From classic writing, I thought I’d go with The Raven, by
Edgar Allan Poe.
So why this poem for the first animal challenge? Because it is another classic piece (written
in 1845) and combines an audiobook style with the chance to enhance it with the
sounds of a raven.
The text can be found on Bartleby.com, whilst an audio recording read by Christopher Walken can be heard on SoundCloud.
Let’s look at the words first. According to the Wikipedia entry, the raven ‘visits a distraught lover, tracing man’s slow
fall into madness’. The story itself is
a supernatural journey of torment. Add
to this its complex rhythm and meter combined with with internal rhymes, there’s
a lot to work on here.
The other part is of course, the animal noises. Not only is the raven ever-present, it speaks
in human tongue, crying out “Nevermore”. You can hear how different the raven sound is compared to the caw of the crow. They are in fact incredibly talented at producing voices,
which I wasn’t expecting! There’s even a clip of a Raven saying “Nevermore”!