A graduate of the Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England, Jeremy Northam has played many roles, including that of Saint Thomas More in Showtime's 'The Tudors'. The son of two professors, he is perfectly cast to read a poet whose best-loved works include 'That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and the comfort of the Resurrection.' Difficult lines come trippingly off his tongue. This, for instance from 'Windhover': 'daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon . . .' There are 38 poems, each beautifully wrought. I'm a middlebrow, though, and favour a prose setting for poetry. I need context, and I need to come up for air. The only way I could draw nectar from these flowers was to pick one poem and play it over and over again.
To read Hopkins's poetry aloud, you have to be sensitive to all his chiming alliteration, assonance and idiosyncratic rhythm, and yet allow the poet's own voice to be heard. Jeremy Northam does just that, giving the listener the essence of Hopkins: the 'dearest freshness deep down things'