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By: Rudyard Kipling (1868-1936)

Book cover Kipling Reader

These are selections of Kipling's writings; some poems, some fiction, some history but all by the master storyteller himself. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi' -- William the Conqueror, Part I -- William the Conqueror, Part II -- Wee Willie Winkie -- A matter of fact -- Mowgli's brothers -- The lost legion -- Namgay Doola -- A germ-destroyer -- 'Tiger! Tiger!' -- Tods' amendment -- The story of Muhammad Din -- The finances of the gods -- Moti Guj, Mutineer.

Book cover Departmental Ditties and Barrack Room Ballads
Book cover The Years Between
Book cover The Seven Seas

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

The Fisherman and His Soul by Oscar Wilde The Fisherman and His Soul

”The Fisherman and his Soul” is a fairy tale first published in November of 1891 in Wilde’s “A House of Pomegranates”. It tells of a fisherman who nets and falls in love with a mermaid. But to be with her he must shed his soul, which goes off to have adventures of its own. Will forbidden love endure?

The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde The Ballad of Reading Gaol

In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to 2 years of hard labor for acts of ‘gross indecency’. During his time at Reading Gaol, he witnessed a rare hanging, and in the three years between his release and his untimely death in 1900, was inspired to write the following poem, a meditation on the death penalty and the importance of forgiveness, even for (and especially for) something as heinous as murdering one’s spouse; for even the murderer, Wilde argues, is human and suffers more so for being the cause of his own pain, for ‘having killed the thing he loved’; for everyone is the cause of someone else’s suffering and suffers at the hands of another...

Book cover Selected Poems of Oscar Wilde
Book cover Charmides and Other Poems

By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton The Ballad of the White Horse

An English epic poem that follows the exploits of Alfred the Great in his defense of Christian civilization in England from the heathen nihilism of the North. Following a string of defeats at the hands of the invading Danes, a vision from heaven in the river island of Athelney fills Alfred with joy and hope. Though it gives no promise of victory in the coming struggle, it inspires him to rally his chieftains for a last stand against the invading hordes. His adventures lead throughout the country...

Poems by G. K. Chesterton Poems

Originally published in 1916, this book of poetry by G.K. Chesterton includes 59 poems on a variety of subjects. Included in this are war poems, love poems, religious poems, ballades and more.

By: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott Flower Fables

Flower Fables is Louisa May Alcott’s first book, penned at 16 for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s daughter, Ellen.

Book cover Three Unpublished Poems

By: Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence

If you've watched and loved Winona Ryder playing the innocent May Welland in the 1993 film adaptation of Edith Wharton's sweeping novel about class-consciousness in nineteenth century America, you will certainly enjoy reading the original. Though Martin Scorcese's brilliant work was certainly true to the spirit of the original novel, no film can reproduce the charm of language and turn of phrase employed by one of America's greatest writers. The Age of Innocence was Edith Wharton's 12th novel and is located in familiar Wharton territory...

Book cover Artemis to Actaeon, and Other Verses

By: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe The Raven

When a modern film script draws inspiration from a poem written more than a century ago, readers can judge its impact on our collective imagination. Such is the resonance of the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. First published in 1845, "The Raven" is a masterpiece of atmosphere, rhythmic quality and use of language. Constructed in narrative form, it tells the story of a young man who is mourning the loss of his beloved. One December night as he wearily sits up browsing through a classical volume, a mysterious tapping against his window disturbs him...

Edgar Allan Poe Poems by Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe Poems

Best known for his scary tales, mystery and detective stories and imaginative fantasy stories, Edgar Allan Poe was also a gifted poet. He wrote more than 70 poems and almost all of them have been widely appreciated by readers and critics alike. This collection contains some of his most famous ones, including the immortal Raven, which combines a sense of doom and nameless despair. With its ringing, alliterative and repetitive lines and strange, supernatural atmosphere, it remains one of Poe's best known and most quoted poems...

Book cover Collection of Edgar Allan Poe

By: James Joyce (1882-1941)

Chamber Music by James Joyce Chamber Music

Chamber Music is a collection of poems by James Joyce, first published in May of 1907. The collection originally comprised thirty-four love poems, but two further poems were added before publication (”All day I hear the noise of waters” and “I hear an army charging upon the land”). Although the poems did not sell well, they received some critical acclaim. Ezra Pound admired the “delicate temperament” of these early poems, while Yeats described “I hear an army charging upon the land” as “a technical and emotional masterpiece”...

By: George MacDonald (1824-1905)

Diary of an Old Soul by George MacDonald Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald, a Scottish pastor, wrote these short poems, one for each day of the year, to help him with the severer misfortune he was experiencing. The poems are filled with hope and promises of Christ, yet, he also writes about his doubts. These poems are wonderful to listen to for people of any religion.

By: Friedrich Nietzsche

The Joyful Wisdom by Friedrich Nietzsche The Joyful Wisdom

The Joyful Wisdom (later translated as The Gay Science), written in 1882, just before Zarathustra, is rightly judged to be one of Nietzsche’s best books. Here the essentially grave and masculine face of the poet-philosopher is seen to light up and suddenly break into a delightful smile. The warmth and kindness that beam from his features will astonish those hasty psychologists who have never divined that behind the destroyer is the creator, and behind the blasphemer the lover of life. In the retrospective...

By: Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695)

Fables in Rhyme for Little Folks by Jean de La Fontaine Fables in Rhyme for Little Folks

Several of La Fontaine’s fables, translated into English by W. T. Larned.

Book cover Old Man and the Ass

LibriVox volunteers bring you 8 recordings of The Old Man and the Ass by Jean de La Fontaine. (There was no translator acknowledged in the text.) This was the Weekly Poetry project for July 7, 2013.Jean de La Fontaine was the most famous French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional languages.According to Flaubert, he was the only French poet to understand and master the texture of the French language before Hugo...

By: Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400)

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales

Anyone who has ever been on a package tour with a group of strangers who soon become friends, and passed time swapping stories with them, would instantly identify with this timeless classic of English literature. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer recounts twenty different stories recounted by a diverse group of pilgrims who gather at The Tabard Inn in Southwark, near London, before setting out for the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The Host of the inn proposes that they entertain themselves by telling stories along the route and the one who tells the best tale would win a prize – a meal at Bailey's tavern, sponsored by the losers...

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

Nearly 160 years after it was first published, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass continues to inspire, enthrall and educate generations of readers. This collection of poems serves as a vehicle for Whitman's philosophy, ideals, love of nature and mystical musings and it subsequently became one of the corner stones of American literature. Whitman was inspired to write Leaves of Grass based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's clarion call for a truly American poet who would tell of its glories, virtues and vices...

Specimen Days by Walt Whitman Specimen Days

Specimen Days is essentially the great American poet Walt Whitman’s scrap book. It documents most of his life’s adventures, espeically his experience serving as a nurse during the Civil War and travelling around America.

Book cover Song of the Broad-Axe - stanza 4

This Weekly Poem is an excerpt from Song of the Broad-axe (4th Stanza) by Walt Whitman, who was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.

By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

All Round the Year by Edith Nesbit All Round the Year

A light and whimsical collection of poems by the celebrated children’s author E Nesbit, in collaboration with Saretta Nesbit.

Many Voices (selection from) by Edith Nesbit Many Voices (selection from)

E. Nesbit (Edith Bland) was a prodigious 19th century children’s writer who produced over 60 books of fiction for children. This book of poems has many elements which would appeal to children but there’s also some exploration of her feelings of love, lust and longing which your average 10 year old would find downright yucky. There are also moments of joy, moments of sugary sweetness and moments of sharp insight in this collection which contains views from many angles. Recurring themes of love, death, gardens and fairies give us a fine insight into the lively imagination of E. Nesbit. Summary by Jim Mowatt.

By: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened “Divina” by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the last great work of literature of the Middle Ages and the first great work of the Renaissance. A culmination of the medieval world-view of the afterlife, it establishes the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

By: Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Poetics by Aristotle Poetics

Aristotle’s Poetics from the 4th century B.C. aims to give a short study of storytelling. It discusses things like unity of plot, reversal of situation, and character in the context of Greek tragedy, comedy and epic poetry. But it still applies today. It is especially popular with screenwriters as seen in many script gurus’ how-to books.

By: William Blake (1757-1827)

Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience

“Tiger, tiger, burning bright/In the forests of the night/ What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” These often quoted lines are part of The Tiger in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. In 1789, William Blake released a limited edition of the book. Being a gifted artist, poet and printmaker, he undertook to personally publish all his work himself through a very painstaking but highly artistic process of etching, thereby transferring his drawings and poems individually onto copper plates by hand...

Poems of William Blake by William Blake Poems of William Blake

Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul are two books of poetry by the English poet and painter, William Blake. Although Songs of Innocence was first published by itself in 1789, it is believed that Songs of Experience has always been published in conjunction with Innocence since its completion in 1794. Songs of Innocence mainly consists of poems describing the innocence and joy of the natural world, advocating free love and a closer relationship with God, and most famously including Blake’s poem The Lamb...


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