Voice Alpha

on reading poetry aloud for an audience

‘how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing’


Couldn’t resist this one. Beyond the fact that it seems to be some sort of ecstatic religious aubade, no idea what this poem is saying. And I find the reading overly-dramatic, not to say histrionic. But am still caught by the reader’s near-ecstatic enthusiasm for the words. See what you think.

The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins, read by Hugh Schwartzberg (poem text)

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Author: Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

5 thoughts on “‘how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing’

  1. Really interesting and enjoyable interpretation. Thank you.

    I’d love to hear a collection of readings of this poem, one of my favorites.

  2. Got some remedial help (http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/hopkins/section2.rhtml) and it’s a little less confusing now, but definitely a piece that needs more sitting with. I’d be up for starting a collection of readings – why don’t you send me one, and I’ll do one, and we’ll see if we can get others to send in some as well? We could archive them here at Voice Alpha as a group reading.

  3. Oh my gosh! I feel miscast but excited. I’ll give it a try! We’ll have at least three, and that will be fun.

  4. I’ve managed to find a few more versions online and have an idea – more on it soon. Look forward to receiving your recording!

  5. Pingback: send in your Hopkins reading – Voice Alpha requests | Voice Alpha

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