Hear Bill Murray’s Favorite Poems Read Aloud by Murray Himself & Their Authors

I’d be wary of any movie star who invites me to his hotel room to “read poet­ry” unless said star was doc­u­ment­ed poet­ry nut, Bill Mur­ray.

Ear­li­er this year, Leigh Haber, book edi­tor of O, The Oprah Mag­a­zine, reached out to Mur­ray to see if he’d share some of his favorite poems in cel­e­bra­tion of Nation­al Poet­ry Month. In true Mur­ray-esque fash­ion, he wait­ed until dead­line to return her call, sug­gest­ing that they meet in his room at the Car­lyle, where he would recite his choic­es in per­son.

Such celebri­ty shenani­gans are unheard of at the Chateau Mar­mont!

Murray’s favorite poems:

What the Mir­ror Said” by Lucille Clifton

At the top of the page, Mur­ray reads the poem at a ben­e­fit for New York’s Poets House, adopt­ing a light accent sug­gest­ed by the dialect of the nar­ra­tor, a mir­ror full of appre­ci­a­tion for the poet’s wom­an­ly body. Clifton said that the “germ” of the poem was vis­it­ing her hus­band at Har­vard, and feel­ing out of place among all the slim young coeds. Thus­ly does Mur­ray posi­tion him­self as a hero to every female above the age of … you decide.

Oat­meal” by Gal­way Kin­nell

Kin­nell, who sought to enliv­en a drea­ry bowl of oat­meal with such din­ing com­pan­ions as Keats, Spenser and Mil­ton, shared Murray’s play­ful sen­si­bil­i­ty. In an inter­view con­duct­ed as part of Michele Root-Bernstein’s World­play Project he remarked:

… it doesn’t seem like play at the time of doing it, but part of the whole con­struct of the work, and even though the work might be extreme­ly seri­ous and even morose, still there’s that ele­ment of play that is just an insep­a­ra­ble part of it.

I Love You Sweat­h­eart” by Thomas Lux

Mur­ray told O, which incor­rect­ly report­ed the poem’s title as “I Love You Sweet­heart” that he expe­ri­enced this one as a vibra­tion on the inside of his ribs “where the meat is most ten­der.” It would make a ter­rif­ic scene in a movie, and who bet­ter to play the lover risk­ing his life to mis­spell a term of endear­ment on a bridge than Bill Mur­ray?

Famous” by Nao­mi Shi­hab Nye

Alas, we could find no footage of Nye read­ing her love­ly poem aloud, but you can read it in full over at The Poet­ry Foun­da­tion. It’s easy to see why it speaks to Mur­ray.

via O, The Oprah Mag­a­zine

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bill Mur­ray Reads Poet­ry at a Con­struc­tion Site: Emi­ly Dick­in­son, Bil­ly Collins & More

Bill Mur­ray Reads Great Poet­ry by Bil­ly Collins, Cole Porter, and Sarah Man­gu­so

Bill Mur­ray Gives a Delight­ful Read­ing of Twain’s Huck­le­ber­ry Finn (1996)

Bill Mur­ray Reads Poet­ry at a Con­struc­tion Site: Emi­ly Dick­in­son, Bil­ly Collins & More

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Her play Zam­boni Godot is open­ing in New York City in March 2017. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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