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It's kind of amazing how melodious and chilled-out (okay, and a bit cheesy) this guy makes the poem sound. It's cool to see how many people love Poe's work and keep finding ways to reinterpret it.
This one's definitely emphasizing the craziness of the poem. Wait until you see the makeup.
On the award-winning site Knowing Poe, you can play with the sound of "The Bells." Select a male reader or a female one. Select either a monotone or emotional reading, and even add sound effects. Enjoy.
Just… awesome. Famous Shakespearean actor Basil Rathbone reads the poem. We can't imagine anyone doing it better. He captures the weird, pompous sound of the words and the insanity lying under it all.
The great Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote a symphony based on a Russian translation of "The Bells." This is the first part of it (for the silver bells), and we think it's great.
Listen to a musical chorus sing the creepiest stanza about the iron bells and the ghouls.
Some of these are okay (we kind of like #10 by JCM, #11 by JM, and #14 by LV). Others are just embarrassing (like #8 read by GC). #16 by PH even sounds like Dracula reading the poem.
Listen to the cheerful sound of some sleigh bells.
We're not sure if these bells are golden (they probably aren't), but they're definitely wedding bells.
Listen to this cool antique brass bell.
Feeling scared yet?
Photos and Pics
An appropriately creepy painting by the French artist Edmund Dulac, this is from a 1912 illustrated edition of Poe's poems called The Bells and Other Poems.
We think it works. Apparently he's going to be in a movie about Poe called The Raven. You can bet we'll be there, opening night.
This page gives a list of many different versions and separate printings of the poem. It's fun to poke around in the early versions and see how the poem changed. Actually, this whole website (the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore) is packed with great information about Poe.
There's plenty of good information about Poe. If you happen to be in Richmond, VA, you should stop by and check them out.
An all-around cool Poe site. Don't miss it.