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Lit Genius

"Deep Poetry #1 (Shakespeare, di*kinson, Stevens, Brooks, Frost)"

Welcome to Deep Poetry, a new feature in which we present classic poems read in an incredibly deep, distorted cyborg voice. The distortion sounds like the kind TV crime shows use to disguise the voices of people who wish to remain anonymous. It has been applied to the ordinary speaking voice of one of Lit Genius's humble editors.

The project raises fascinating questions. What are the expressive possibilities of reading poetry in a deep, distorted cyborg voice? Does a deep, distorted cyborg voice automatically lend a certain tone or emphasis to the reading? Does it make even a joyful poem somber, a hopeful poem ominous? Does it just sound hypnotic?

And could it be that the deep, distorted cyborg voice reveals something about our own humanity?

Deep Poetry: Series 1 (click to open audio)

1. William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 129"

2. Emily di*kinson, "Because I could not stop for Death"

3. Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"

4. Gwendolyn Brooks, "We Real Cool"

5. Robert Frost, "Nothing Gold Can Stay"

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