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By: Mary Hannay Foott (1846-1918)

Book cover Where the Pelican Builds

Mary Hannay Foott was an Australian poet and editor who is best remembered for the poem Where the pelican builds.

By: Mary Kyle Dallas (1830-1897)

Book cover He’d Nothing but His Violin

LibriVox volunteers bring you 13 recordings of He'd Nothing but His Violin by Mary Kyle Dallas. This was the Weekly Poetry project for March 10, 2013.According to an article in the New York Times, Mary Kyle Dallas was born in Philadelphia, PA and married Jacob A. Dallis when she was twenty. She wrote for the New York Ledger for over fifteen years.A few comments from our readers."What a lovely delicate little piece." (AlanW)"Here is my version of this sweet melodious poem. This one definitely rings a bell with me, as my wife and I were entertainers also (and even still do it occasionally) but not quite under such meager circumstances as this couple." (LenXZ1)

By: Mary Mollineux (1651-1696)

Book cover On the Sight of a Skull

Mary Mollineux (born Mary Southworth) was probably the daughter of Catholic parents who converted to Quakerism, differed from many of her Quaker contemporaries because of an early education in Latin, Greek, science, and arithmetic.

By: Matthew Arnold

Balder Dead by Matthew Arnold Balder Dead

“Balder Dead” is a beautiful epic poem by Matthew Arnold. It draws from Norse mythology to retell the story of the the death of Odin’s son, Balder, instigated by the treacherous jealousy of Loki.

Tristram and Iseult & Sohrab and Rustum by Matthew Arnold Tristram and Iseult & Sohrab and Rustum

Tristram & Iseult is a narrative poem containing strong romantic and tragic themes: and was first published in 1852 by Matthew Arnold. This poem draws upon the Tristram and Iseult legends: which were popular with contemporary readers.The poem opens with Tristram upon his deathbed. The monologue of the dying man is shot through with sharp pangs of regret: centering upon his induced passion for Iseult of Ireland - inflamed by his unwittingly imbibing an irresistible love-potion.Before his decease, Tristram's lawful wife - Iseult of Ireland - arrives in time to share his deathbed...

Book cover Lake

Matthew Arnold was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. Matthew Arnold has been characterised as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues. He is sometimes called the third great Victorian poet, along with Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning. This week's poem is the first part of Arnold's Lyric Poem 'Switzerland'.

By: Maurice Switzer (1870-1929)

Book cover To a Faded Rose

LibriVox readers bring you 16 recordings of "To a Faded Rose" by Maurice Switzer. This was the Weekly Poetry selection for June 16, 2013.

By: Michael Field (1862/1846-1913/1914)

Book cover July

Michael Field was a pseudonym used for the poetry and verse drama of Katharine Harris Bradley (27 October 1846 – 26 September 1914) and her niece and ward Edith Emma Cooper (12 January 1862 – 13 December 1913). As Field they wrote around 40 works together, and a long journal Works and Days. Their intention was to keep the pen-name secret, but it became public knowledge, not long after they had confided in their friend Robert Browning.

Book cover September

Michael Field was a pseudonym used for the poetry and verse drama of Katharine Harris Bradley (27 October 1846 – 26 September 1914) and her niece and ward Edith Emma Cooper (12 January 1862 – 13 December 1913). As Field they wrote around 40 works together, and a long journal Works and Days. Their intention was to keep the pen-name secret, but it became public knowledge, not long after they had confided in their friend Robert Browning.

By: Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867)

Book cover Declaration

Nathaniel Parker Willis is also known as N. P. Willis. He was an American author, poet and editor who worked with several notable American writers including Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He became the highest-paid magazine writer of his day.

Book cover Belfry Pigeon

Nathaniel Parker Willis, also known as N. P. Willis, was an American author, poet and editor who worked with several notable American writers including Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He became the highest-paid magazine writer of his day. For a time, he was the employer of former slave and future writer Harriet Jacobs.

By: Novalis

Hymns to the Night by Novalis Hymns to the Night

“Hymns to the Night” is the last published work of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (1772-1801), the German philosopher and early Romantic poet whose pen name was simply “Novalis”. The work alternates poetry and prose, exploring a personal mythology of darkness and light, but it is also a free-associative chronicle of a young man rationalizing the untimely death of his fiancé. This version (1897) was translated by influential fantasy author and novelist George MacDonald, who cited it as a great – and early – inspiration.

By: Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

Book cover Kitten's Garden of Verses

The Kitten's Garden of Verses is a book of short poetry, modeled after Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. Of course, the poems in this book are intended for kittens rather than children!

By: Oliver Wendell Holmes

The One-Hoss Shay by Oliver Wendell Holmes The One-Hoss Shay

This is a small collection of whimsical poems by the American physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. "The Deacon's Masterpiece" describes the "logical" outcome of building an object (in this case, a two-wheeled carriage called a shay) that has no weak points. The economic term "one hoss shay," referring to a certain model of depreciation, derives its name from this poem. "How the Old Horse Won the Bet" is a lighthearted look at a horse race. Finally, "The Broomstick Train" is a wonderfully Halloween-y explanation of how an electric tram really works.

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyám The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Persian: رباعیات عمر خیام) is the title that Edward Fitz-Gerald 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 hemis-techs) per line, hence the word "Rubáiyát" (derived from the Arabic root word for "four"), meaning "quatrains".

Book cover 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: Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám (Whinfield Translation) by Omar Khayyam 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: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Le Gallienne) by Omar Khayyám 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.

Book cover Rubaiyat Miscellany

The translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward Fitzgerald has remained the most celebrated rendering in English of the Persian poet's work. While several other scholars produced their own translations of the Rubaiyat, yet others contented themselves by just paraphrasing the work of Fitzgerald. This recording features three reworkings of previously published translations. Arthur Guiterman and Ruel William Whitney based their renderings on the Fifth Edition of Fitzgerald's translation and Richard Le Gallienne, a distinguished poet in his own right, compiled his version from a variety of sources, in particular the prose translation by Justin Huntly McCarthy...

Book cover Quatrains of Omar Khayyam of Nishapur

In 1906, Eben Francis Thompson,scholar and poet, published a limited edition of his translation of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam. This edition contains 878 quatrains, and represents the most extensive translation of Omar's rubai in any language.In the Introduction, Nathan Haskell Dole writes: Mr Thompson has put into English verse this whole body of Persian poetry. It is a marvel of close translation, accurate and satisfactory. He has succeeded in doing exactly what he set out to do - to add nothing and to take nothing away, but to put into the typical quatrain, as determined by Fitzgerald and others, exactly what Omar and his unknown imitators said.

Book cover Strophes of Omar Khayyám

One of the earliest versions of Omar Khayyám's quatrains by an American translator is John Leslie Garner's collection, published in 1888. It contains 152 quatrains, which the translator calls "Strophes." The collection is divided into eleven books, introduced by quotations from Bourne's "Anacreon," Leconte de Lisle, Giordano Bruno, Goethe, Alfred de Musset, Paul Bourget, Marcus Antoninus, St. James, Sully-Prudhomme, Edmund Waller, and Escriva.In his preface Garner says : "The collection might have been made much larger, but it was deemed inadvisable, as Omar's themes are not many, and the ever-recurring Wine, Rose, and Nightingale are somewhat cloying to Occidental senses...

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...

A House Of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde A House Of Pomegranates

A House of Pomegranates (1891) is a collection of fairy tales, written by Oscar Wilde, that was published as a second collection for The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888). Wilde once said that this collection was "intended neither for the British child nor the British public."

By: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Book cover Shelley: Selected Poems and Prose

The English Romantic Period in literature featured a towering group of excellent poets: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats. If we add in forerunners Burns and Blake, we have perhaps an unmatchable collection of writers for any era. Of these, Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the brightest and best, coupling a giant intellect with a highly emotional and impetuous nature. He was always a champion of liberty, but was largely ignored when he tried to promote political and social reform. He...

The Masque of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley 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.

Book cover To A Skylark

LibriVox volunteers bring you eight recordings of "To A Skylark." This is the Fortnightly Poetry for August 8, 2014.To A Skylark was completed by Shelley in late June 1820. It was inspired by an evening walk in the country near Livorno, Italy, with his wife Mary Shelley, and describes the appearance and song of a skylark they come upon.

By: Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)

Book cover Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American to publish a book of poetry in 1773. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at age seven, and bought by a wealthy Massachusetts family who taught her to read and write. Her extraordinary literary gifts led to the publication of her "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral," and to her eventual emancipation by her owners. Although some of the poems demonstrate an apparent acceptance of the racist values of the white slave-owning classes (which viewed Africans as savage), Wheatley's considerable talents simultaneously contradicted these stereotypes.

By: Publius Ovidius Naso

Book cover Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses of Ovid is probably one of the best known, certainly one of the most influential works of the Ancient world. It consists of a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world through mythological tales, starting with a cosmogony and finishing with the deification of Julius Caesar. Published around 8 AD, the Metamorphoses are a source, sometimes the only source, for many of the most famous ancient myths, such as the stories of Daedalus and Icarus, Arachne or Narcisus...

By: Publius Vergilius Maro (70 BC - 19 AD)

The Aeneid by Publius Vergilius Maro The Aeneid

The Aeneid is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled 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, and the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The poem was commissioned from Vergil by the Emperor Augustus to glorify Rome...

The Eclogues by Publius Vergilius Maro The Eclogues

This book of poems, written between 42 en 39 BC, was a bestseller in ancient Rome, and still holds a fascination today. Held to be divinely inspired not only by the Romans themselves, but by the Medieval Catholic church, The Eclogues is one of the most beloved collections of Latin short poetry.

By: Quintus H. H. Flaccus

Ars Poetica and Carmen Saeculare by Quintus H. H. Flaccus Ars Poetica and Carmen Saeculare

The Ars Poetica, by Horace, also known as Epistula ad Pisones, is a treatise on poetry written in the form of a letter, and published around 18 B.C. In it, Horace defines and exemplifies the nature, scope and correct way of writing poetry. This work, inspired by the book of the same name by Aristotle, is one of the most influential in Latin literature, and the source of famous concepts in poetics, such as “in medias res” and “ut pictura poesis”. The text itself is a poem in 476 dactilic hexameters...


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