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03 March 2010

I need a passage for a public reading I'm being inducted into Sigma Delta Tau (the national English honor society) and for the ceremony we all need to give a brief reading from a work of literature or poetry. [More:]
I'd like to read Yeats's The Second Coming, but I wonder if that is a bit too overdone.

I'm tempted to do something short, like the Saint Crispin's day speech from Henry V, or the intro winter of discontent speech from Richard III up through the 'I am determined to prove a villain" line. But, now I'm also thinking Shakespeare may be a bit much given that it's a room full of English majors. Although the odds of anyone else handling that self-loathing filled minefield that is RIII seems slim.


St. Crispin's Day was the first thing that came into my head, so that's probably a good choice, and possibly a popular choice.

What message do you want to convey with your reading? Or, what mood do you want to invoke?
posted by rainbaby 03 March | 14:43
Yeah, what rainbaby said re: message and/ore tone.

If you want to go for something more non-traditional and a bit zesty, I'd go with an American female poet. Maybe Millay's I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed, which is entirely inappropriate for such a function and thus potentially charming.
posted by muddgirl 03 March | 14:53
He can run to length - the times having been more leisurely. But the speeches of Charles Dickens are a treasure trove of the kind of articulate bonhomie that seems appropriate to such an occasion.

The way to your good opinion, favour, and support, has been to me
very pleasing--a path strewn with flowers and cheered with
posted by Joe Beese 03 March | 16:09
Og.Den. Nash.

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn't been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don't anther.
posted by ROU Xenophobe 03 March | 16:15
Try Charles Simic. He's my favorite.

His poem "Shelley" is a good one. There's a link to a video of him reading it as well.
posted by Hugh Janus 03 March | 16:24
I'm a fan of Ferlinghetti "Uses of Poetry". (I used snippets of it for my Capstone project at Trinity.)

...For even bad poetry has relevance
for what it does not say
for what it leaves out
(ah but to free it still
from the word-processor of the mind!)

It's in These Are My Rivers.
posted by sperose 03 March | 17:26
When I saw this earlier, I was going to suggest 'The Second Coming.' You're digging the Yeats class lately, right?

('When You Are Old' is at least slightly more obscure.)
posted by box 03 March | 20:33
Read the passage or poem that inspired you to interrupt the flow of your reading and read it over and over again, that inspired you to start reading it out loud.

posted by jason's_planet 03 March | 21:59
Complexity and collapse || So, how have you all been?