Sometimes, especially if we are living alone,
we really need to hear a human voice.
The usual thing we do is turn on the TV,
or maybe tune into some program on the internet.
This at least makes us feel like somebody’s there!
But it’s not much of a personal communication.
What if we could hear from someone who KNOWS us
and KNOWS just what would lift our spirits?
That would be powerful…
Are you game?
Let’s DO this!
Hearing beautiful words
I had the great blessing to be raised by a mother and father
who both read aloud to me.
Often. And from the treasures of great literature.
My father’s mother May Churchill Beamish had wanted to be an actress.
But in those days ladies weren’t supposed to be actresses.
So she channeled her love of language into reading aloud to her children
from the works of Shakespeare and all the great poets.
My daddy soaked it up!
And when I came along he poured it all into me,
with great emotion and drama,
performing while seated in his chair
as I sat on a little pillow in the middle of our living room floor.
I grew up knowing by heart long passages of tender poetry,
which to this day I love to recite aloud.
My favorite color is green,
symbolizing as it does the coming of new life,
I especially love four lines of a poem about green
written by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.
I kept a little card with these lines printed on it
taped above my writing desk
all the years I labored on my dissertation.
Every spring I stand on the shore of my beloved lake,
thinking of all my plans and dreams for the coming year.
And as I gaze across the water
to the lovely green hills on the other side,
I slowly and tenderly declare:
Green how much I want you green
Green wind green branches
The ship on the sea
And the horse in the mountain
As I speak I can already feel
the new life of my dreams
What about you?
Do you have a favorite poem or story?
Something you remember someone reading aloud to you?
Or the lyrics of a song that always moves and inspires you?
Some of our greatest poets today are our songwriters!
If not, perhaps with a little eager searching
you could find some new words or lyrics that move you.
Surely you can find something you would love to hear.
And today would be a great time to hear words you love
spoken in your own voice.
Reading aloud is a powerful expression of who you are.
Choose words you believe in
and give voice to them!
You will strengthen your own identity as a person.
Your very own voice will lift your spirits!
Just to get you started
Let me offer you a few lines to begin with.
They sound lovely when spoken aloud.
This little poem is often honored
by being the very first poem
in major anthologies of British and American verse.
Every time I read it I wonder about the man who wrote it.
He is listed as Anonymous.
Yet centuries later, we still hear his voice.
It’s a love poem.
Go ahead…read it out loud…
o western wind
when wilt thou blow
that the small rain down can rain
Christ that my love were in my arms
and I in my bed again
As you hear his words
and allow yourself to feel them,
you connect with this man’s soul.
You are no longer isolated.
You are part of humanity.
he lives on in you.
You give him his immortality
as he gives you his heart.
This is what happens
when we encounter great poets and writers.
They transfer their vitality to us.
Reading their words aloud
we express and are enriched with their spirit.
Have you ever recorded yourself reading aloud?
Find something beautiful, and just listen without judging.
Then do it again, stronger.
You will be amazed how much this will build your spirits.