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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...


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