Trade Ed. Harper Audio/ Caedmon 2008
CD ISBN 978-0061566417 $12.95 One CDs
Even though these selections were recorded in 1959 and 1969, the production and sound quality are impressively clear. Ed Begley does an admirable job of narrating, but at times he takes on the tenor and intonation of a fire-and-brimstone preacher, not so much performing the poems and selections as reading them with gusto. While this approach works well for such poems as "I Hear America Singing," it loses some of its effect as the selections march on, inasmuch as the listener starts to lose track of the poems' actual words and meanings. However, Begley does depart from his grandiloquent style for such poems as "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," which he reads with appropriate calm and introspection that communicate the power of Whitman's honest words. A.H.A. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/NOV 08]
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