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"The Bells," read by Helen Atkinson Wood

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In this episode we celebrate the anniversary of Poe’s well-known poem “The Bells,” written in May 1848 and published posthumously in 1849. The Bells describes the cycle of adult life, from excitement to joy, to fear and ultimately to the sorrow and somberness of death.

Our celebration today features a performance from Baltimore’s Charm City Bronze Handbell Ensemble, and concludes with a very special reading of the The Bells by the renowned British actor Helen Atkinson Wood.

Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Beau Lochte, the Charm City Bronze Handbell Ensemble’s arrangement of Erik Satie’s "Gymnopedie Number 1" features a distinctive sound of bells ringing then being submerged in bowls filled with water, creating a dizzying "bending" of the pitch.

Our featured performance is a reading of The Bells by noted British actor Helen Atkinson Wood. Ms. Wood is an actor and presenter best known for creating the character of Mrs. Miggins, in the classic BBC comedy Blackadder.

A West End stage actor and presenter as well, Helen Atkinson Wood has been twice nominated by the British Comedy Awards as Best Female Comedy Performer. She is also an award-winning travel writer.

Poe Theatre on the Air is produced by The National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre and distributed by WYPR.