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The Waste Land
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The Waste Land - BP Poetry > The Waste Land Conference Call

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim | 3056 comments Mod
Our reading and discussion of T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land' begins on March 5th.

I want to do something a little different and begin it with a reading out loud on a conference call. Reading the poem takes about ½ hour – and then we can also talk about it.

I will either read the poem myself – OR IDEALLY – we’ll have some volunteers to do some of the reading. This is a poem with many voices – so it would be nice to have different voices.


I can be available on Thursday March 1 from 7:30-9:30 PM EST and/or on Sunday, March 4th, From 1:00-3:00 PM EST.

If we’re going to do this, I want to know that there are people besides me who will be on the call. That’s why it’s essential to sign up in advance. And indicate which time you do. We’re using Free Conference Call this time around, so it’s going to be necessary for you to live in the US.

1) If you’re going to be available for one or the other date – or both – and would be interested in participating in the call and discussing the poem, post your answer in The Waste Land Conference Call Discussion thread. Don’t forget to include which date (or both) will work for you.

2)If you’re willing to participate in reading out loud, also let me know. I’ll want to assign parts in advances.

I can read the poem – I’ve been practicing :-) – but it would be GREAT to have help because this is a poem with many speakers. It would be nice to hear different voices – in particular it would be very nice to hear women’s voices do women’s parts. If you’re interested in reading, let me know.



message 2: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 80 comments Bill, I'm really looking forward the the study of "The Wasteland." I can't make either of the conference calls: 7:30 is 4:30 for me, and I have church on Sunday mornings. I hope they go well; it would be fun.

message 3: by Bill (last edited Feb 23, 2012 03:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments I was thinking of you. But to make it early enough for you makes it late on the East Coast -- and I suspected Sunday morning would be easier for more people than in the afternoon. But we'll see. I'm hoping to get a better sense of who's signing up in the next few days.

Barbara (barbarasc) | 249 comments Hi Bill. I'm available on Thursday, March 1st for the conference call. I would love to volunteer for the reading, but as you know I've been having horrible headache issues, which have been making it difficult to focus. Even if I have an awful headache on Thursday, I can still participate in the conference call, but it would be difficult to do the reading.

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Great. And I hope you will be able to read.

message 6: by Annemarie (new)

Annemarie (ammonahan) | 4 comments Hi all... first post, newbie here. I could participate in the reading if it were the time on Thursday. I love Eliot, and this could be great fun!

Barbara (barbarasc) | 249 comments I hope so too. Although I have a feeling you're excellent at reading poetry out loud, so maybe everyone would "get" the poem better if you read all the parts!!

By the way, if Sunday works better for more people I can be available Sunday as well. My schedule is pretty flexible for conference calls any weekday evening and on the weekends the afternoon & evenings are usually fine. I have a deadline coming up, so I have not scheduled anything until I'm finished, but a 2 hour conference call is not going to set me behind on my deadline.

Barbara (barbarasc) | 249 comments Hi Annemarie!! We both posted at the same time, so my first line -- "I hope so to" was directed to Bill!!!

Welcome!!! I'm fairly new as well and The Waste Land is my first Brain Pain read.

I'm so glad you're available for the conference call!!

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Delighted to have you both. That would be great.

In general, women...

the hyacinth girl, the nervous woman, woman in pub & Lil, Elizabeth I, and Weiala -- which is from Gotterdammerung and usually listed as such.

message 10: by Liz (new)

Liz Sheppard (lizzys) | 10 comments Hi Bill, I'd love to be part of this, but live in the UK so is it impossible? (however my accent is more Molly Bloom than hyacinth girl..)

message 11: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Liz,

Ah. Are you Irish -- because I imagine that would be the most noticeable thing about Molly's speech.

I'd love to have you apart of this, I don't know the Free Conference Call will work. Let me check.

Also there's the time thing -- Thursday evening would be Friday morning for you. Sunday might work though.

I was tempted to do this with Skype. I was part of an international group reading Ulysses of all things, but we seemed to be constantly having technical difficulties -- and I'm no Skype expert.

Ellie (elliearcher) I'm excited about the reading-how are we doing the reading? It's been great re-reading the poem. It's one of those things that I love the music of it and the bits and pieces I can grab hold of even if the meaning as a whole completely escapes me.

message 13: by Liz (new)

Liz Sheppard (lizzys) | 10 comments Sunday would work for those of us on this side of the pond, it'll be our evening. Not sure how conference calls work but I'll try and find out too. And yes, I'm Irish, feel like I've died and gone to heaven reading Ulysses (and that's just the bits I understand....)

message 14: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Which also leads me to ask whether any people in the UK or Ireland (or anywhere else in Europe) are interested? We could try a skype call for you.

I'm not averse to doing more sessions because it's just a little more outloud practice for me and discussions with more people.

message 15: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 80 comments Thursday, March 1 will work fine for me. I was thinking it would be 4:30 a.m. Pacific time, but now I see it is p.m. I must learn to read. I could read a little bit of the female part, Bill, even the German. Do we have a tenor and some sopranos to sing the Wagner?

message 16: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 80 comments Ellie wrote: "I'm excited about the reading-how are we doing the reading? It's been great re-reading the poem. It's one of those things that I love the music of it and the bits and pieces I can grab hold of even..."

That's exactly how I feel about it, Ellie.

message 17: by Annemarie (new)

Annemarie (ammonahan) | 4 comments Don't ask me to sing, or everyone will regret it deeply.

message 18: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments I've been working on the Wagner. At least I'm a tenor. :-)

You've definitely got the Bin gar keine Russin' line. Would you consider Marie -- and I'd do her with a light Austrian/German accent -- or not. Either way.

I'd love to have three sopranos for Weiala. :-) I found the tune for Mrs. Porter -- All I need is a group of Aussie soldiers.

Mrs. Porter and her daughter were not washing their feet. :-)

message 19: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 80 comments Well, they orter.

message 20: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 80 comments Bill wrote: "I've been working on the Wagner. At least I'm a tenor. :-)

You've definitely got the Bin gar keine Russin' line. Would you consider Marie -- and I'd do her with a light Austrian/German accent -- o..."

Yes, I'll do both of those. Early and brief suits me fine.

Whitney | 326 comments Will this be recorded and available for people who can't make it?

message 22: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Sigh. I don't know. I'll have to buy recording equipment tomorrow, get by Thursday and figure out how to use it. I was waiting to get a sense of how many people would show up before doing it.

I am willing to do more conference calls if I can get enough people to sign up. Whitney, if you can't do it either Thursday evening or Sunday, what times work well for you?

message 23: by Bill (last edited Feb 26, 2012 07:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Annemarie

Great. Will you read if you won't sing? :-)(Much less Wagner)

Traveller (moontravlr) I don't think I'll manage to make the conference calls, (and would therefore rather not commit) but being able to listen to a recording would be great!

message 25: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Too bad, Traveller. :-(

Most people are signing up for Thursday evening -- so I may do another one at another time.

Tell me here or email me what might be good for you.

Whitney | 326 comments I think I can make the discussed times (so NOT a reader), but was thinking about those who can't. And posterity.

message 27: by Bill (last edited Feb 26, 2012 01:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Ah. Posterity. :-)

Well, I'm thinking a phone call recorded relatively unrehearsed might not best serve posterity.

I am wondering about what I can do in New York in finding some actors who are willing to work for the credits and posting on You Tube. That might take a while though.

message 28: by Liz (new)

Liz Sheppard (lizzys) | 10 comments Yes, I'm up for a skype reading. Anyone else?

message 29: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments Okay people.

I just signed up for free conference

AND free conference call

Both these services so far as I can figure out allow recording

I'll email the numbers SOOO if we're not friends -- friend me. I don't particularly want to post the number and access code.

message 30: by Annemarie (new)

Annemarie (ammonahan) | 4 comments Yes, I'll read. Tell me what I ought to practice.

message 31: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments We'll see who shows up on the night.

What I'm all the women to do is consider reading any of the specifically women's parts.

1) Laurel is specifically doing Bin gar keine russin' and Marie


I'm particularly interested in female voices for

Part I

2) The hyacinth girl (2 lines)

3) Madame Sosotris

Part II

This requires a little acting. :-)

3) The nervous woman line 114-135

She doesn't have all those lines -- just the ones in quotes.

"My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me."

4) The woman in the bar talking to Lil about buying teeth. This will probably work best if you can do with a cockney accent.

Part III

5) Weilala etc. This is actually Wagner, but I'm willing to forgo the singing and three-part harmony. Ideally, three women in unison.

6) Queen Elizabeth -- Richmond and Kew bore me approx 291

Part IV

This is straight narrative -- it could be read by anyone -- but it's short and I'd like a little relief between parts III and V.

We'll talk more on the night.

Barbara (barbarasc) | 249 comments Hi Bill,

I'm so sorry I can't make it to the conference call tonight. I'm still pretty sick (actually, more sick than I realized I was!!!)

Are you still planning a Sunday call? I'm so disappointed about missing tonight's call, so I hope there's another one. Are you still doing it on Sunday? Even if there's another one next Thursday night (or any evening), that would be great.

message 33: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 80 comments Excellent conference call, Bill. Thank you!

message 34: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments At this point I'm absolutely planning to do Sunday at 1 PM EST -- but I'll be using a different number.

message 35: by Liz (new)

Liz Sheppard (lizzys) | 10 comments Glad to hear it went well. How did it work, Bill did you read it all or did anyone else read parts? I'm looking forward to the Sunday one.

message 36: by Lily (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily (joy1) | 350 comments Laurele wrote: "Excellent conference call, Bill. Thank you!"

I'll second that motion! And encourage others who possibly can to join the Sunday call!

Liz -- Bill both "read it all" and had others read parts. He also led discussion. A fascinating experience to contrast with what we do silently and in writing on these boards.

Whitney | 326 comments Sorry I missed it, I will make an effort to join in Sunday. Were there any issues with cell phones?

Bill, are these calls removing money from your pocket, and if so is there some way the rest of us can pony up a bit?

message 38: by Bill (last edited Mar 02, 2012 12:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments I'm sorry if I was confusing. There are no problems with cell phones. When I tried recording, I found the land line clearer. But I don't think we'll be recording anything.

The thing about free conference is that it's free. People pay for the call but not the conference.

Because people typically have accounts with unlimited minutes, it's free for them also. So call in with a number that has unlimited (or at least lots :-) ) of minutes.

Barbara (barbarasc) | 249 comments I am SO HAPPY that you're having another conference call tomorrow (Sunday, March 4th). I was so disappointed that I missed the Thursday night call, so I am absolutely planning on being there tomorrow. I've been reading the poem out loud to myself, and I even went to YouTube and heard the version of T.S. Eliot reading the poem. Bill, you were not kidding when you said he can NOT read poetry. That version was SO BAD that I had to turn it off before Part 1 was finished!!!

I'm looking forward to the conference call. Thanks for doing all this, Bill!!!!

Barbara (barbarasc) | 249 comments The conference call today (Sunday) was great!! Thank you, Bill!! It made a huge difference for me to hear you read The Waste Land, and I thought your reading of it was fantastic.

And as for the four other women from Brain Pain who were on the call, it was great to "meet" all of you via the phone!!

Bill, your knowledge of T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, and literature and poetry in general is fantastic, and I really appreciate that you're sharing your incredible knowledge with all of us!!

I'm so glad the discussion of The Waste Land begins tomorrow!! After today's call, I'm ready to move forward and keep learning this poem!!

message 41: by Liz (new)

Liz Sheppard (lizzys) | 10 comments I second the above! Thank you very much Bill. Hearing you read The Waste Land aloud also made a huge difference to me, the poem really came to life. I'm looking forward to studying it.

Ashley | 55 comments I third :) It did help bring the poem to life, as Liz said, and it also helped make the distinctions among the various voices.

Whitney | 326 comments I'll ditto all that, as it seems to be the thing to do ;)

message 44: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (BillGNYC) | 443 comments I'm delighted it helped. Thank you all for your lovely words.

Okay -- on to The Waste Land boards. Charge!

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