View Full Version : The Hollow Men

11-24-2006, 06:15 PM
I've just returned from a successful recitation of "The Hollow Men" at my school's annual poetry reading contest. Reactions to the poem were mixed, ranging from great enthusiasm (thankfully, from the judge), to general boredom and bemusement.

What do you think of this poem? Does it move you, or are you left with a feeling that it's just pretentious, pessimistic and somewhat dull?

Also, if you like it, how would you present it?
I went roughly (in overall tone)
I. Monotonous and 'dry'
II. Foolhardy and slightly rushed
III. Afraid and confused
IV. Terrified and angry
V. Normal voice: contemplative and thoughtful, but gradually getting quieter and less enthusiastic, proceeding to mumble and 'whimper' the "Thine is/Life is/..." bit.
Italics Voice: Staring directly at the audience and reading slowly with a deep voice.

01-05-2007, 12:19 AM
This is my favorite poem. It's incredibly moving because it's so complex. I think it should be done by more than one voice. Well, not by more than one person, more like when it breaks in and out of prayer. For example "For thine is..." should be bold, struggling. "Life is" whispered, quick, paranoid. Does that make sense? It's an unwanted interruption. Maybe make the interruptions sound like the actual hollow men, like their ideas are getting into his head.

Maybe I'm just crazy. lol

Also in the "between the... " section, there must be diversity between the compared ideas.

01-31-2007, 12:14 AM
An excellent poem - notable for it's relative "simplicity" (when compared to some of Eliot's other masterworks). I like how the poem "resonates" against a reading of Conrad's Heart of Darkness.