Transcript: Helen Keller – Song of the Stone Wall

For the weekly #authorstory feature at Blogger's World, 10th February 2016, I 
gave an impromptu reading selected verses from Helen Keller's 
'Song of the Stone Wall', published in 1910.
This is a transcript of the reading of this selection, as an abridged or condensedarrangement, maintaining the integrity of each selected verse with no omission of lines, words or phrases within each verse.
I made the audio recording to offer a taster or 'snapshot' of the full poem, whichis quite long for people with short attention spans. 
I also made this recording to perhaps assist accessibility in this one very small way for visually or cognitively impaired readers.
The transcript is provided for learners, for reading along with the audio file andhearing impaired people, who may be unable to access the spoken version in the    audio file.
There were a small few stumbles or stutters in my audio recording that have not 
been transcribed.
My introductory and closing remarks for the reading also have not been included inthis transcript, as there is similar written already on the blog post containing 
the audio file of my reading of this work:
    This document and the content at that post are copyright for personal and 
                              education use only (2016)

N.B: free online sources for the full text of this document are listed at the end of the transcripted selection.

Song of the Stone Wall, (published 1910) by Helen Keller (1880-1968)


With searching feet I walk beside the wall;
I plunge and stumble over the fallen stones;
I follow the windings of the wall
Over the heaving hill, down by the meadow-brook,
Beyond the scented fields, by the marsh where rushes grow.
On I trudge through pine woods fragrant and cool
And emerge amid clustered pools and by rolling acres of rye.
The wall is builded of field-stones great and small,
Tumbled about by frost and storm,
Shaped and polished by ice and rain and sun;
Some flattened, grooved, and chiseled
By the inscrutable sculpture of the weather;
Some with clefts and rough edges harsh to the touch.
Gracious Time has glorified the wall
And covered the historian stones with a mantle of green.
Sunbeams flit and waver in the rifts,
Vanish and reappear, linger and sleep,
Conquer with radiance the obdurate angles,
Filter between the naked rents and wind-bleached jags.



I understand the triumph and the truth
Wrought into these walls of rugged stone.
They are a miracle of patient hands,
They are a victory of suffering, a paean of pain;
All pangs of death, all cries of birth,
Are in the mute, moss-covered stones;
They are eloquent to my hands.
O beautiful, blind stones, inarticulate and dumb!
In the deep gloom of their hearts there is a gleam
Of the primeval sun which looked upon them
When they were begotten.
So in the heart of man shines forever
A beam from the everlasting sun of God.
Rude and unresponsive are the stones;
Yet in them divine things lie concealed;
I hear their imprisoned chant:—



The apple-tree by the wall sheds its blossom about me—
A shower of petals of light upon darkness.
From Natures brimming cup I drink a thousand scents;
At noon the wizard sun stirs the hot soil under the pines.
I take the top stone of the wall in my hands
And the sun in my heart;
I feel the rippling land extend to right and left,
Bearing up a receptive surface to my uncertain feet;
I clamber up the hill and beyond the grassy sweep;
I encounter a chaos of tumbled rocks.
Piles of shadow they seem, huddling close to the land.
Here they are scattered like sheep,
Or like great birds at rest,
There a huge block juts from the giant wave of the hill.
At the foot of the aged pines the maidens moccasins
Track the sod like the noiseless sandals of Spring.
Out of chinks in the wall delicate grasses wave,
As beauty grew out of the crannies of these hard souls.


I am kneeling on the odorous earth;
The sweet, shy feet of Spring come tripping oer the land,
Winter is fled to the hills, leaving snowy wreaths
On apple-tree, meadow, and marsh.
The walls are astir; little waves of blue
Run through my fingers murmuring:
We follow the winds and the snow!
Their heart is a cup of gold.
Soft whispers of showers and flowers
Are mingled in the spring song of the walls.
Hark to the songs that go singing like the wind
Through the chinks of the wall and thrill the heart
And quicken it with passionate response!
The walls sing the song of wild bird, the hoof-beat of deer,
The murmur of pine and cedar, the ripple of many streams;
Crows are calling from the Druidical wood;
The morning mist still haunts the meadows
Like the ghosts of the wall builders.

[The poem continues through to verse 24.]

This transcript is of the audio file, my reading excerpts, as a kind of abridged ‘taster’, for shorter attention spans, including mine. It is possible that even one visually impaired person might enjoy listening to a human voice rather than a software generated automatic voice.

The full text can be read or downloaded at the Gutenberg project (- where it can even be downloaded as a free Kindle file, or other sorts of text file options- the full document is in the public domain but please read the terms contained in the Gutenberg document for full detail of how these files may be used);

A sample of a different selection of four verses from the whole poem can be read online at AFB (American Foundation for the Blind).

Also a google Digitised book with pages you turn, presented virtually as if the paper book

Other resource links and further reading are provided on my post at Blogger’s World.




31 thoughts on “Transcript: Helen Keller – Song of the Stone Wall

  1. not sure was using the mobile app; not sure have it, think just using my browser, so idk, just have my phone; hub has a tablet, sorry you dropped and broke your screen, why hub always gets me a glass screen protector; poor hub’s having such a hard time with his laptop or I think it’s his, although I may be confused; our youngest son moved out week ago tonight but not sure if was allowed to take the laptop he at least did use to use more so when he was in school or not, since not sure was really using it that much or not; seems like he really likes using his phone with apps and all; anyway, hub had put an open source – which saw yesterday WP is, hm.. – software on but having a hard time with so been trying to put windows back on it? cause surely it’s on the other one that son was using – but something about the wifi won’t do, so he’s hardwired it in now but now he can’t use it where’d been so he’s just having a hard time.
    I want to read your author stories but I only saw one more; are they all on your personal site or mostly just on BW? that’s something I took away from the course only I called them Voyages of Discovery because they weren’t all so much about the author as about the works or more trails of – found something like it actually on a site as I was trying research some, really what got me back here, think must have gotten on some email lists about somebody’s big blogging academy that just led everybody right back here to WP, so why not just take their course, like we did.
    ironic, was going to say everybody works in short snippets these days, even as I feel I’m just so wordy, but have noticed that over in BW; maybe why yours caught my eye – was long, but I loved it.
    and true about FB, maybe too much so, thought they were actually cutting down, but interesting


  2. Oh, Collette, I don’t think anybody likes the sound of their own voice, another reason I really wanted you to know; not sure about vi needing to hear it, though, although maybe those who are just and are still relying on sight, just magnified; just remember the first time I saw a truly blind person using the computer with using something that it actually talked/read to them anyway, was fascinating; made me wonder if there was even still a need for braille and, no, I didn’t get good news but somehow was expecting that, since it had so long and I’d tried to call the head lady and could never get through to her, which had never happened before; they’ve changed the rules again – they’d already made me wait 6 months – the backlog was something separate, something about a delay in the award of the contract from the Library of Congress, which they’re now blaming this latest rule change on, which, in a way I’m actually kind of glad, gives me an excuse to call them – said I’d taken too many tries on at least my latest lesson, which, also, in the teacher change not sure if just part of the mass of confusion or what, had already had turn in an earlier lesson had already done rather than the one I’d been allowed to move onto but I was okay with that but now they’re not even counting it; that I’m not okay with, then besides that, they’re saying with the new rules they won’t even count it, that I basically have to go back and start all over, which I’m also not too happy with, especially when, to me, anyway, and I believe, at least according to the old rules, I’m not over their limit of mistakes anymore, but what really bothers me and has for a while, is some of what they’re calling mistakes I can not only not find – which is one issue, I’ve not really ever been able to discuss/find out what they’re supposed to be; I’m just somehow supposed to know, which maybe so, but another issue is they did actually change the rules of how you’re supposed to do things in the middle of it all, so, to me, anyway, that’s not helped any; not sure whose idea that was but I can understand; we Americans, in this, like so many other things, had been doing it our own way, so they finally decided to make it uniform with the rest of the world, so may have missed something somewhere that I wasn’t supposed to, maybe if I’d been able to get through out way first, but anyway….but some of them, again, at least according to what I think is the new way, and they’re supposed to have it all online now and I’ve looked at them, to me, at least I feel something’s in error on their part; not sure about this new teacher, but the old one said it’s pretty much automatically graded, not done by them personally, so who’s to say something not out of whack, with all these changes, with the software, but of course, that could never be, right? even though that’s exactly what our problem’s been, wasn’t it…..another thing, at least the other teacher was actually teaching a real class where they did/could help each other and she also actually helped them, gave them tips to make things easier, which she finally did for me as well, and I felt like it did, but it just seems like if you’re doing it distance/online they feel like you’re not supposed to have to have any of that, I don’t know – I do understand taking just more informal, self-led courses – I’ve done those as well and have seemed to be fine – are you including the blogging one in that – but this is something you can get an actual certification for that – idk – I’d just like to get – oh, also, when they redid everything, I also had to already redo everything I’d already done up to that point to, which was the first 4 lessons – so even though they say the course should take 18 mos., with that many modules, each one taking a month, well that would have added an extra 4 mos., then the other course they made me redo is another month, then the 6 mo. delay, makes almost a year delay, but guess doesn’t really matter, but still….guess see what happens tomorrow – but, still, nonetheless, it was so good to get this worked out and has been so good and so appreciative for what you’ve done for me


  3. okay, I don’t understand; I found your reply on my phone when I’d gone to that but not at 11:13 am today, because it’s not that time here yet; don’t know how they do their time things and replied to you on my phone as well, after, according to them, taking 2 hrs.? meandering my way around but getting it done – but, not to redo it here, back on my pc, where I don’t see any of it; do one’s 2 devices not sync? but just putting this here to see if you get back with me to let me know if you see what I put on my phone; just curious, just how does all this stuff work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that when you comment on my page it automatically logs UK time rather than your local time. If I comment on a post at your blog it will log the time of my comment as per time in your region. It does make it feel as if we time travel 🙂 I’m not sure what one of your comments might have been left from your phone but i think i replied to each one that I can see in my notifications. Hope that helps 🙂


      1. I think you must have found it, since you did give me that nice reply to my finally finding and hearing your reading – not sure if I’d already realized you were in UK, but definitely caught the accent, think may have made me especially self-conscious living down here in the southern US with not quite a southern drawl since not entirely native, but definitely different from you; did catch you commenting on Helen Keller being American; know you’ve moved on, saw another author post, but didn’t seem nearly so extensive as the one on her, so if you do have an especial interest in her, I do happen to live in the area where she’s from; wasn’t so much the time factor as the fact – and I still don’t think it’s on the pc – that what I put on one doesn’t automatically mean it’s on the other of my devices, but at least as long as it gets to you, guess all that really matters –
        just a fascinating thing to me, re the UK, ran across something on my FB I think about an ancient Roman mosaic being found in the ground when having a trench dug for underground electricity, at this guy’s place over there, turns out his whole place was on top of a Roman villa -sure wouldn’t/couldn’t have that happen here

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that if you’re using the mobile app it probably only holds the inputs you make via the app, although i’m not sure on that. I used the app when I first started wordpress while i only had a tablet. I dropped that smashing the screen and decided to get a laptop instead, so not used the app since. I’ve not studied Helen Keller since writing that post although i’ve been meaning to get back to reading more of her work. With all my authorstory posts they’ve been a learning journey for me in making them and not subjects I had much familiarity with before writing on them. A lot of readers at BW seemed to want shorter posts and sometimes I just don’t have the energy for researching for longer posts. One of Facebook’s most attractive features is the treasures of interesting content it sifts to our gaze 🙂


  4. hm, I have Windows 10; matter of fact, just got it not long ago, so would seem like definitely be compatible with a Windows 10 voice recorder software, which not even sure needed, but makes sense need more than “just” a microphone to record; I’ve wanted to work with “Librivox?” I think it is but I wonder if it’s the browser; it’s Edge and I’ve had issues with other things with it and had to download a different one but I have Chrome on my phone; think will try it with that; let’s see

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I have problems with a lot of websites when I use Edge, although some seem to work better there. All the distance learning sites I use recommend other browsers as some of their functions don’t work with Edge. Dunno why that is.


      1. So glad you understand about Edge, hadn’t even thought about that again even though been through it before, but, yea! Mission accomplished! After the meanderings of finding my way around with my phone, I know I could have just read them but I just really wanted to hear plus I just wanted to overcome this, tell you why in a min but first you have a very lovely voice and do read so well, think you would make a very good narrator, much prettier voice than think I have anymore, not sure I should still pursue that route, maybe just stick to transcribing, which have been trying to learn Braille to do but its been difficult and I’ve gotten discouraged plus also first learned through the fab but that’s not who actually certifies but job and they’re tough but have also just made some changes that I’ve had to redo lessons because of and change teachers as well since mines retiring then they had a backlog because of so I’d just gotten my last lesson back graded just as I ran across this, just been so scared to open it, afraid to see how badly I’d done even in thinking I understand, do you find that in your distance learning sites? But getting this accomplished has encouraged me, I’ll at least plan to open it now and see, thank you so much! For everything

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad you were able to hear them and thank you for your encouraging comments! I don’t like hearing my own voice but really felt an urgency to read the extracts from the texts for any visually impaired visitors who might happen along the post. I had to practise trying to brighten my voice and try not to drone 🙂 I tend to only do informal learning courses that are more self-led and don’t rely on grading and so can be taken slowly over time with less pressure. Hope you received good news when you opened yours. Thanks again 🙂


  5. okay, I found the blogcast category over in the sidebar, clicked it, it took me to where it was trying to get people to sign up to do certain things on certain days but I never could find any blogcasts in it or in the archives, so you sure there are any?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, not exactly sure what you did; didn’t really see link, but did see blogcasts when clicked on one here and was able to hear all them fine, but did you see yours then? has a label on it saying doesn’t support that type file – wish could still comment on them


      2. You’re welcome. In my browser screen (Chrome) there’s no label and the file plays ok – so I wonder if your operating system and/or browser are maybe incompatible with the windows10 voice recorder software used to make the files and maybe that’s why the file-type isn’t supported. I’m not sure if I can convert those files somehow to another file-type. When/if I can find a way of solving the issue I’ll let you know.

        I agree it would be nice to be able to comment on older posts at BW but the forum’s admin team decided ages ago to close comments on posts after 30 days. The only way to get round that now is to write your comment as a new post linking to the old post. That generates a pingback that displays in the comment section on the original post and that way the person who made the original post gets a notification of the pingback (if they’re still a member) and they (and other readers) then have the option of replying to your comments on the older post via your post’s comment section.


    1. I know they’re a meet-up for WordPress users/bloggers, but I don’t really know much about what goes on there. They’re recently starting to appear in my dashboard as being organised here in the UK too, although none so far in or around my city.


  6. I thought I’d already done this, but don’t see it, but is it showing 00.00 on both ends for you like with me? checked my speakers and the mute to make sure neither of those was the problem, but hub had said when it shows that means nothing there


  7. is it showing 00.00 at both ends? I just tried again, checked my speakers to be sure they were turned on, plugged in, checked the mute on the recording to be sure it wasn’t, but hub had said the other day with it showing the 0 at both ends meant there was nothing there, so is it showing that way for you?


    1. Yes, it displays like that in the post, [00:00 at both ends], but when I click the play button the file loads and plays. I’ve no idea why it won’t play for you. If it still doesn’t work for you at BW then I’ll make time during the next couple of days to find my files and upload them to my personal blog to see if you can listen to them from there instead.


      1. I appreciate it; I’ll keep trying in the meantime, but I just tried again to be sure before I posted that comment again; if I can figure out to delete it – if I can – I will; if not, if you can, feel free to but thanks so much

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey, Collette, just thought would let you know I tried again and I also tried – but can we not contact WP anymore; was that just during the class? seemed like had heard something about that somewhere else – actually how I came to come back here in the first place – do you remember how you even heard about the class? but I’ll still wait; this has gotten me eager to get back to your blog – and maybe others as I’m seeing our old classmates


      3. I found a way to contact admin to ask them if they knew anything about why I was having trouble; haven’t heard anything but saw this on your sidebar don’t remember seeing before; is it to you, have anything to do with anything? says the url is incorrectly configured

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think the config notice is something to do with when I tried to insert a widget to my sidebar and i never quite figured out how to correct it – so it’s trying to display a widget but I somehow configured my url wrong within the widget settings :s Apols for the delay with seeking out my audio files to reupload them – I can’t do that at this site as it’s on the free plan, but I have another one in the making that I pay premium on and can post audio there – it’s just a case of my finding the original files 😦 Are you able to play other audio files at BW, such as the blogcasts – is it a problem with all audio files there, or just mine?


Leap in, your comments and feedback are very welcome RSVP :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.