Sister Wendy on Prayer
Another Epiphany Poem, This One By George Mackay Brown

Two Readings of Eliot's "Journey of the Magi"

Fr. Michael Rennier at Dappled Things has some good remarks on the poem and on Epiphany, along with two readings of the poem, one by Eliot himself and another by Alec Guinness. Guinness has by far the more appealing and skillful voice. But I think I have a slight preference for Eliot's reading; somehow it sounds more like verse. Here's the link.

In either case one might not realize, if one heard either reading without previous knowledge of the poem, that it's a poem rather than a particularly rich bit of prose. It's not exactly free verse, but is irregular enough that it doesn't strike the ear as metrical.  I've often thought that one of these days I would put some effort into trying to figure out why some free verse works as poetry and some does not. It's in the sound, and mostly in the rhythm. Some of it truly is prose broken into lines in arbitrary or crude ways. 

However, these days whenever I use the phrase "one of these days" about some intention of my own I think chances are great that you're not ever going to get to it


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I was just listening to the Alec Guinness recording of "Journey of the Magi" earlier today, and have it set to go up on my blog on Sunday. I enjoyed listening to T.S. Elliot one as well! Now I have to decide which one to run on my blog come Sunday.

Do both!

I was thinking today about something I would investigate if I were young, but I won't even kid myself that I could do it now.

I think I like the Guinness better, and to me, it sounds more like verse, although I couldn't begin to tell you why.

I have seen Alec Guinness in so many things, and yet, whenever I hear his voice now, unfortunately it's Obi Wan Kenobi that I hear.

The time Typepad is allowing me to type a comment is not very long at all. I keep having to refresh the screen and do it again.


I thought it was something like fifteen minutes or so, but I've never measured it.

Yes, Guinness is forever associated with Obi Wan now, and he didn't like the character or the movies. On the other hand, though, if you see that first movie now, the degree to which he elevates it is striking.

This is way less than five. Maybe there was a glitch.


I don't know. I'll try it sometime. I don't think it's anything I can control.

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