This week, we’ve got poignancy and comedy, love and resignation on tap.
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand, by Walt Whitman
Read by Xe Sands
Whitman. I mean come on…I haven’t done any Whitman yet?? Wait..what’s my inner voice saying – that I never thought I liked him?
Yeah, well heck with that nonsense.
I might not have appreciated Whitman back in my school years (*cough*prude*cough), but as I’ve gotten older, I feel as if I’ve finally lived enough, done enough, lost enough…well, really, loved enough to open to the emotion Whitman lays bare. You think Lawrence lays it all out there for you to see? Ha! Not so. Lawrence is conflicted, struggling, always struggling. Whitman, in contrast, is exuberant and completely bare. Oh, he’s not always Mr. Happy, but he IS always exuberant, bursting with life and living and aching to share it with you, the reader, his most intimate friend.
Tom Jones – Book 1, Chapter 1, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
This is the first entry in an ongoing project, in which I plan to record the entirety of Henry Fielding’s classic comic novel, Tom Jones, one chapter a week, over the course of four years.
Abigail Adams Letter to John 1782
Read by Diane Havens
Ever since playing Abigail Adams in a production of “American Primitive” a play based on the letters of John and Abigail during their long years of separation, I have been fascinated with these beautiful correspondences. They reveal not only the depth of the love between them, but their insights and opinions about the events of the early years of American history. This particular letter was written while John was in Europe, borrowing money from the Dutch in Amsterdam, then taking part in peace negotiations with England in Paris. But every one of the hundreds of their letters is a treasure. I chose this one at random. I have read them all, more than a few times, over the years. They still bring me to tears.