In the Voice of Robin Williams, Impressionist Jim Meskimen Reads an Elegy for the Departed Comedian

We’ve previously featured the impressionist work of Jim Meskimen on Open Culture, particularly his fab reading of a monologue from Shakespeare’s Richard III in 25 celebrity voices. It includes everyone from Woody Allen to Jack Nicholson to Droopy Dog. Today he returns on a more solemn occasion. In the voice of Robin Williams, Meskimen reads a poem he wrote to the dearly departed comedian. You can watch it above. His poem appears below:

IN MEMORY OF ROBIN WILLIAMS

by Jim Meskimen

THEY DIDN’T BURN ALL THE PIANOS
WHEN FREDRICK CHOPIN DIED

DIDN’T OUTLAW OIL PAINTS
WHEN PICASSO TOOK HIS FINAL RIDE

NO ONE PUT A STOP TO BASEBALL
WHEN MICKEY MANTLE’S TIME WAS UP

OR BANNED ALL RUSSIAN NOVELS
WHEN TOLSTOY WENT BELLY UP

ON SHAKESPEARE’S DEATH, NOBODY SAID
“NOW HATH ARRIVED THE DAY–

FROM THIS POINT HENCE LET NONE DARE
PUT FORTH PEN TO WRITE A PLAY!”

WE CELEBRATE WHAT’S LEFT
BY THE DEPARTED, IT’S OUR CHOICE

YET IT DOES SEEM SACRILIGEOUS
TO DO ROBIN WILLIAM’S VOICE

A VOICE THAT WAS DESIGNED TO SOOTHE,
SOFT, DEEP TONES TO RESONATE

AND CASCADE GENTLY OUTWARD
FROM BEHIND A SMILING FACE

A VOICE THAT COULD ACCELERATE
TO CATCH UP WITH THE MIND

LIKE SHIFTING INTO OVERDRIVE
TO NOT GET LEFT BEHIND

A VOICE THAT COULD CHANGE CHARACTER
LIKE SECONDS ON A CLOCK

OR HIJACK NATIONALITIES
FOR A SPIN AROUND THE BLOCK

SHIFT AGE, SHIFT VIEWPOINT, SHIFT I.Q.,
WHATEVER’S NOT NAILED DOWN

DESTROY, REBUILD, DESTROY AGAIN,
A FORMIDABLE CLOWN

WE’LL HEAR THIS VOICE IN FUTURE TIMES
IN RERUNS ON TV,

IT WILL OCCUPY THE WORLD WIDE WEB
LIVE ON, DIGITALLY

WE’LL HEAR ITS ECHOES COME
FROM OTHER MOUTHS AND OTHER LIPS

IN TRIBUTES AND HOMAGES, AND,
LIKE PSYCHEDELIC TRIPS

WE’LL THINK THE OWNER’S BACK AGAIN
WITH HIS FAMILIAR SOUND

BUT THEY’LL ALL BE IMITATIONS–
JUST AN AUDIBLE REBOUND

NEW JOKES AREN’T IN THE PIPELINE NOW,
NOT THAT THE WELL WENT DRY-

BUT THE JESTER WHO POSSESSED THIS VOICE
JUST CHOSE TO SAY GOODBYE

WITH THE WEALTH OF JOY HE LEFT US
WE SHOULD PROBABLY REJOICE

BUT IT’S HARD TO TO GRASP WE LOST THE GUY
WHO USED TO HAVE THIS VOICE.

RIP ROBIN.



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  • Joshua

    This is absolutely heart renderingly beautiful!

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