Video: Wynton reading The Wild Old Wicked Man

Posted on April 21st, 2008 in Video | Tags: poetry, william butler yeats

On December 18, 2007, PBS taped Wynton at Rose Hall reading William Butler Yeats’ The Wild Old Wicked Man.

The Poetry Foundation, undertook this project in order to expose a diverse audience to a broad spectrum of poetic voices, build an appreciation and an audience for poetry, and increase the presence of poets and poetry within the two most ubiquitous media in American popular culture–the Web and TV. In addition to presentation on this Web site, the videos will appear on local public television stations at unexpected moments during their broadcast schedules.

Wynton Marsalis lists William Butler Yeats as his favorite poet. He says, “Like all the greatest artists, Yeats never got locked into one time. Instead, he addresses all ages and times. In a few words, with intense lyricism like Lester Young’s or Miles Davis’s, Yeats captures how one thing leads to another thing leads to another thing, and the relationships between them. Like, ‘An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick.’ If you really let that into your mind, it’ll be a long time before you stop thinking about it.” W. B. Yeats was an Irish writer (1865-1939) who figured prominently in 20th century literature. In 1923 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature; although he is believed by many to have written his best work later. “The Wild Old Wicked Man” was written in 1938, the year before Yeats died.