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Dana Gioia

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With all our talk of the NEA and its relatively new head, I'm sure some people here would enjoy hearing this (legal) mp3 of him speaking and reading.

-- Dana Gioia talks about the life and work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), and reads a poem inspired by the death of his wife, "The Cross of Snow." --

Gioia reads Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

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Longfellow! Now THAT'S daring!!! (My proudest childhood accomplishment was memorizing "Evangeline.")

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Good Lord, Alexandra, that's thousands of lines, and Alexandrines, at that...Is that why you did it?

This is th forest primeval. The murmuring pines and hte hemlocks

Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in hte twilight,

Stand like Druids of eld.....

wait, that's dactyllic hexameter, not alexandrines at all (they would be iambic....)

I thought I'd done something, was pretty puffed on having memorized the Raven, all, all of it, with its velvet violet lining she shall press, ah, nevermore, and all those silken sad uncertain rustlings of each purple curtain and pallid busts of Pallas and then some. But ALL of Evangeline is all of a whole lot more....

It does make you wonder. I'm reminded of a dance concert Denby compared to a recitation of Thanatopsis.....

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