Animated Poetry Readings

I am preparing to feature Dr Marie McAllister’s Eighteenth Century Audio site, which is an absolutely stellar example of a course created resource cum Google-indexed treasure trove of public domain poetry readings (I posted about the site earlier this year here). In fact, a group on Librivox was so inspired by the site that they are using the example to create an 18th Century Poetry and Prose book that will be within the public domain—still need additional examples of why universities need to be learning on the open web? It is absolutely imperative for the future of our culture, but more on this anon.

For the moment I want to focus on a video I found through Caroline Schumacher’s blog, a UMW student who has been searching out audio versions of 18th century poetry for the site this semester (she posted 43 new poems to the site just last night—how sick is she?!). She just recently made an interesting move from only adding straight audio readings to also including video readings (YouTube providing a rich archive of poetry readings accompanied by visual montage). She just made a discovery that is very trippy, it’s a reading of Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” in which an image of Gray’s face has been animated so that it looks as if he is actually reading the poem. Come to find out this is the work of Jim Clark, who has the handle poetryanimations on YouTube, and has animated 186 poems, all of which are “read” by the poet. Here’s a few for you psychedelic pleasure:

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5 Responses to Animated Poetry Readings

  1. Gardner says:

    Trippy and disturbing too. I salute the artist’s efforts. I do wish he had identified the reader. Casual viewers may think the recording is actually of ths poet, and I would hate for the melodramatic and prosodically limp readings of Whitman and Dickinson to be taken as the poets’ own conception. It’s ironic there’s no such credit, given that the animator has so intrusively asserted his own copyright throughout!

  2. Reverend says:

    Good points, his copyright notice placement is highly annoying and the absence of a reader credit not only violates his own insistence for credit, but might be misleading as well. Thanks for keeping me straight on this, I just got carried away with the animated image of the poet “speaking” their poetry. A keener critical eye on the matter was much needed, so I have to thank my lucky stars that “I’ve got you babe!” 🙂

  3. Gardner says:


    I’m afraid I disturbed the library patrons by lol-ing over Sonny and Cher. I’m forwarding all complaints to the Bava, amigo. 🙂

    Seriously, the animations are extremely cool and could be a very interesting resource and project-template. We just need to get someone like you working the machinery!

  4. Thankyou everybody out there for your interest in my virtual movies of great poets reading their best loved poems at my youtube channel poetryanimations.

    Most of my virtual movies have a credit either on the video or in the notes accompanying my videos which you will find if you take the time to actualy watch my videos directly at my youtube channel where you can also watch in higher quality than is offered by this webpage link.

    Occasionaly I may not know or remember who the reader is as I have sourced my hundreds of audio files at a multitude of places. Some are actualy the archive recording of the poet themselves.

    Yes it would be lovely not to have to put my copyright message across my videos,but if I dont the viral world of the internet and multimedia will be at liberty to exploit my work for nothing.I am interested in any media companies that might like to use my videos or employ my services to create videos to order subject to written agreement and payment etc..

    God bless you all I hope some of you might pay me a visit at my youube poetryanimations channel very soon now.

    Kind Regards

    Jim Clark

    Please Try my unique music and poetry videos at the Youtube and the Dailymotion video websites etc etc…

    Poetry Animations and videos here……….

    More Poetry Animations and videos here

    Blues animations here

    Jim Clark’s video archive of acoustic musicians and poets here…/_whatsnew.msnw

  5. Richard Mark says:

    A great article very interesting, I have found lots of unique gangster poems that I will share for free if anybody is interested, please reply to my website:

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