Thursday, April 05, 2007

Everyone Sang

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on - on - and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away . . . O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Siegfried Sassoon
April 1919

3 comments:

Anna MR said...

Hei Lottie,

This being my first speaking visit to you, I thought I'd bring you a little something - and also I thought you might be interested in hearing this, if you hadn't so far (I came across it the other day when I was looking for something else on the Poetry Archive). I am not necessarily of the opinion that (all) poets read their own works better than anyone else (I know some people - often poets - are), but I think it does certainly make for interesting listening all the same. And I do like Sassoon's reading of his poem a whole heap more than some of the other poets on the site doing theirs.

I like your writing, Lottie. You're both honest and sharp. Nice.

A x

LottieP said...

Thank you, Anna. How nice to find you here.

I remember being very disappointed by T.S. Eliot's own ponderous rendering of his poetry. As a teenage who was completely starstruck by The Waste Land, I had expected to learn more about the meaning, but was distracted by the flatness of his delivery and (revealing my prejucices now) the fact that he was American (hitherto, I had self-servingly overlooked this). Solipsistic it may have been, but the voice I heard when I read "Prufock" was my own.

It seemed to me then that, perhaps strangely, poets don't necessarily have the best "take" on their own work. Perhaps a poem is often a singularly personal experience for the reader that even the poet him/herself is unable to connect to.

LottieP said...

Anyone looking for the meaning of this poem might find this link useful: it's a little bit fanciful, but contains some helpful detail.