Weekly Reading Out Loud Challenge: “Under The Vulture-Tree” by David Bottoms

Reading Out Loud

Here’s the challenge — and, it’s really easy:  record your own reading of this poem, upload it to your blog, or on Soundcloud, or make a video reading of this poem, upload it to YouTube, and send me the link to wherever your reading is posted.   I’ll share it here.  I told you it would be easy!  You have until next Thursday (6/27/13) to submit your reading.

As I mentioned in the introductory post, this isn’t a contest.  It’s not about seeing who’s reading is better.  It’s about seeing how different they can be.  We all hear different things in a poem, and our reading of it will reflect what we hear.  What I hear in a poem, you might not hear.  For example, I might hear a line as sarcasm, where you might here it as deadly serious, or someone else might hear it as ironic.  Those perceptions can enhance the meaning of a poem — there’s not always a right or wrong way to read a poem, and hearing the different interpretations simply adds more layers and more enjoyment to a poem.

The goal: to start a community based around poetry readings.  Poetry is not just about the printed word — it’s also about the sounds, the lyrical lines, the feeling and the emotion of the lines.

If you have any questions, or need help trying to figure out how to make your own recording, let me know in the comment section, and I’ll do my best to get you pointed in the right direction.

This week’s poem is “Under The Vulture-Tree” by David Bottoms:

My reading is here (try making your own recording first, before listening to mine — that way your words are fresh and new, not just a copy of mine):

under the vulture tree

9 thoughts on “Weekly Reading Out Loud Challenge: “Under The Vulture-Tree” by David Bottoms

  1. Reblogged this on Johnbalaya and commented:

    If you’re interested in participating in being a part of the Poetry Reading Out Loud Challenge, this week’s poem is posted, and, there’s already a follower submission too!

    If you’re not interested in participating, that’s cool…. at least stop by and read the poem. I find this poem to be especially thought-provoking, and beautiful.

    • Yes, they do have garish tastes … but, it’s all a part of the cycle of life, isn’t it …

      for some reason, I find the last line of the poem to be so hauntingly beautiful….but, I can’t quite explain why … yet.

      • For me that last line of the poem is like the hidden truth that you just know is more appropriate than what anyone else has ever said about them. It just FEELS true, like a secret the planet was keeping, but we all suspected it without knowing.

  2. Trish says:

    Yes, the last line makes it. It turns what most people think as “ugly” and “icky” into inspiring and hopeful. I am becoming a poetry nut. How is this happening?

    • Yes, you’re right … it is the last line that defines the poem, that makes it into something other than just about some birds in a tree. When I read this for the first time, I sat, almost stunned, by the truth and beauty of the last line.

      And, as we were chatting about last night …. becoming a poetry nut is happening because you’re visiting my blog and I’m not forcing Ye Olde English upon you. You’re reading poems that are open and accessible in their meaning. As I mentioned in one of the first posts on this blog, I believe we learn about poetry in a backwards way. In math, we learn the basics first: 1+1, 2+2, then move to the opposite, subtraction; then multiplication, division. As we go through all the math classes, learning about fractions and decimals, then into algebra, each lesson adds to the foundation, readying us for the next building block. In poetry, we’re usually thrust right into the densest, most textured poems — as if we’re starting to learn math with the quadratic equation, rather than 1+1.

      The goal of this blog is to introduce people to poetry in a better way — starting with poetry that will give people a foundation to move onto the more complex and obscure …

      I’m glad you’re coming along for the ride. :-)

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