seems to be an actor - but usually modern actors are appalling at reciting verse -

What 'Tom' has that makes him such a wonder - aside from a pleasing voice, which is common among actors - is a natural, fluid sense of rhythm - like that of a great jazz musician.

His performances are not 'flawless' (should be even ask for this from poetry?) - they are single-take, and recorded only with moderate production values - but they are alive, and full of insights and revelations. A glimpse of why our ancestors so valued bards.

Thank you Tom O'Bedlam!