COMPLETE: Weekly Poetry - The Road, by Siegfried Sassoon

Solo or group recordings that are finished and fully available for listeners
Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » December 12th, 2005, 11:45 am

all audio files can be found on our catalog page:
http://librivox.org/the-road-by-siegfried-sassoon/


Let's add a little gloom to the proceedings: "The Road" from Siegfried Sassoon's War Poems.

You can access the full text of The Road here:

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14757
THE ROAD

The road is thronged with women; soldiers pass
And halt, but never see them; yet they're here--
A patient crowd along the sodden grass,
Silent, worn out with waiting, sick with fear.
The road goes crawling up a long hillside,
All ruts and stones and sludge, and the emptied dregs
Of battle thrown in heaps. Here where they died
Are stretched big-bellied horses with stiff legs;
And dead men, bloody-fingered from the fight,
Stare up at caverned darkness winking white.

You in the bomb-scorched kilt, poor sprawling Jock,
You tottered here and fell, and stumbled on,
Half dazed for want of sleep. No dream could mock
Your reeling brain with comforts lost and gone.
You did not feel her arms about your knees,
Her blind caress, her lips upon your head:
Too tired for thoughts of home and love and ease,
The road would serve you well enough for bed.
If you wish to contribute, please have your readings submitted by 5:00 PST on Saturday, December 17th.

Please post a link to your version in a reply to this post; or send it to me via www.yousendit.com. (Yousendit seems to have altered the way they work, so it's no longer possible to publish a link to the file here in the forum.)

File name: road_sassoon_[your initials].mp3

ID-3 tags:

Title: the_road
Artist: sassoon_s
Album: librivox_weekly_poetry

Have fun! I look forward to listening, when I'm feeling too happy for my own good.

(... and remember, anyone who submits a recording can choose the next weekly poem! If you'd like to pick next week's poem, just post here!)
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Peter Why (peter[DOT]planete[AT]tiscali[DOT]co[DOT]uk)

hugh
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Post by hugh » December 12th, 2005, 12:25 pm

hi peter could you post the text of the poem on this thread? makes things super easy for readers. thanks,
hugh.

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » December 12th, 2005, 12:59 pm

Of course; my apologies:
THE ROAD

The road is thronged with women; soldiers pass
And halt, but never see them; yet they're here--
A patient crowd along the sodden grass,
Silent, worn out with waiting, sick with fear.
The road goes crawling up a long hillside,
All ruts and stones and sludge, and the emptied dregs
Of battle thrown in heaps. Here where they died
Are stretched big-bellied horses with stiff legs;
And dead men, bloody-fingered from the fight,
Stare up at caverned darkness winking white.

You in the bomb-scorched kilt, poor sprawling Jock,
You tottered here and fell, and stumbled on,
Half dazed for want of sleep. No dream could mock
Your reeling brain with comforts lost and gone.
You did not feel her arms about your knees,
Her blind caress, her lips upon your head:
Too tired for thoughts of home and love and ease,
The road would serve you well enough for bed.

kayray
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Post by kayray » December 12th, 2005, 1:14 pm

I slapped the text into the first post, for convenience :)
Kara
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"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Kristen
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Post by Kristen » December 12th, 2005, 3:54 pm

Nice counterpoint to all the holiday joy and madness.

http://www.mediatinker.com/librivox/road_sassoon_kmcq.mp3
Kristen
http://www.mediatinker.com
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/KristenMcQuillin/]My recordings & claimed chapters[/url]

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » December 12th, 2005, 11:30 pm

Thanks, Kirsten: nice work. One thing: could you post the librivox prefix ("This is a librivox recording ...) here, please, and I'll merge it with your file.

tis
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Post by tis » December 13th, 2005, 1:36 am

http://goringe.net/librivox/road_sassoon_cmg.mp3

That's a hard poem to do justice to... I did three takes, and I'm still not really happy with it.
[img]http://goringe.net/images/chris.png[/img]

Kristen
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Post by Kristen » December 13th, 2005, 3:09 am

Peter Why wrote:Thanks, Kirsten: nice work. One thing: could you post the librivox prefix ("This is a librivox recording ...) here, please, and I'll merge it with your file.
Oops, sorry. The corrected version (with the simplified heading as suggested several poems ago) is at the same URL as before.

http://www.mediatinker.com/librivox/road_sassoon_kmcq.mp3
Kristen
http://www.mediatinker.com
[url=http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/KristenMcQuillin/]My recordings & claimed chapters[/url]

Peter Why
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Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)

Post by Peter Why » December 13th, 2005, 1:53 pm

Thank you both; yes, it is a very hard read. Lots of empathy in the eye of the watcher. Be interesting to see how many readers we get. Yousendit are displaying the link to saved files again, so here's my version:

http://s49.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2MHJMG4N5UX922P2F2RFEYYFRX

There are a lot of his war poems that I don't like: Sassoon often uses what I think of as poetic trickery to get his point across, using a change of scene or style in the last line as a contrast, but here it's just the sludge, despair and tiredness flowing over you.

tis
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Post by tis » December 13th, 2005, 2:31 pm

Peter,

If you want to send me the file I can host it for the time being

Chris
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Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » December 13th, 2005, 2:36 pm

Thank you very much, Chris, but it's sorted now. It's possible that yousendit simply didn't display the link until they were sure the new interface was working properly.

LibraryLady
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Post by LibraryLady » December 13th, 2005, 9:54 pm

Peter Why wrote:There are a lot of his war poems that I don't like: Sassoon often uses what I think of as poetic trickery to get his point across, using a change of scene or style in the last line as a contrast, but here it's just the sludge, despair and tiredness flowing over you.
I agree, most of Sassoon's war poems glorify war a bit too much for me. I once did a paper contrasting Sassoon's and Wilfred Owen's war poems and I much preferred Owen. But you picked a very moving one of Sassoon's.
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"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

LibraryLady
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Post by LibraryLady » December 13th, 2005, 10:14 pm

Last edited by LibraryLady on January 8th, 2006, 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
http://www.anniecoleman.com/

"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » December 14th, 2005, 10:44 am

Paula B
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Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » December 14th, 2005, 12:53 pm

Thanks, Annie and Paula; I've got your poems. Nice readings.

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