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Doug Brandt - The Voice of Frieda Lawrence Reading DH's Poems

January 22, 2018 - Doug Brandt

Frieda Lawrence Rohr portrait

I think the saying goes something like this; the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know. Or something like that. As an undergraduate at Alfred University I can almost remember the day that the light inside me went on. The light that shines on all things human and the curiosity, my curiosity with how humans interact with one another and with the world at large. In DH Lawrence I discovered a voice that resonated with me. I didn't know it at the time but my favorite English professor at the university was a DH Lawrence scholar. And it was through him that I first began reading works by Lawrence. My hunger for reading and enjoying Lawrence exists to this day.

Thirty or so years ago I was helping my sister in law move into an apartment in Montclair NJ. While I was just beginning my adventure as an eventual father of 5 children, I had begun the habit of reading aloud to our small children the poetry of the British romantics right up to the post modernists. To this day I love being an orator and listening to poetry read aloud. While putting some things away in a dimly lit closet, I came across original LP recordings of Frieda Lawrence reading aloud selected poems of her late husband DH Lawrence, recorded at Candelario Records in Taos, New Mexico. Without hesitation my sister in law said I should hold on to them. I soon learned that the previous tenant was not the owner of the recordings nor could I get any information on where they might have come from. Over the last 30 years I have kept them as part of my personal book collection which now includes many of my favorite writers of books, essays and poetry.

Finally, as I had mentioned, my love of reading aloud the written word and giving voice to the vibrant words of poetry, I believe, continues and has always held a special place in our human world. So it is perfectly fitting and an honor to donate these recordings to the DH Lawrence Ranch Initiatives. For me, it feels like they have finally returned home. I can't wait to one day hear Frieda's voice capturing some essence of DH's poetic genius, while her voice tells its own story of the love they shared.

Doug Brandt