Readersforum's Blog

February 9, 2013

Richard Burton Reads John Donne’s Poem “The Flea”

by Maria Popova

Though beloved poet John Donne’s exact date of birth remains unknown, it is believed to be between January 24th and June 19th, 1572. As inconveniencing as this flexibility might be for history’s exacting annals, it gives us the luxurious five-month elasticity of choosing when to celebrate his birth. Like, for instance, today: In this beautiful recording, found in the altogether fantastic collection Richard Burton Reads the Poetry of John Donne, the celebrated Welsh actor and Academy Award winner reads Donne’s poem “The Flea,” originally recorded in the 1960s but only released posthumously in 2009, a quarter century after Burton’s death. Inhale and enjoy:

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