James Henry and the Echo

As part of the LibriVox London get-together this weekend, we sauntered along to Greenwich, to record in the foot tunnel which runs under the Thames. We hadn’t planned it in advance, and simply took along a giant book of poetry to dip into. My dips were pretty random, but I’m most happy with how one particular poem came out — an untitled piece by James Henry. Google was determined to tell me all about Henry James but, no, I am not that much of a dolt … and when I titled JH ‘poet’, he popped up in Wikipedia readily enough.

James Henry (13 December 1798 – 14 July 1876) was an Irish classical scholar and poet.

At its best his poetry has something of the flavour of Robert Browning and Arthur Hugh Clough while at its worst it resembles the doggerel of William McGonagall. His five volumes of verse were all published at his own expense and received no critical attention either during or after his lifetime.

Could be my new favourite poet. The piece I recorded had more of the Browning than the McGonagall, not that McG isn’t very dear to my heart too!

I’d love to go back and work with the echo more, now that I have something of a feel for how it records … but … that’s probably not practical in the near future. This will have to do for the time being, unrehearsed and unedited as it is.



  • The effect of the tunnel is really interesting, it would be fun to do a collection of poems recorded in different locations, where the location and background noise interact with the text and reading…

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