Programme from Josephine Hart Poetry – Robert Browning event

(Thank you to Duncan Lockhart for the following information.)

Here is the list of what was read at the Josephine Hart Poetry Hour at the British Library:

Words That Burn – How to read poetry and why.
Poems of eight great poets by Josephine Hart

Charles Dance, Rupert Evans and Jeremy Irons read Robert Browning

Porphyria’s Lover
My Last Duchess
The Patriot
The Lost Reader
Memorabialia
Home Thoughts From Abroad
How They Brought The Good
New From Ghents To Aix

Then 50 sec of audio of Robert Browning

Pippa Passes
Respectability
You’ll Love Me Yet
Love Among The Ruins
A Light Woman***
A Toccata At Gallupi’s
Andrea Del Sarto

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Jeremy Irons read “A Light Woman” at Browning poetry event:

A Light Woman

I.

So far as our story approaches the end,
Which do you pity the most of us three?—
My friend, or the mistress of my friend
With her wanton eyes, or me?

II.

My friend was already too good to lose,
And seemed in the way of improvement yet,
When she crossed his path with her hunting-noose
And over him drew her net.

III.

When I saw him tangled in her toils,
A shame, said I, if she adds just him
To her nine-and-ninety other spoils,
The hundredth for a whim!

IV.

And before my friend be wholly hers,
How easy to prove to him, I said,
An eagle’s the game her pride prefers,
Though she snaps at a wren instead!

V.

So, I gave her eyes my own eyes to take,
My hand sought hers as in earnest need,
And round she turned for my noble sake,
And gave me herself indeed.

VI.

The eagle am I, with my fame in the world,
The wren is he, with his maiden face.
—You look away and your lip is curled?
Patience, a moment’s space!

VII.

For see, my friend goes shaling and white;
He eyes me as the basilisk:
I have turned, it appears, his day to night,
Eclipsing his sun’s disk.

VIII.

And I did it, he thinks, as a very thief:
“Though I love her—that, he comprehends—
“One should master one’s passions, (love, in chief)
“And be loyal to one’s friends!”

IX.

And she,—she lies in my hand as tame
As a pear late basking over a wall;
Just a touch to try and off it came;
‘Tis mine,—can I let it fall?

X.

With no mind to eat it, that’s the worst!
Were it thrown in the road, would the case assist?
‘Twas quenching a dozen blue-flies’ thirst
When I gave its stalk a twist.

XI.

And I,—what I seem to my friend, you see:
What I soon shall seem to his love, you guess:
What I seem to myself, do you ask of me?
No hero, I confess.

XII.

‘Tis an awkward thing to play with souls,
And matter enough to save one’s own:
Yet think of my friend, and the burning coals
He played with for bits of stone!

XIII.

One likes to show the truth for the truth;
That the woman was light is very true:
But suppose she says,—Never mind that youth!
What wrong have I done to you?

XIV.

Well, any how, here the story stays,
So far at least as I understand;
And, Robert Browning, you writer of plays,
Here’s a subject made to your hand!

Robert Browning


Share

Jeremy Irons participates in Breast Cancer Care Carol Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

Carols banner 2009

The Breast Cancer Care Carol Service
at St Paul’s Cathedral

Wednesday 9 December 2009

sponsored by Swarovski

The carol concert is the highlight of Breast Cancer Care’s Christmas celebrations, and for one year only this December, we are delighted to be taking this magical event to St Paul’s Cathedral, the UK’s most prestigious and well known Cathedral.

Christmas at St Paul’s Cathedral

Holding upwards of 2,000 people, this could be the single biggest event Breast Cancer Care has ever held. So show your support for people affected by breast cancer this Christmas by joining us at this sensational venue for one of London’s best charity concerts.

Celebrity Christmas readings and song

We are thrilled to announce that the following world class British actors will be joining us to deliver specially selected readings:

  • Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons
  • Golden Globe winner John Hurt CBE
  • Stage and screen veteran Timothy West CBE
  • Multi-talented star Saffron Burrows
  • Multi-award winning actress and Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo

The service will also include a professional choir filling St Paul’s with breathtaking carols and Swarovski’s world famous sparkle aplenty – this night is not to be missed!

We’re also pleased to announce that the wonderful Faryl Smith will be performing at the event.

For guests wishing to continue the Christmas merriment, we extend the invitation to attend an intimate Champagne Supper after the Carols, for 250 guests in The Crypt below the Cathedral floor.

________________________________________________________________________________________

This is the poem read by Jeremy Irons at the Carol Service:

Advent Calendar

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

· From The Poems of Rowan Williams, published by Perpetua Press

Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,670 other followers