By: Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
The Rape of the Lock
The Rape of the Lock is a mock-heroic narrative poem written by Alexander Pope, first published anonymously in Lintot's Miscellany in May 1712 in two cantos (334 lines), but then revised, expanded and reissued under Pope's name on March 2, 1714, in a much-expanded 5-canto version (794 lines). The final form was available in 1717 with the addition of Clarissa's speech on good humour. The poem satirizes a petty squabble by comparing it to the epic world of the gods. It was based on an incident recounted by Pope's friend, John Caryll...
By: James Allen (1864-1912)
The Divine Companion
James Allen was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement.In the introduction Lily Allen writes: "It cannot be said of this book that James Allen wrote it at any particular time or in any one year, for he was engaged in it over many years and those who have eyes to see and hearts to understand will find in its pages the spiritual history of his life. It was his own wish that The Divine Companion should be the last manuscript of his to be published. 'It is the story of my soul,' he said, 'and should be read last of all my books, so that the student may understand and find my message in its pages.'"
By: Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533)
Charlemagne's nephew Orlando (AKA Roland) is driven insane by the infidelity of his beloved Angelica. Angelica's relationship with him and others loosely unifies multiple story lines to produce a rich tapestry of romance, fictionalized history, and pure fantasy. This romance-epic is a sequel to the less distinguished and unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato, by Mattteo Maria Boiardo.
By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
The Rape of Lucrece
The Rape of Lucrece (1594) is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Lucretia. Lucrece draws on the story described in both Ovid's Fasti and Livy's history of Rome. In 509 BC, Sextus Tarquinius, son of Tarquin, the king of Rome, raped Lucretia (Lucrece), wife of Collatinus, one of the king's aristocratic retainers. As a result, Lucrece committed suicide. Her body was paraded in the Roman Forum by the king's nephew. This incited a full-scale revolt against the Tarquins led by Lucius Junius Brutus, the banishment of the royal family, and the founding of the Roman republic.
By: Katherine Jewell Everts (d. after 1919)
The Speaking Voice
From the Preface of The Speaking Voice: principles of training simplified and condensed: "This book offers a method of voice training which is the result of a deliberate effort to simplify and condense, for general use, the principles which are fundamental to all recognized systems of vocal instruction. It contains practical directions accompanied by simple and fundamental exercises, first for the freeing of the voice and then for developing it when free."Parts I and II of the book comprise advice...
By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Venus and Adonis
Venus and Adonis is Shakespeare's narrative poem about the love of the goddess Venus for the mortal youth Adonis, dedicated partly to his patron, the Earl of Southampton (thought by some to be the beautiful youth to which many of the Sonnets are addressed). The poem recounts Venus' attempts to woo Adonis, their passionate coupling, and Adonis' rejection of the goddess, to which she responds with jealousy, with tragic results. This recording features three different readers performing the narration, Venus, and Adonis.
Public Domain Hymns - 01
"Originally modeled on the Psalms and other poetic passages (commonly referred to as "canticles") in the Scriptures, Christian hymns are generally directed as praise and worship to the monotheistic God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly. Since the earliest times, Christians have sung "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs", both in private devotions and in corporate worship (Matthew 26:30; 1 Cor 14:26; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13; cf. Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 14:1-5)...
By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
A Chesterton Calendar
Go through the year, day by day, with the wit and wisdom of G.K. Chesterton! Compiled from the writings of 'G.K.C', both in verse and in prose, each day of the year is provided with a generally short quotation from one of his many works. Also includes a section apart for the moveable feasts.
By: William Wordsworth
The Excursion: Being a portion of The Recluse, a Poem is a long poem by Romantic poet William Wordsworth and was first published in 1814. It was intended to be the second part of The Recluse, an unfinished larger work that was also meant to include The Prelude, Wordsworth's other long poem, which was eventually published posthumously. The exact dates of its composition are unknown, but the first manuscript is generally dated as either September 1806 or December 1809. (Introduction by Wikipedia)
By: William Blake (1757-1827)
Jerusalem - The Emanation of the Giant Albion
The epic poem Jerusalem was in Blake's own opinion his masterpiece. It is the last of the great prophetic books. Originally produced as an engraved book of 100 pages (only one copy of which was every fully finished in the colouring), the poem develops and unifies many of the themes Blake had been exploring in earlier works. It is a complex and powerful work, full of dramatic imagery and sublime poetry. You might think of it like a poetic version of a Wagner opera. This is poetry as if your life depended on it...
By: John Dryden (1631-1700)
Absalom and Achitophel
John Dryden published Absalom and Achitophel: A Poem in 1681. It is an elaborate historical allegory using the political situation faced by Kind David (2 Samuel 14-18) to mirror that faced by Charles II. Each monarch had a son whom a high-ranking minister attempted to use against him. James Scott, first Duke of Monmouth, Charles II's illegitimate son, was detected planning a rebellion late in 1681, supposedly instigated by the Earl of Shaftesbury, who was tried for high treason, and it is believed that Dryden wrote the poem in an effort to sway the jury in his trial...
By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Persian: رباعیات عمر خیام) is the title that Edward FitzGerald gave to his translation of a selection of poems, originally written in Persian and of which there are about a thousand, attributed to Omar Khayyám (1048–1131), a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. A Persian ruba'i is a two-line stanza with two parts (or hemistechs) per line, hence the word "Rubáiyát" (derived from the Arabic root word for "four"), meaning "quatrains". (Introduction by Wikipedia) The three translations by women comprise this collection of recordings of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
By: Francis William Bourdillon (1844-1912)
Aucassin and Nicolette.
Aucassin and Nicolette is a medieval romance written in a combination of prose and verse called a “song-story.” Created probably in the early 13th century by an unknown French author, the work deals with the love between the son of a count and a Saracen slave girl who has been converted to Christianity and adopted by a viscount. Since Aucassin’s father is strongly opposed to their marriage, the two lovers must endure imprisonment, flight, separation in foreign lands, and many other ordeals before their ardent love and fierce determination finally bring them back together...
By: John Masefield (1878-1967)
Selected Public Domain Poems
Maritime and metaphysical verse by John Masefield, English poet and author, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death.
By: Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)
Eugene Onéguine is a classic of Russian literature, and its eponymous protagonist has served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes (so-called superfluous men). It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832. The first complete edition was published in 1833, and the currently accepted version is based on the 1837 publication.Almost the entire work is made up of 389 stanzas of iambic tetrameter with the unusual rhyme scheme "AbAbCCddEffEgg", where the uppercase letters represent feminine rhymes while the lowercase letters represent masculine rhymes...
By: Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)
The Siege of Corinth
In this moving poem, Byron recounts the final, desperate resistance of the Venetians on the day the Ottoman army stormed Acrocorinth: revealing the closing scenes of the conflict through the eyes of Lanciotto - a Venetian renegade fighting for the Ottomans - and Francesca - the beautiful maiden daughter of the governor of the Venetian garrison: Minotti.
By: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
The Masque of Anarchy
The Masque of Anarchy was Shelley's response to the Peterloo massacre at St Peter's Fields, Manchester, where 18 died and hundreds were injured, after Hussars charged into a rally for parliamentary reform. Written in Italy in 1819, the poem was not published until 1832, ten years after Shelley's death. This reading is from the first published edition with the addition of three words that were inserted in full only in later additions ('Eldon' in Stanza IV and 'Bible' and 'Sidmouth' in Stanza VI). The poem is preceded by Leigh Hunt's preface to the 1932 edition and followed by Harry Buxton Forman's 1887 lecture on the poem to the Shelley Society.
By: Imogen Clark
Rhymed Receipts for Any Occasion
In addition to being amusing, recipes written in a poetic form were easy to remember and used as learning tools for the young housekeeper. Many of the poems in this 1912 publication were originally published in Woman's Home Companion, Good Housekeeping Magazine, the Housewife, Table Talk, and the Boston Cooking School Magazine.
By: Amy Levy (1861-1889)
A London Plane-Tree, and Other Verse
Amy Levy was a British poet and novelist who is celebrated for her feminist positions and her engagement with homosexual romance during the Victorian era. Levy wrote stories, essays, and poems for periodicals, some popular and others literary. Her writing career began early; her poem "Ida Grey" appearing in the journal, The Pelican, when she was only fourteen. Her final book of poems, A London Plane-Tree And Other Verse (1889), contains lyrics that are among the first to show the influence of French symbolism. (Introduction excerpted from Wikipedia)
By: John Dryden (1631-1700)
Dryden vs Shadwell - a Poetic Duel
Throughout history there have been many creative artists whose fame depends largely on their association with a much greater artist. Such the case of Thomas Shadwell, poet and prolific writer of low brow comedies, who is today most famous as the butt of satire by one of greatest and most influential English poets, John Dryden. Shadwell and Dryden were at first colleagues and collaborators, but later fell out over some sharp divergences of opinion. In particular, Dryden disagreed with Shadwell's high estimation of Ben Jonson, and even more of the latter's claim to be be Jonson's artistic heir...
By: Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám (Whinfield Translation)
Omar Khayyám (1048–1131) was a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. In the Western world he is most famous for his many rubáiyát (quatrains), a four line rhyming stanza, which were popularized in an extensively reworked collection in English by Edward Fitzgerald, the first edition of which appeared in 1859. However, Fitzgerald was neither the first nor the most scholarly of the translators of Omar Khayyam’s rubáiyát. As well as translating the poems of Hafez and Rumi, Edward Henry Whinfield (1836-1922) also produced a much more extensive English version of the rubáiyát...
By: George F. Dillon (1836-1893)
|Song Celestial; Or, Bhagavad-Gîtâ
By: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
The first collection by Irish-born poet William Butler Yeats. Many decades before his mysterious and austere Modernist verse earned him a nobel prize, Yeats achieved renown as one of the last major poets in the High Romantic tradition. These poems showcase his Celtic imagination, his love for Irish folk-tales, and his commitment to the Romantic ideal of love.
In The Seven Woods
In the Seven Woods (1904) is Yeats's first twentieth-century poetry collection. Its fourteen poems show him moving steadily away from the decisively Romantic diction of his earlier work. Here we hear a poetic voice that is at once more individual, colloquial and dramatic than previously. In addition, several poems sound a note of bitter lamentation over the marriage in 1903 of Maud Gonne, Yeats's great love and muse, to John MacBride.
By: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
The River Duddon: A Series of Sonnets
Located in a part of Cumbria that was once part of Lancashire, the River Duddon rises in the high fells of the Lake District and flows for 25 miles through varied scenery before disappearing into the sands between Millom and Barrow-in-Furness. Wordsworth’s series of sonnets, inspired by his walks along the river, were written over a period of years, but are arranged so as to follow its downward course from the fells to the sea. Part One of this reading consists of the 33 sonnets and postscript that were first published as a series in 1820...
By: Charles Knight (1791-1873)
Mind Amongst the Spindles
Lowell Massachusetts was founded in the 1820s as a planned manufacturing center for textiles and is located along the rapids of the Merrimack River, 25 miles northwest of Boston. By the 1850s Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the United States. The textile industry wove cotton produced in the South. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederacy. Mind Amongst the Spindles is a selection of works from the Lowell Offering, a monthly periodical collecting contributed works of poetry and fiction by the female workers of the textile mills...
By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)
Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Le Gallienne)
Richard le Gallienne was an English poet and critic, who, although unfamiliar with the Persian language, had a profound interest in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. In 1897 he published a collection of 211 quatrains, which was based on earlier English translations, in particular the prose version by Justin Huntly McCarthy. A expanded edition, containing fifty additional quatrains was published in 1901, and this has been used for the present recording.
A collection in celebration of 2012 Year of Reading Australia. Readers chose fiction, non fiction and poetry - we only asked that the readings should have some sort of Australian hook. So they can be by an Australian author, or about Australia, or just have a prominent bit of Australianess in the plot. Failing that: even being performed by Australians will do! :D .
By: Wilbur D. Nesbit (1871-1927)
An Alphabet of History
An alphabet of historical characters presented in poetical form!In their original form, the contents of this book appeared in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, which newspaper is hereby thanked for the privilege of reproducing this Alphabet
By: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)
The Freedmen's Book
Lydia Maria Child, an American abolitionist, compiled this collection of short stories and poems by former slaves and noted activists as an inspiration to freed slaves. In her dedication to the freedmen, she urges those who can read to read these stories aloud to others to share the strength, courage and accomplishments of colored men and women. In that spirit, this recording aims to gives that voice a permanent record. As in the original text, the names of the colored authors are marked with an "x".
By: Lizzie Lawson and Robert Ellice Mack
A beautiful collection of pretty little poems.
By: Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC)
Aeneid, prose translation
The Aeneid is the most famous Latin epic poem, written by Virgil in the 1st century BC. The story revolves around the legendary hero Aeneas, a Trojan prince who left behind the ruins of his city and led his fellow citizens to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, while the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ victorious war upon the Latins. This is the recording of J.W.MacKail's prose translation.