Bill Murray Reads Wallace Stevens Poems — “The Planet on The Table” and “A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts”

On June 11th, Poets House host­ed The 17th Annu­al Poet­ry Walk Across the Brook­lyn Bridge. The event fea­tures “read­ings of the poet­ry of Walt Whit­man, Mar­i­anne Moore, Langston Hugh­es and oth­er greats,” all in order to raise funds for the New York City non-prof­it ded­i­cat­ed to cul­ti­vat­ing a wider audi­ence for poet­ry. And the event is reg­u­lar­ly attend­ed by the great­est cin­e­mat­ic sup­port­er of Poets House — the actor Bill Mur­ray.

In 2001, Mur­ray took part in the fes­tiv­i­ties and read three poems: Sarah Man­gu­so’s “What We Miss,” Cole Porter’s “Brush Up,” and Bil­ly Collins’ “For­get­ful­ness.” (Click links to see the read­ings.)  This year, he returned and delight­ed the audi­ence with a read­ing of two poems by Wal­lace Stevens: “The Plan­et on The Table” and “A Rab­bit as King of the Ghosts.”

But if you’re look­ing for my favorite read­ing, then I’ll steer you back to 2009, when Mur­ray read poems by Bil­ly Collins, Lorine Niedeck­er and Emi­ly Dick­in­son to con­struc­tion work­ers build­ing the new home for Poets House. It’s a charm­ing, very Bill Mur­ray moment.

Find more poet­ry in our col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books.

h/t @webacion

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Comments (3)
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  • Nick says:

    Cut­lery clank­ing on crock­ery. A ter­ri­ble inven­tion.

  • Shelley says:

    This may be my favorite post of the day on the Inter­net. As some crit­ic com­ment­ed, we can nev­er tell if that look on Bill Mur­ray’s face is going to resolve into humor, res­ig­na­tion, or despair!

  • Don McDonald says:

    Thanks for a thought­ful read­ing. “The Plan­et on the Table” is a superb sum­ming up of the mean­ing of a life whose chief dimen­sion was poet­ry. Haunt­ing.

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