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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.

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...

The First Book of Urizen by William Blake The First Book of Urizen

The Book of Urizen is one of the major prophetic books of the English poet William Blake, illustrated by Blake’s own plates. It was originally published as The First Book of Urizen in 1794. Later editions dropped the word “first”. The book takes its name from the character Urizen in Blake’s mythology, who represents alienated reason as the source of oppression. The book describes Urizen as the “primeaval priest”, and describes how he became separated from the other Eternals to create his own alienated and enslaving realm of religious dogma...

Milton: a Poem by William Blake Milton: a Poem

Milton: a Poem is an epic poem by William Blake, written and illustrated between 1804 and 1810. Its hero is John Milton, who returns from heaven and unites with Blake to explore the relationship between living writers and their predecessors. While on earth, Milton also unites with his feminine aspect, Ololon. The poem describes progress toward the apocalyptic union of living and dead, internal and external reality, and male and female. .

By: Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

War is Kind (collection) by Stephen Crane War is Kind (collection)

Published in 1899, just a year before his death, War Is Kind by Stephen Crane evokes again the dark imagery of war which made his fortune in The Red Badge Of Courage. Unlike that book, this collection leaves the battlefield itself behind to explore the damage war does to people’s hearts and minds. Reeking of dashed hopes, simultaneously sympathetic with the victims of war and cynical about the purposes of war, Crane implicitly criticizes the image of the romantic hero and asks if Love can survive...

By: Edmund Spenser (c.1552-1599)

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene

“The First Book of the Faerie Queene Contayning The Legende of the Knight of Red Crosse or Holinesse”. The Faerie Queene was never completed, but it continues to be one of the most beautiful and important works of literature ever written. Spenser wrote it as a paean to the Virgin Queen Elizabeth, and to the golden age which she had brought to England. Sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh and commended by the foremost literary minds of his day, Spenser’s book remains one of the crowning poetic achievements of the Elizabethan period.

Book cover Amoretti: A sonnet sequence

The Amoretti (meaning little love poems) is a sequence of 89 sonnets written in the tradition of the Petrarchan sonnets, a popular form for poets of the Renaissance period. Spenser’s sequence has been largely neglected in modern times, while those of his contemporaries William Shakespeare and Sir Philip Sidney have been acclaimed. However, because of the artistic skill, along with the emotion and the humor exhibited, these poems deserve a broader hearing, even though they may be somewhat difficult for the present-day reader, partly through Spenser’s love for words and expressions that were already archaic in his time...

By: John Milton (1608-1674)

Paradise Lost by John Milton Paradise Lost

Magnificent in its scale and scope, this monumental poem by the blind poet John Milton was the first epic conceived in the English language. It describes an omniscient, all powerful God, the Fall of Man, the Temptation in the Garden of Eden, the disgraced angel who later becomes known as Satan, the Angelic Wars fought by Archangels Michael and Raphael and the Son of God who is the real hero of this saga. The poet John Milton was more than sixty years old when he embarked on this immense work of literary creation...

Paradise Regained by John Milton Paradise Regained

Paradise Regained is a poem by the 17th century English poet John Milton, published in 1671. It is connected by name to his earlier and more famous epic poem Paradise Lost, with which it shares similar theological themes. Based on the Gospel of Luke’s version of the Temptation of Christ, Paradise Regained is more thoughtful in writing style, and thrives upon the imagery of Jesus’ perfection in contrast to the shame of Satan.

Samson Agonistes by John Milton Samson Agonistes

“The Sun to me is darkAnd silent as the Moon,When she deserts the nightHid in her vacant interlunar cave.”Milton composes his last extended work as a tragedy according to the classical Unities of Time, Place and Action. Nevertheless it “never was intended for the stage” and is here declaimed by a single reader.Samson the blinded captive, in company with the Chorus of friends and countrymen, receives his visitors on their varying missions and through them his violent story is vividly recalled...

By: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Faust, Part 1 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, Part 1

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts. It is Goethe's most famous work and considered by many to be one of the greatest works of German literature.This first part of Faust is not divided into acts, but is structured as a sequence of scenes in a variety of settings. After a dedicatory poem and a prelude in the theatre, the actual plot begins with a prologue in Heaven and Scene 1 in Faust's study.

Erotica Romana by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Erotica Romana

Also known as the "Roman Elegies," Erotica Romana is von Goethe's literary tribute to human sexuality and eroticism. Written in 24 elegies to emulate classical Roman elegy writers such as Tibullus, Propertius, and Catullus, von Goethe creates a lyrical work of art that has often been subject to censorship.

Book cover May Song

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him are extant.

By: Thomas S. Eliot (1888-1965)

The Waste Land by Thomas S. Eliot The Waste Land

Whether you enjoy poetry or not, TS Eliot's The Wasteland is a work of literature that makes a rich, compelling, mystical and thought-provoking reading experience. It's one of those timeless works that seems to renew itself on each subsequent reading and you will find something new and unique every time. Some of the lines have become familiar to many of us: “April is the cruellest month....” “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” and many more. Written after the moral and social crisis that gripped much of the world after the end of WWI, this poem was considered experimental and path-breaking for that era...

By: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson has come to be regarded as one of the quintessential poets of 19th century America. A very private poet with a very quiet and reclusive life, her poetry was published posthumously and immediately found a wide audience. While she echoed the romantic natural themes of her times, her style was much more free and irregular, causing many to criticize her and editors to “correct” her. In the early 20th century, when poetic style had become much looser, new audiences learned to appreciate her work...

Poems: Series One by Emily Dickinson Poems: Series One

Renowned poet Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) wrote many many poems. This collection, “Poems: Series One”, presents the first installment of the complete poetic works of Miss Emily Dickinson. It is broken into four parts: Life, Love, Nature, and Time and Eternity. The verses of Emily Dickinson belong emphatically to what Emerson long since called “the Poetry of the Portfolio,”–something produced absolutely without the thought of publication, and solely by way of expression of the writer’s own mind. The poetry found here is then entirely honest, and indicative of the authors true feelings.

Poems: Series Two by Emily Dickinson Poems: Series Two

"The eagerness with which the first volume of Emily Dickinson's poems has been read shows very clearly that all our alleged modern artificiality does not prevent a prompt appreciation of the qualities of directness and simplicity in approaching the greatest themes,—life and love and death. That "irresistible needle-touch," as one of her best critics has called it, piercing at once the very core of a thought, has found a response as wide and sympathetic as it has been unexpected even to those who knew best her compelling power. This second volume, while open to the same criticism as to form with its predecessor, shows also the same shining beauties."

By: R. F. Murray (1863-1894)

Book cover Wasted Day

Robert Fuller Murray was a Victorian poet. Although born in the United States, Murray lived most of his life in the United Kingdom, most notably in St Andrews, Scotland. He wrote two books of poetry and was published occasionally in periodicals.

By: Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Selected Poems by Robert Frost Selected Poems

“Good fences make good neighbors...” If, as a reader, this is one line you do remember, then the poet Robert Frost would have fulfilled his purpose. The highest goal of a poet, he claimed, was to “lodge a few poems where they would be hard to get rid of...” Unforgettable lines and indelible memories are connected with our encounters with America's best-loved and most popular poet. His wonderful pictures of rural life and the deeply philosophical insights they offer remain with us long after many others have faded...

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost Fire and Ice

Written by one of the most significant American poets, Fire and Ice proficiently tackles the continuous query about how the world will cease to exist, whether it will go up in flames, or succumb to the cruelty of ice. First published in Harper’s Magazine in 1920 and later included in his acclaimed anthology New Hampshire, Frost effectively employs the use of simple, yet evocative language that assigns each syllable a significant purpose in the poem, while simultaneously concentrating on a perplexing topic...

North of Boston by Robert Frost North of Boston

One of the first collections of poetry by Robert Frost, published in 1914.The Fear (00:00:16)The Self-seeker (00:05:27)The Wood-pile (00:16:35)Good Hours (00:18:47)

A Boy's Will by Robert Frost A Boy's Will

Robert Frost preferred to describe the New England countryside using everyday language. He used both as tools to explore world views and life philosophies. A Boy's Will was his first poetry anthology.

By: Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950)

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters Spoon River Anthology

Two hundred and twelve residents of a small town tell their stories without fear of recrimination or ridicule. The only difference is that they're all dead! The two hundred and forty-four poems that form the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters is really a series of epitaphs about the citizens of a fictional town called Spoon River and deals with the “plain and simple annals” of small town America. Edgar Lee Masters grew up in a small town in Illinois. His father's financial problems forced the young Masters to abandon ideas of college and take up a job instead...

By: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

The Wanderings of Oisín by William Butler Yeats The Wanderings of Oisín

This narrative poem is composed in three parts, and consists of a dialogue between the aged Irish hero Oisín and St. Patrick. Oisín relates his three-hundred year sojourn in the immortal isles of Faerie. In the isles, Oisín married the beautiful Sidhe Niamh: together they traveled, feasted, and quested. At last Oisín succumbs to the temptation to return and visit the lands of mortal men: inadvertently slipping from his faerie horse, his body touches the ground and instantly puts on the flesh of a decrepit old man. Oisín describes various islands and what he did there: contrasting his noble deeds with the degenerate weakness of the present generation.

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Collection Vol. 001 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Collection Vol. 001

A collection to celebrate Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 200th birthday, on 27th February, 2007.

Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Hiawatha

I sing the Song of Hiawatha,Brave of heart and strong of arm.Daughter’s son of old Nokomis,Fathered by the harsh West Wind. With its regular, beating rhythm, the Song of Hiawatha has often been parodied, but in truth, it is a powerful, emotional epic; a hero’s life, his loves and suffering. The legends and traditions of the North American Indian swirl together through the tale like a mountain stream, tumbling white over the rocks, and caressing the mossy tree roots.

Book cover Evangeline

Evangeline is one of Longfellow’s most popular poems and was once a great favorite with the American people. For many years almost every school child studied this poem during the middle school years. Although the decline of the reputation of the once-idolized poet has also brought neglect to this classic, it is still a very touching and expertly written work of art. It is based upon the tragic expulsion of the French settlers from Acadia (located in the Canadian maritime provinces) during the French & Indian War (1754-1763)...

Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Tales of a Wayside Inn

Mostly a collection of story-telling poems told by a group of friends in a tavern late one night. "Tales" includes the famous Paul Revere's ride, together with poems of many tales, countries and styles.

The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Courtship of Miles Standish

During the late nineteenth century and until the middle of the twentieth, many elementary classrooms in America featured (along with a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington) a black-and-white print of a group of New England pilgrims on their way to church, the men carrying their muskets. Every school child at that time was intimately acquainted with the story of the Mayflower and the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Among the historical figures, one of the best known was Captain Miles Standish, the military commander of the little “army,” which consisted of a bare handful of men, who repeatedly defeated many times their number of hostile Indians...

By: John Donne (1572-1631)

Holy Sonnets by John Donne Holy Sonnets

John Donne (1572 – March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean poet and preacher, representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works, notable for their realistic and sensual style, include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and immediacy of metaphor, compared with that of his contemporaries. Towards the end of his life Donne wrote works that challenged death, and the fear that it inspired in many men, on the grounds of his belief that those who die are sent to Heaven to live eternally...

A Selection of Divine Poems by John Donne A Selection of Divine Poems

John Donne was an English Jacobean preacher, sometime lawyer, later in life a Member of Parliament and Royal Chaplain. Marrying for love against the wishes of his influential father-in-law; Donne's career was cast into shadow: forcing him to support his wife, Anne, as best he might under a specter of unforgiving penury. Despite such hardships - perhaps because of them - Donne's writings demonstrate a mastery of poetry layered with metaphysical meaning and mystery: which continues to delight and challenge modern-day readers...

By: George Gordon Byron, Lord (1788-1824)

Don Juan: Canto I by George Gordon Byron, Lord Don Juan: Canto I

The legend of Don Juan is one that's been told and retold over the centuries by poets and novelists. His life has been the subject of operas, musicals and film. The earliest reference was in a fourteenth century Spanish play and compiled in book form in the seventeenth century. His life continued to fascinate writers like Moliere, Byron, Bernard Shaw, Pushkin, Shakespeare, Jose Saramago and musicians like Mozart, whose Don Giovanni is a brilliant work that still charms audiences and music lovers all over the world...

By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

An exciting, compelling, and eerie ballad, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner focuses on the uncanny experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage that has left him with a heavy burden to bear. Furthermore, the poem explores numerous themes including retribution, suffering, salvation, torment, nature, spirituality, and supernaturalism. The poem opens with the appearance of its mysterious protagonist, a skinny old man with a curious glittering eye, as he stops a young man who is on his way to attend a wedding...

By: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Book cover Lyrical Ballads (1798)

Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798 and generally considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature. The immediate effect on critics was modest, but it became and remains a landmark, changing the course of English literature and poetry. Most of the poems in the 1798 edition were written by Wordsworth, with Coleridge contributing only four poems to the collection, including one of his most famous works, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"...

By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Book cover Answer to a Child's Question

LibriVox volunteers bring you 21 recordings of Answer to a Child's Question by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This was the Weekly Poetry project for October 6, 2013.

By: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Book cover Interpretation

LibriVox volunteers bring you 8 recordings of An Interpretation by Ambrose Bierce. This was the Weekly Poetry project for September 22, 2013.

By: Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)

The Congo by Vachel Lindsay The Congo

The Congo is one of the best-known poems by American poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931). It was revolutionary in its use of sounds and rhythms — as sounds and rhythms — and includes elaborate annotations to guide its spoken performance. Lindsay categorized The Congo as “higher Vaudeville” and was famous for his exuberant performances of it. The poem’s imagery is racist, but Lindsay was a product of his time — born 14 years after the end of the American Civil War in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown, he revered Lincoln and viewed himself as a friend and supporter of African-American culture.

Book cover Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

This is a collection of poems on various topics by Vachel Lindsay. Please note that the Booker T. Washington trilogy had to be omitted from this collection.

By: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Book cover The Prelude

Among monuments of narrative poetry, The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind, by William Wordsworth, occupies a unique place. Wordsworth published the first version of the poem in 1798, but continued to work on it for the rest of his life. The final version, which is the subject of this recording, was published posthumously in 1850, by Wordworth’s widow, Mary. The Prelude is the first major narrative poem in European literature which deals solely with the spiritual journey of the author. In this respect the only predecessor to which it can be compared in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which is similarly a journey from personal confusion to certitude, from ignorance to realization...

By: Guy Wetmore Carryl

Grimm Tales Made Gay by Guy Wetmore Carryl Grimm Tales Made Gay

A comic rendering in verse of well-loved Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, each ending with a moral and full of puns. The titles of the tales themselves make another verse.

By: Robert W. Service (1874-1958)

Ballads of a Bohemian by Robert W. Service Ballads of a Bohemian

Ballads of a Bohemian is a collection of poems tied together by the narration of the “author” Stephen Poore. The poems speak of bohemian life in Paris before the war, his experiences during World War I and its aftermath.

Selections from Ballads of a Cheechako by Robert W. Service Selections from Ballads of a Cheechako

These twelve poems are from Ballads of a Cheechako which was Robert W. Service’s third book of Yukon poems, published in 1909. The word Cheechako, from Chinook Jargon, originated in the United States (Alaska) and Canada (Yukon) and was imported into local English during the Yukon gold rush that began in 1896. Cheechako, is a non derogatory word meaning “newcomer” or “tenderfoot.” The derivation looks something like this: chee new cha come ko home.

Book cover Ottawa Folk Festival Robert Service Collection

The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service with patrons, musicians and organizers. Robert Service is an iconic Canadian poet.

By: Susanna Moodie (1803-1885)

Book cover Roughing It in the Bush

'Roughing It In the Bush' is Susanna Moodie's account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.

By: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portugese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnets from the Portugese

Poetry lovers and lovers themselves would certainly know and remember these lines: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.....” These and other sublime verses are contained in this collection of tender, mystical, philosophical poems Sonnets from the Portuguese, published originally in 1850. The poet herself was part of one of the most famous literary love-stories of all time – a saga filled with romance, danger and severe opposition from her family. Born into a prominent and extremely wealthy family in Durham, England, she began writing as a child and her father encouraged her talent by getting a collection of poems published when she was only twelve...

A Drama of Exile by Elizabeth Barrett Browning A Drama of Exile

In writing her ‘Drama of Exile’, Barrett’s subject was ‘the new and strange experience of the fallen humanity, as it went forth from Paradise into the wilderness’. The bizarre, lyrical scenes that follow powerfully describe the grief and guilt of Eve, the sorrowful pride of Lucifer, and the redeeming power of love.

The Battle of Marathon by Elizabeth Barrett Browning The Battle of Marathon

The Battle of Marathon is a rhymed, dramatic, narrative-poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Written in 1820, it retells powerfully The Battle of Marathon: during which the Athenian state defeated the much larger invading force during the first Persian invasion of Greece. When Darius the Great orders his immense army march west to annex additional territories; no-one in the Persian court predicted that some fractious, independent Greek city-states stood any chance against the Persian super-power....

By: Aeschylus (c. 525/524-456/455 BC)

Book cover Prometheus Bound (Browning Translation)

Whether or not it was actually written by Aeschylus, as is much disputed, "Prometheus Bound" is a powerful statement on behalf of free humanity in the face of what often seem like the impersonal, implacable Forces that rule the Universe. As one of the most compelling rebel manifestos ever composed, it has appealed not only to the expected host of scholars of Greek drama, but also to a fascinatingly free-spirited array of translators, especially since the early 19th century; Percy Bysshe Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, and activist-poet Augusta Webster are among those who have tried their poetic and linguistic powers at rendering it into English...

By: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

A Few Figs from Thistles by Edna St. Vincent Millay A Few Figs from Thistles

A collection of 23 poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Renascence and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay Renascence and Other Poems

The following is a recording of the first volume of poetry published by Edna St. Vincent Millay. When the author had graduated from high school, she couldn’t afford to go to college. In the summer of 1912, Vincent’s sister, Norma, found work as a waitress at a hotel near where they lived. One night, Norma insisted that Vincent attend a masquerade ball, given at the hotel, if only to get Vincent out of the house and to meet people. Vincent finally gave in, and while there, sang songs and recited “Renascence,” the first poem in this collection...

Second April by Edna St. Vincent Millay Second April

A collection of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Book cover Songs of the Road

Although best known for the creation of the detective Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle did not only write works of mystery and of advenure - he was also a rather successful poet. This is a collection of poems written by the famous author.

Book cover Songs of Action

This is a collection of poems by Arthur Conan Doyle centering around the theme of war, action and adventure.

By: Walter Crane (1845-1915)

Baby's Own Aesop by Walter Crane Baby's Own Aesop

“Baby’s Own Aesop” presents the fables as one-stanza limericks, each “pictorially pointed” by Walter Crane, the noted painter and illustrator. He apprenticed to master wood-engraver, William James Linton, who furnished the draft of the book’s poems for Crane to edit.

By: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

In Memoriam A.H.H. by Alfred, Lord Tennyson In Memoriam A.H.H.

In Memoriam is Tennyson’s elegiac tribute to his friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died in 1833 at the age of 22. Tennyson wrote this long poem over 17 years as a chronicle of his mourning process. The poem became a favorite of Queen Victoria when she was grieving for her husband, and was one of the most popular and artistically influential poems of the Victorian period.

By: John Clare (1793-1864)

Selected Poems of John Clare by John Clare Selected Poems of John Clare

John Clare (1793 – 1864) was a farm labourer in the village of Helpstone, Northamptonshire, who became arguably England’s greatest nature poet. He rose to fame when his ‘Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery’ was published in 1820. His language preserves many local dialect words in a mixture of classical forms and heart-felt love of country life and nature. The poems in this collection are from his early career, and are largely free of pointers to his later mental illness.

By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Love-Songs of Childhood by Eugene Field Love-Songs of Childhood

If you've heard and loved that delightful nursery rhyme/lullaby, Wynken Blynken and Nod you'd certainly enjoy browsing through its creator Eugene Field's Love Songs of Childhood. The volume contains some forty or more poems for children, which are ideal for read aloud sessions with young folks. Parents will certainly enjoy reading them too. Most of these poems have been set to music and are ideal for family sing-alongs too. Eugene Field was a gifted humorist as well as being a talented children's writer...

Selected Lullabies by Eugene Field Selected Lullabies

The sweetest songs the world has ever heard are the lullabies that have been crooned above its cradles. The music of Beethoven and Mozart, of Mendelssohn and Schumann may perish, but so long as mothers sing their babies to sleep the melody of cradle lullabies will remain. Of all English and American writers the one who sang most often and most exquisitely these cradle songs was Eugene Field, the children’s poet. His verses not only have charm as poetry, but a distinct song quality and a naive fancy that is both childlike and appealing...

Book cover Contentment

Eugene Field, Sr. was an American writer, best known for his children's poetry and humorous essays.

By: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

The Lord of the Isles by Sir Walter Scott The Lord of the Isles

In stunning narrative poetry, the story begins during the time when Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick has been hunted out of Scotland into exile by the English and their allies. Bruce returns over sea from the Island of Rachrin: but is forced to land close to hostile forces at Artonish Castle on the seacoast of Argylshire. Seeking refuge from tempestuous seas, Bruce begs shelter from Ronald, Lord of the Isles: inadvertently on the day of his marriage feast to the beautiful Edith of Lorn.Bruce's very...

Harold the Dauntless by Sir Walter Scott Harold the Dauntless

Harold the Dauntless is a rhymed, romantic, narrative-poem by Sir Walter Scott. Written in 1817, it weaves together elements of popular English legends and folklore using dramatic themes.The poem recounts the exploits and the personal spiritual journey of a doubtful knight errant - Harold the son of Danish Count Witikind: who seeks to recover his lands and wed a suitable spouse.Fire-breathing Harold is as much a stranger to love as he is addicted to dangerous adventure: yet his own confrontations with the spirit-world shake his faith in supposed omnipotence of the traditional Norse pantheon...

Translations & Imitations of German Ballads by Sir Walter Scott Translations & Imitations of German Ballads

The narrative poems in this collection are written by Sir Walter Scott - the well-known English poet and novelist. Each of these five poems are based loosely upon German ballads: rewritten in flowing English meter.The Chase - a.k.a. The Wild Huntsman - A profligate, noble-born keeper of the royal forest - avidly addicted to the pleasures of the hunt - cruelly uses and mistreats his fellow-men. One day God's messengers come to test him: executing sentence immediately in just proportion to the huntsman's responses...

The Bridal of Triermain by Sir Walter Scott The Bridal of Triermain

Scott's The Bridal of Triermain is a rhymed, romantic, narrative poem which weaves together elements of popular English legend using dramatic themes. This beautiful poem celebrates the exploits of a knight errant - Sir Roland De Vaux - as he seeks to rescue (and hopefully espouse) a beautiful maiden, Gyneth. Gyneth is the illegitimate daughter of King Arthur: doomed by Merlin 500 years previously to an enchanted sleep inside a magic castle. The enchantment can only be broken by a rescuer both brave and noble enough to overcome the temptations used successively to distract and overcome him, namely: fear, wealth, pleasure and pride.(Introduction by Godsend)

By: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore Gitanjali

Gitanjali is a collection of 103 poems in English, largely translations by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. This volume became very famous in the West, and was widely translated into other languages. In England a slender volume was published in 1913, with an exhilarating preface by W. B. Yeats. In the same year, Rabindranath became the first non-European to win the Nobel prize.

Book cover First Jasmines

Rabindranath Tagore, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit...


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