January 17, 2014

This week, it’s a bit of poisonous wrath, a sprinkling of hope and Tom Jones to round us out.

A Poison Tree, by William Blake     …a rare morality tale

Read by Xe Sands

Xe writes…

First, yes…it RHYMES. Shhh…don’t tell – I might notice!

Second, yes…I, er, decided to record this after hearing Joseph Morgan (“Klaus”) read it while watching The Originals. DON’T JUDGE ME!

Also…yes, it’s a morality tale.

So I had written a whole windy blurb about Blake and his insanity and filters and other nonsense, but what I really need to say about this poem it should essentially say for itself: do not do this. Deceit, betrayal, false smiles – they are poison, they are poison for YOU.

Here’s what I imagine Blake’s narrator would see if he wrote on…his foe lies beneath the tree, apple in outstretched hand. And as his hatred seeps out of that apple and foe and into his soil, everything – EVERYTHING – is now tainted, with that poison eventually spreading to where he stands, rooted to the spot, bewitched by his own success.

So the message is this: Dudes, don’t be Klaus.


A January Dandelion, by George Marion McClellan

Read by Diane Havens

Diane writes…

A dandelion in winter. Love the power in the simplicity of this image.




Tom Jones, Book VII, Chapter 6, by Henry Fielding

Read by Mark Turetsky

Mark writes…

Book 7 Chapter 6 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.

Here we get an idea of just how terrible Blifil is. Squire Western and his sister join forces, resolved to marry Sophia to Blifil as quickly as possible. Sophia’s clear disgust with Blifil does absolutely nothing to turn him off to her. In fact, Blifil shows himself as a sadist, in addition to his greed, as her distress excites him. He then reports back to Squire Allworthy, deceiving him with words that aren’t factually incorrect, but that create a false impression of what’s actually going on. The chapter ends with a small hint that Sophia will prevent the wedding from occurring, though.

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