Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rhapsodize Podcast #1

Rhapsodize Podcast #1
Now Live on the Internet Archive

Duration 44:36

Created, hosted and performed by 
Bob Gonzalez

Featuring an excerpt from Plato's Ion and poetry by Walt Whitman, Homer, Hesiod, William Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Leigh Hunt, Robert Frost, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


RHAPSODIZE! Catalog Page

RHAPSODIZE! is a classic poetry performance initiative that seeks to popularize rhapsodies (performances of classic poetry) and cultivate rhapsodes (performers of classic poetry).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Maiden Project of RHAPSODIZE!
Now Live on the Internet Archive

Eclectic Rhapsody I

Featuring the poetry of Wilfred Owen, John Gillespie Magee, John Keats, Dante, Alfred Tennyson, Lewis Carroll, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Homer, Hesiod, and Horace.

Performed by rhapsodes:

Gerard Sutcliffe, Martin Geeson, Carol Box, Caprisha Page, & Bob Gonzalez

This maiden project will continue to expand throughout 2012.


RHAPSODIZE! Catalog Page

RHAPSODIZE! is a classic poetry performance initiative that seeks to popularize rhapsodies (performances of classic poetry) and cultivate rhapsodes (performers of classic poetry).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Leda and the Swan by W. B. Yeats

Performed by Bob González, rhapsode

Leda and the Swan by W. B. Yeats
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
                    Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
Poet Bio at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shakespearean Sonnet Celebration

A collection of 21 sonnets by William Shakespeare.

Visit the Internet Archive page to listen in streaming audio or to download all or selected files

Or click on any single sonnet to download now:

146 Poor Soul! The Centre
138 When My Love Swears
129 The Expense of Spirit
154 The Little Love God
73 That Time of Year
91 Some Glory In Their Birth
21 So Is It Not With Me
65 Since Brass Nor Stone
148 O Me, What Eyes Hath Love
123 No, Time, Thou Shalt Not Boast
71 No Longer Mourn For Me
33 Full Many a Glorious Morning
153 Cupid Laid By His Brand
103 Alack! What Poverty
63 Against My Love Shall Be
27 Weary With Toil
02 When Forty Winters
12 When I Do Count the Clock
15 When I Consider Everything
75 So Are You To My Thoughts
76 Why Is My Verse

These were recorded in April 2011 as part of a personal project in observance of U.S. Poetry Month. I memorized one poem per day, including all of these sonnets. I have been recording texts for LibriVox since May 2011 and when going back to these recordings I made as I studied and memorized these sonnets, I find that these have more vigor and polish than most of the poetry recordings (and other recordings) I made for LibriVox. I believe this is because I studied each of these sonnet intensively across an entire waking in order to perform them from memory in the evening. Consequently, I believe they are more "mine" than all of the LibriVox recordings I have made because, since the end goal is simply to record from a script, I do not "internalize" the texts to the degree I did when the end goal was performing from memory. This brings out an important consideration. Should I prepare all pieces as if I was going to perform them live from memory? Of course, many pieces would never come to be if they had to be performed this way - entire novels and anything of any significant length. Even shorter texts require exponentially more time to memorize than to read from a script. Is it possible to have the same vigor and passion in readings as from live performances from memory? I think the danger inherent in the live memorized piece can bring out the energy and vitality mostly absent from a piece read from a script. How could that danger be - or some equally effective equivalent - be introduced into readings?

In any case, I hope you enjoy listening to these as much as I enjoyed and benefited from them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

First Player's Speech from Hamlet

Audio Performance by Bob Gonzalez, rhapsode

A troupe of traveling players have come to Hamlet's castle at Elsinore. Prince Hamlet greets them with gusto, even beginning to recite a speech of Aeneas' tale to Dido he once heard the head of the troupe perform. After delivering a handful of lines with vigor, Hamlet then asks the First Player to continue from where he left off.

Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2, lines1542-1592

First Player

    'Anon he finds him
    Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword,
    Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
    Repugnant to command: unequal match'd,
    Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage strikes wide;
    But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
    The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
    Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
    Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash
    Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword,
    Which was declining on the milky head
    Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick:
    So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood,
    And like a neutral to his will and matter,
    Did nothing.
    But, as we often see, against some storm,
    A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
    The bold winds speechless and the orb below
    As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
    Doth rend the region, so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
    Arouséd vengeance sets him new a-work;
    And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
    On Mars's armour forged for proof eterne
    With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
    Now falls on Priam.
    Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
    In general synod  - take away her power;  [council]
    Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
    And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
    As low as to the fiends!'


    'But who, O, who had seen the mobled queen--'


First Player

    'Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames
    With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head [“blinding tears”][bandage]
    Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
    About her lank and all o'er-teeméd loins, [slender]
    A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;//
    Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
    'Gainst Fortune's state would treason have
    But if the gods themselves did see her then
    When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
    In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs,
    The instant burst of clamour that she made,
    Unless things mortal move them not at all,
    Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven, [yielding milk]
    And passion in the gods.'

This performance was created for an unabridged audio production of Hamlet now in progress on

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Four Sonnets - Shakespeare & Milton

I added four sonnets to my Rhapsode Rhapsody I  audio file on the Internet Archive. Just click on the title to hear the audio and click on the poet to read a biography.

Sonnet 19 by John Milton
When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
   And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
   My true account, lest He returning chide;
   "Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
   Either man's work or His own gifts. Who best
   Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
   And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
   They also serve who only stand and wait."

Sonnet 123 by William Shakespeare
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old;
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past,
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by thy continual haste.
This I do vow and this shall ever be;
I will be true despite thy scythe and thee.

Sonnet 154 by William Shakespeare
The little Love-god lying once asleep,
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warmed;
And so the General of hot desire
Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy,
For men diseased; but I, my mistress' thrall,
Came there for cure and this by that I prove,
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

Monday, April 30, 2012

"Little Trotty Wagtail" By John Clare

For the final day of National Poetry Month, a recording of a children's poem.

Audio Recording by Bob Gonzalez, rhapsode

Little Trotty Wagtail

Little trotty wagtail he went in the rain,
And tittering, tottering sideways he ne'er got straight again,
He stooped to get a worm, and looked up to get a fly,
And then he flew away ere his feathers they were dry.

Little trotty wagtail, he waddled in the mud,
And left his little footmarks, trample where he would.
He waddled in the water-pudge, and waggle went his tail,
And chirrupt up his wings to dry upon the garden rail.

Little trotty wagtail, you nimble all about,
And in the dimpling water-pudge you waddle in and out;
Your home is nigh at hand, and in the warm pig-stye,
So, little Master Wagtail, I'll bid you a good-bye.

 Poem-a-Day for National Poetry Month, April 2012 page on the Internet Archive. All 30 poems for the month are here for anyone to listen to in streaming audio and also to download.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Summer and Winter" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Audio recording by Bob González, rhapsode

Summer and Winter
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

It was a bright and cheerful afternoon,
Towards the end of the sunny month of June,
When the north wind congregates in crowds
The floating mountains of the silver clouds
From the horizon--and the stainless sky
Opens beyond them like eternity.
All things rejoiced beneath the sun; the weeds,
The river, and the cornfields, and the reeds;
The willow leaves that glanced in the light breeze,
And the firm foliage of the larger trees.

It was a winter such as when birds die
In the deep forests; and the fishes lie
Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes
Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes
A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,
Among their children, comfortable men
Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold:
Alas, then, for the homeless beggar old!

Friday, April 27, 2012

William Blake "To the Muses"

Poem for Saturday, April 28

Audio Recording by Bob González, rhapsode

To the Muses
by William Blake

Whether on Ida's shady brow,
         Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
         From ancient melody have ceas'd;

Whether in Heav'n ye wander fair,
         Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,
         Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
         Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
         Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

How have you left the ancient love
         That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!
         The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Nightingale by Sir Philip Sydney

Wednesday, April 25

Recording by Bob Gonzalez, rhapsode

[The nightingale]          
by Sir Philip Sidney
The nightingale, as soon as April bringeth
    Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,
While late bare earth, proud of new clothing, springeth,
    Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making,
    And mournfully bewailing,
Her throat in tunes expresseth
What grief her breast oppresseth,
    For Tereus' force on her chaste will prevailing.
O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,
That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness :
Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth ;
Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

Alas, she hath no other cause of anguish
    But Tereus' love, on her by strong hand wroken,
Wherein she suffering, all her spirits languish ;
    Full womanlike / complains her will was broken.
    But I, who daily craving,
Cannot have to content me,
Have more cause to lament me,
    Since wanting is more woe than too much having.
O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,
That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness :
Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth ;
Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rosalind's Madrigal by Thomas Lodge

My Poem-a-Day project continues with another classic poem recorded especially for  National Poetry Month, April 2012 .

Tuesday, April 24
Rosalind's Madrigal  by Thomas Lodge (1556?–1625)

To view all the classic poems I have recorded so far, visit my Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month - April 2012 page on the Internet Archive.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Matthew Arnold "Shakespeare"

In celebration of the birthday of William Shakespeare in 1564, a paean to Shakespeare by Victorian poet, Matthew Arnold.

Shakespeare by Matthew Arnold
Poet Bio

Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month, April 2012 page on the Internet Archive to hear all poems so far recorded this month.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A.E. Housman "The Immortal Part"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Immortal Part by A.E. Housman

Poet Bio

Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month, April 2012 page on the Internet Archive. Click here to listen to all 22 (so far) of the month's poems in streaming audio.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Joyce, Wordsworth, Watts, Chapman

Wednesday, April 18
All Day I Hear the Noise of Waters
by James Joyce
Poet Bio

Thursday, April 19
Written In March
by William Wordsworth
Poet Bio 

Friday, April 20

Horace Paraphrased
By Isaac Watts
Text (scroll to the very bottom)
Poet Bio

Saturday, April 21
A Coronet for his Mistress, Philosophy
By George Chapman
Poet Bio

Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month, April 2012 page on the Internet Archive
All my rhapsodic recordings of poems for the month of April 2012 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Clough, Rossetti, Yeats, & Lawrence

April 14
Say not the Struggle Naught Availeth
by Arthur Hugh Clough

April 15
A Dirge
By Christina Rossetti

April 16
Sailing to Byzantium        
by William Butler Yeats

April 17
By D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dekker, Campion & Browning

Poems for April 11, 12, & 13

Wednesday, April 11
Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes by Thomas Dekker
Poet Bio

Thursday, April 12
Blame Not My Cheeks by Thomas Campion
Poet Bio

Friday, April 13
Meeting at Night by Robert Browning

Poet Bio

Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month, April 2012 page on the Internet Archive
All my rhapsodic recordings of poems for the month of April 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Milton, Collins & Tennyson

New Audio recordings of poems for April 8, 9, & 10

Sunday, April 8
Sonnet 23 by John Milton
Audio recording
Poet Bio

Monday, April 9
Ode - How Sleep the Brave by William Collins
Audio recording
Poet Bio

Tuesday, April 10 
from In Memoriam - Dark House by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Audio recording
Poet Bio

These recordings are part of my personal rhapsodic project for Poetry Month, April 2012. A different classical poem, new to my repertory, for each day of the month, all collected here on this Internet Archive page.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poems for April 3 & 4

I am catching up to the day, so I have two new recordings of classic poems posted on the Internet Archive page I have created for this project. Click this link for the page with all recordings for the month: Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month - April 2012

The links to the texts of the poems and a poet bio at

April 3 - The Mower to the Glowworms by Andrew Marvell  text   poet bio

April 4 - A Lecture Upon the Shadow by John Donne  text   poet bio

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poem-a-Day for Poetry Month April 2012

This year for Poetry Month I am getting familiar with a new (for me) classic poem each day. I will be posting links to my audio performances of either a new poem every single day or every few days I will post the number needed to catch up with the days of the month. Today I am posting links to two poems, one for April 1st and April 2nd.

April 1 - Sonnet 25 by William Shakespeare

Text of poem
Poet Life & Times

April 2 - The Time I've Lost in Wooing by Thomas Moore

Text of poem at Poetry Out Loud
Bios of Thomas Moore:
Poetry Out Loud
Poem Hunter