October 31, 2014 by Ray Yanek
A few years ago, a student of mine brought in a CD (remember those days?) that had an audio recording of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. As if that wasn’t wonderful enough, the poem was narrated by none other than actor Christopher Walken.
I loved it. With Walken, you never know what you’re going to get. Plus, he has that unique voice, a voice where a little bit of instability seems to drip from the edges. Add in the haunting sounds in the background, and Poe’s poem becomes even more atmospheric, moody, and dark.
But of course I ended up losing the disc and could never find a new copy–until the internet came to save the day.
So for your first audio treat on Halloween, here’s a link to a YouTube clip of Walken reading Poe’s The Raven. I think you’ll like it.
While searching for that link, I also came across several other audio readings of The Raven. The one that caught my eye was a reading by James Earl Jones. Is there really more that needs to be said? Deep, sonorous, and emotive, his voice is another highly fitting for Poe’s poem. Give it a watch— and no, the Raven doesn’t tell the narrator that he is his father–smart ass…
And then, after hearing James Earl Jones’s version, I was reminded of another version of The Raven that I used to show in class and still watch every now and then just because it’s so damn good. It’s The Simpson’s version of the poem from one of the show’s Treehouse of Horror episodes. James Earl Jones is, of course, the narrator here also.
That does it for the virtual trick or treats. I hope you enjoyed them and really hope you have a great Halloween.
Be safe, have fun and Happy Halloween!
If you missed the other Halloween treats go check them out!