Impeccable Diction – Dylan Thomas Reading Fern Hill

Diction is articulation of consonant sounds. Consonants make speech clear, crisp and intelligible. I am so grateful to Arthur Lessac of The Lessac Institute for the training in diction he gave me. I realize that my speech is very easy for listeners to understand because of the Lessac Method I know and teach.

Not many people in today’s world speak with impeccable diction, so when I hear good diction, I pay attention. Last week, while driving around town, listening to the local classical radio station, I heard a recording of Dylan Thomas reading his poem Fern Hill. This audio was recorded at Carnegie Hall’s 3rd floor recording studio in 1952.

Not only is Dylan Thomas’s voice arresting and dramatic, but his diction is impeccable! I have rarely heard someone who was not trained by Lessac speak with such perfect diction. Listen to this recording and take note how every consonant is articulated clearly. Notice you can understand every word as he reads.

While his style is overly dramatic for modern speech, his diction provides a great pronunciation lesson.  If you want to develop better diction, get a copy of the poem Fern Hill, listen a few times to Thomas read, and then practice reading aloud articulating the consonants as he does.

Dylan Thomas Reads Fern Hill

If you are a native English speaker who has been accused of mumbling, practice reading Fern Hill. If you are a non-native English speaker, do the same. If you’d like to learn better diction for clear speaking or for accent reduction, please reach out to me by phone or email.


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