Oh now this week…what a series of treats for y’all! A bit of Lawrence, a wonderful drunken regaling of a meandering tale, more Sleepy Hollow, original poetry and more…and of course, Tom Jones!
Humiliation, by D.H. Lawrence
Read by Xe Sands
This is one of my favorite Lawrence poems…there is such an inner struggle. Yes, yes, it’s David Herbert. ALL his poems have an inner struggle (even if he seems peaceful in the moment). But this one…like “A Young Wife” and “New Year’s Night,” there is a polarization that saturates the poem.
Haven’t you ever been so caught within yourself – caught between what cannot coexist – that you wish you could shred what there is of you and step away, free?
There is a reason that Robin Sachs and I originally paired “Humiliation” with “A Young Wife.” In the latter, Lawrence writes, “the pain of loving you is almost more than I can bear.” Here, he ends with “and god that she is so…necessary.”
This is also a retelling on my part. Robin and I worked on the mash-up of this and “A Young Wife” together – I can hardly bear to listen to it, in fact only recently was able to play it without becoming frozen…and moving on, of course, is its own tragedy. And after my tantrum over Lawrence’s misogyny during Banned Books Week, I was feeling conciliatory toward him again (remember? love/hate?). I came across this again and was reminded of how much is there, in it. And I wondered how different it would feel to approach it now, a couple years older, a few friends poorer due to death or circumstance.
Yeah. Definitely felt different.
Image credit: delph_ambi
Read by Seymour Jacklin
A fairytale from the Brothers Grimm – told more in the manner in which I suspect it was originally recorded by Will and Jake on their travels.
Read by Diane Havens
I have a small water fountain in my herb garden, and try to keep it running as late into the fall as possible. The birds love it and often gather by it. I love its sound; the sound of running water always soothes me. But suddenly winter comes, and all that ends until the spring. Waking up to an unexpected ice sculpture one morning recently, I wrote this poem.
Read by Daniel Wallace
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic ghost story Washington Irving. The characters have become legendary on their own. The Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane have become part of American lore.
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 6 Chapter 11 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
If the early portions of the book presented Squire Allworthy’s estate as an Edenic ideal, well, then, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that poor, (less-than-) innocent Tom would be forced into exile. In this case, though, it isn’t because the Devil tricked Tom into sinning, it’s that Blifil tricked Allworthy into believing Tom was a reprobate, and Allworthy is far too polite to come out and actually say what he’s accusing Tom of.
So, Tom gets driven out-of-doors, with nothing but the clothes on his back (and, of course, 500 pounds). In this way, Tom is not only Adam, but he’s also the prodigal son, who gets his inheritance early and leaves.
We also get to see the return of the court of public opinion, who believe that Tom is Mr. Allworthy’s son, and therefore, that Squire Allworthy is the worst of fathers for casting his own son out. Mr. Allworthy, being less-than-perfect, hasn’t hewn too closely to Fielding’s admonishment that it’s not enough that your actions be good, but also that they appear good to the world.