They speak out


Poetry on Record ($49.98) accomplishes what seems nearly impossible: It humanizes 98 of the Western world’s inimitable poets in a way that your typical two-ton freshman lit anthology never could. This exciting four-disc collection breathes life back into such literary warriors and saviors as William Butler Yeats, Langston Hughes, Robert Lowell, Dylan Thomas, Gwendolyn Brooks and Jack Kerouac. Poets working from 1888 through 2006 each recite a couple pieces with staid or emphatic diction. Some performances are barely audible, such as the unbelievablly early recording of the Victorian era’s Alfred Lord Tennyson reading "Come Into the Garden, Maud," which sounds like an incantation in a snowstorm. Walt Whitman’s "America," ironically enough, plays like a joke told by a German Dadaist. And in "All My Pretty Ones," Elizabeth Bishop tells the saddest story of a fish she caught, "the grunting weight of a fish" who didn’t fight at all, breathing in terrible oxygen. It’s heartbreaking, but Sexton, that beautiful woman, has a voice that’s simple yet compassionate, like a mom putting her clean child to sleep in summer sheet.

Rebecca Mazzei is Metro Times arts editor. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.