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By: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark

The Hunting of the Snark is a long nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll describing the adventures of ten weirdly assorted characters as they pursue an elusive creature known as a snark.

By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Shakespeare Monologues by William Shakespeare Shakespeare Monologues

This is truly a delightful compilation of some of the best known and loved passages from William Shakespeare's plays. Most readers would be familiar with all or at least some of them. If you've studied Shakespeare in school or college, plays like The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth were probably assigned texts. However, if you haven't encountered these plays before, Shakespeare Monologues is a great volume to browse through and enjoy at leisure. It's important to know that there is a distinction between the terms “monologue” and “soliloquy...

Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, or simply The Sonnets, comprise a collection of 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as love, beauty, politics, and mortality. The poems were probably written over a period of several years.

The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare The Passionate Pilgrim

The Passionate Pilgrim was published by William Jaggard, later the publisher of Shakespeare’s First Folio. The first edition survives only in a single fragmentary copy; its date cannot be fixed with certainty since its title page is missing, though many scholars judge it likely to be from 1599, the year the second edition appeared with the attribution to Shakespeare. This version of The Passionate Pilgrim, contains 15 romantic sonnets and short poems. The works contained, while disputed as to authorship are in this writer’s most humble opinion, among the best of the age.

Some Poems of Shakespeare by William Shakespeare Some Poems of Shakespeare

A selection of Shakespeare’s poems from The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

By: Thomas Babington Macaulay

The Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay The Lays of Ancient Rome

The Lays of Ancient Rome comprise four narrative poems comprised by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: recalling popular episodes from Roman historical-legends that were strongly moral in tone: exemplifying Roman virtue against Latine perfidy.The four poems are:- Horatius - Horatius and two companions seek to hold back a large invading Etruscan force at the far end of a bridge over the Tiber River. The trio are willing to lay down their lives so as to prevent the Etruscans crossing and sacking the otherwise ill-defended Rome: it is a desperate gamble to buy enough time for the Romans to destroy the bridge in advance of the hostile army...

By: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson A Child's Garden of Verses

Beloved by many generations of children, A Child’s Garden of Verses is a beautiful collection of children’s poetry. Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes whimsical, but always fun.

Book cover Not Yet my Soul

15 recordings of Not Yet my Soul by Robert Louis Stevenson. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for May 19, 2013.Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.The following poem comes from his collection entitled Underwoods, first published in 1887.

By: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Moments of Vision by Thomas Hardy Moments of Vision

Hardy claimed poetry as his first love, and published collections until his death in 1928. Although not as well received by his contemporaries as his novels, Hardy’s poetry has been applauded considerably in recent years. Most of his poems deal with themes of disappointment in love and life, and mankind’s long struggle against indifference to human suffering.

Book cover Wessex Poems

A collection of poetry by Thomas Hardy, some of which were previously published or adapted into his prose works.

By: Homer

The Odyssey by Homer The Odyssey

A wandering king who's a war-hero doomed to roam the earth by a vengeful God, a plethora of fantastic experiences, a wife battling the invasion of suitors who wish to replace her missing husband, a son in search of his father - the Odyssey is a rich tapestry of incredible experiences and unforgettable characters. A must-read classic for anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of Western mythology, it is a sequel to the Illiad which recounts the magnificent saga of the Trojan War. The Odyssey continues on, describing the trials and tribulations of the Greeks under the leadership of Odysseus...

The Iliad by Homer The Iliad

A divinely beautiful woman who becomes the cause of a terrible war in which the gods themselves take sides. Valor and villainy, sacrifices and betrayals, triumphs and tragedies play their part in this three thousand year old saga. The Iliad throws us right into the thick of battle. It opens when the Trojan War has already been raging for nine long years. An uneasy truce has been declared between the Trojans and the Greeks (Achaeans as they're called in The Iliad.) In the Greek camp, Agamemnon the King of Mycenae and Achilles the proud and valiant warrior of Phthia are locked in a fierce contest to claim the spoils of war...

By: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book

Originally written for his young daughter Josephine, who died tragically aged six, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is a collection of short stories which were published separately in magazines before being compiled into a book. The stories are in the form of fables, where animals communicate and speak to each other as humans do and the purpose of each story was to convey a moral or message to the reader. Modern readers would be more familiar with the Disney animated version in which Mowgli the little “man-cub” is raised by wolves...

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.

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...

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.

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...

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...

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.


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