E-Companion to How to Read an Oral Poem
Welcome to the e-companion to How to Read an Oral Poem by John Miles Foley (http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f02/foley.html). This resource provides photo, audio, video, and bibliographic support for the various chapters or "words" in that book. The site has been designed to offer examples and additional information that are best presented via the web, the kinds of materials that don't fit comfortably between the covers of a conventional book. In this sense we're trying to take advantage of both media -- book and web -- and to underline the kinship between oral poetry and the Internet (a subject discussed in HROP).
A few tips on how to use what you'll find here. To start, you can navigate most successfully with the book in one hand and your mouse in the other. The various materials can be located by clicking first on Table of Contents and then following the links. The individual items available include: a complete table of contents, photographs to illustrate the Four Scenarios, an audio clip of lines from Beowulf in the original Old English (to accompany the First Word), a video of Lynne Procope performing her slam poem, "elemental woman" (to accompany the Fourth Word), photos of slam poets performing at the Nuyorican (to accompany the Seventh Word), an audio recording of a healing charm from the Former Yugoslavia (with text and English translation, to accompany the Eighth Word), an original-language text and English translation of a healing charm (to accompany the Eighth Word), and an audio recording of The Widow Jana, an epic from the Former Yugoslavia (also with text and English translation, to accompany the Eighth Word). In addition, clicking on Annotated Bibliography will bring you a version of HROP's bibliography with each book and article summarized in a few sentences.
So much for the basic content of the e-companion. We will be adding materials and links as appropriate in the future, seeking to make the site an ever more useful resource for those interested in how to read an oral poem.
We welcome suggestions for additions, modifications, and other improvements to www.oraltradition.org. Oral tradition is a vast and complex phenomenon, and we need your help to make this site as useful as possible. Please send any feedback to John Foley.