10 Famous Poems Recited by Famous Actors

Recently, I stumbled across a video of Jake Gyllenhaal reading Wilfred Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est, a poem that is about how war is in no way glamorous.  He read the poem at a fundraiser to provide mental health services for soldiers suffering from PTSD. The event was called Words at War, and Gyllenhaal’s choice of words was more than fitting.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-dpxgDoVUw[/youtube]

This got me to thinking about other actors who have leant their voices to poetry that is, sometimes, even more famous than they are. Here are a few of my favorites:

Bill Murray reads to Construction Workers at Poet’s House

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj_LYsvGF0E[/youtube]

Emma Thompson reads “Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne 

(As seen in the HBO adaptation of Margaret Edson’s play Wit). 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND1-r3beO6k[/youtube]

Anthony Hopkins reads “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1fTlIsUGks[/youtube]

Tom Hiddleston reads Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6Q_Ioj6AhQ[/youtube]

Patrick Stewart reads “To Autumn” by John Clare 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7F-nEjSgwo[/youtube]

Glenn Close reads “I Like For You to be Still” by Pablo Neruda 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MRcHSztSwE[/youtube]

Bryan Cranston reads “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3dpghfRBHE[/youtube]

Sophie Okonedo reads “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAFnhJojMYY[/youtube]

And not a poem, exactly, but a relatively recent reading by an actor who can make the phone book sound good –

Benedict Cumberbatch reads a love letter.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQgL7iuhL4I[/youtube]

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