A Poem a Day.... When I was an undergraduate, an English professor said, in passing, a poem a day keeps the doctor away. He meant, I assume, that being regularly exposed to the best that has been thought and written is a universal medicine. This collection helps bring poetry off the page and back into the ear, where it belongs, and hearing it read with such skill is a constant revelation. I have not found myself ever, for instance, since I was forced to in college, deciding to sit down and read Tennyson or Milton, but hearing them read has made me realize what I've been missing. This is the best of the best, read by the best of the best. I plan on listening to this CD every day on my commute and saving a bundle on my mental health bills. --TOM LUTZ, Writer
Words that Bind How does it happen that great poetry cuts through all the noise and noisy disagreements that separate us and set us at each other's throats? How does it target and hit the note that quiets us, that unifies us, and that, in turn, defines us as human?
The performers on this CD illuminate the mystery. Beneath the trembling, faux enthusiasm of Donna Lynne Champlin's reading of Job Application
, or the steely reserve of Charles Busch's My Last Duchess
, there lies the truth of the situation, like a beautiful rock that's been polished smooth by all of the people who have heard before and who have understood.
Here we are...living without the benefit of a unifying popular culture, but with a culture frayed into a million semi-connected strands. How sobering, how comforting it is to be reminded of the notes that bindus.
When you hear Emily Skinner say: Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
Then you know that is true. And that is enough. --LAURIE WINER, Critic