Battle of Voices

If you know anything about Thomas Stearns Eliot, you know he was born in St. Louis. As an adult he moved to London and eventually became a British citizen. In the following audio I found on YouTube, he sounds more British than American:

The accent sounds totally Midwestern, right? Sure it does.

Compare the voice of T. S. Eliot with that of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, another modernist, reading “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”:

The resonant baritone of Dylan Thomas makes T. S. Eliot sound like Alfalfa’s (crooner from The Little Rascals) great-grandfather doing an impersonation of an old man. Eliot’s nasally voice is fitting for a character like Prufrock, and Thomas’ richer voice makes his elegiac villanelle sound even more impressive than it appears on the page. I like them both, but I have to say I prefer Dylan’s voice, the original Dylan (and I like the voice of Bob Dylan, too, who took his moniker from Dylan Thomas).

Here is a sample of Bob Dylan’s unique vocal stylings:

Did you notice Allen Ginsberg in the background? And how does the voice of the American Dylan compare with the Welsh poet’s voice? Bob Dylan’s voice is on the nasally side like Eliot’s, but more sneering than whining. So, between the three, I go with Dylan Thomas, then Bob Dylan, then T. S. Eliot. How would you rank them?

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