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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...

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: 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...

By: Richard Crashaw (c. 1613-1649)

Book cover Hymn of the Nativity, Sung by the Shepherds

Librivox volunteers bring you seven readings of A Hymn of the Nativity, Sung by the Shepherds by Richard Crashaw. This was the fortnightly poem for December 7 - December 21, 2014. - Ann Boulais

By: Richard Dennys (1884-1916)

Book cover Better Far to Pass Away

At this time of year, we dedicate the Fortnightly Poetry project to the fallen in war. This poem, written at a time when the average life expectancy of an officer at the front was a mere six weeks, vividly demonstrates a young officer's expectation and acceptance of his own death.

By: Richard Hovey (1864-1900)

Book cover At the Club

LibriVox volunteers bring you 14 recordings of At the Club by Richard Hovey. This was the Weekly Poetry project for August 3, 2013.Richard Hovey was an American poet. Graduating from Dartmouth College in 1885, he is known in part for penning the school Alma Mater, Men of Dartmouth. He collaborated with Canadian poet Bliss Carman on three volumes of "tramp" verse: Songs from Vagabondia (1894), More Songs from Vagabondia (1896), and Last Songs from Vagabondia (1900), the last being published after Hovey's death.

By: Richard Watson Gilder (1844-1909)

Book cover Sonnet

Librivox volunteers bring you 10 readings of The Sonnet by Richard Watson Gilder. This was the weekly poetry project for October 5, 2014.

By: Ring Lardner (1885-1933)

Bib Ballads by Ring Lardner Bib Ballads

Ring Lardner is a typical parent when his first child is born, full of wonder and the rest of the usual emotions as he watches his little son grow. He wrote a series of 29 short poems on various facets of parenthood.

By: Robert Bridges (1844-1930)

Book cover Growth of Love

Robert Bridges, who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1913, published three versions of his sonnet sequence, The Growth of Love:1876 - 24 sonnets1889 - 79 sonnets1898 - 69 sonnetsThe second edition, which is the subject of this recording, was re-published in 1894, with an extensive introduction from another celebrated poet, Lionel Johnson.The title of the work is a little misleading, as it suggests a process of development, a deepening understanding, by which one arrives at a more comprehensive appreciation of the mysterious entity which we call love...

By: Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Pippa Passes by Robert Browning Pippa Passes

Pippa Passes was a dramatic piece, as much play as poetry, by Robert Browning published in 1841 as the first volume of his Bells and Pomegranates series. The author described the work as the first of a series of dramatic pieces. His original idea was of a young, innocent girl, moving unblemished through the crime-ridden neighbourhoods of Asolo. The work caused outrage when it was first published, due to the matter-of-fact portrayals of many of the area’s more disreputable characters – notably the adulterous Ottima – and for its frankness on sexual matters...

By: Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Book cover Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary?

A LibriVox' Weekly Poetry tribute to Robbie Burns on the upcoming Robbie Burns Day. (January 25) Robert Burns (also known as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard) was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland...

By: Robert Burton (1577-1640)

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy

The Anatomy of Melancholy is a book by Robert Burton, first published in 1621. On its surface, the book is a medical textbook in which Burton applies his large and varied learning in the scholastic manner to the subject of melancholia (which includes what is now termed clinical depression). Though presented as a medical text, The Anatomy of Melancholy is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject. In...

By: Robert Copland (fl. 1515)

Book cover Jyl of Breyntfords Testament

Introduction - This is a collection of ten comic pieces from the 16th century and earlier, as compiled and edited by Frederick Furnivall for private circulation in 1871. Only the first is by Copland. (Introduction by Grant Hurlock)

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.

Book cover Hillside Thaw

LibriVox volunteers bring you 10 recordings of The Hillside Thaw by Robert Frost. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for May 5th, 2013.

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.

Book cover Where Go the Boats

Where Go the Boats is a short poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. He was a Scottish author famous for writing Treasure Island. He also wrote many poems, including this one, which was published in A Child's Garden of Verses. Some comments from our readers.. "I hope my recording floats your boat." - Assaf "Help prevent toy loss, tie boat to dock after play." - Bruce "I conceive that this simple little verse is about time and writing. Of course, it may just be about little boats." - Jason

Book cover My Shadow

Librivox volunteers bring you 14 readings of My Shadow, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson's famous poem concerns a child's shadow, and it's antics. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of September 7th, 2014.

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.

Book cover The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses

Known as the Bard of the Yukon and as a people's poet, Robert Service immortalized his experience with the Yukon and its gold rush and this collection of poetry. While some poems are anecdotal and amusing, others capture the raw brilliance that frontiers evoke and the ever pioneering spirit of man. Alternately titled Songs of a Sourdough in the United Kingdoms. (Introduction by Becky)

Book cover Songs of a Sourdough

Reputedly the best-selling poetry collection of the 20th century, 'Songs of a Sourdough' is best known for Robert W. Service's classic Yukon ballads, 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' and 'The Cremation of Sam McGhee'. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, and grew up in Scotland. In his twenties, he made his way to Canada and settled in the Yukon where he worked as a bank clerk but evidently dreamed of more adventurous pursuits. Service's readings of his poems show that he could adopt either a Scottish or North American accent. Here they are read in an accent that is not too far removed from the place of his birth.

Book cover Songs of a Sourdough

Reputedly the best-selling poetry collection of the 20th century, 'Songs of a Sourdough' is best known for Robert W. Service's classic Yukon ballads, 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' and 'The Cremation of Sam McGhee'. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, and grew up in Scotland. In his twenties, he made his way to Canada and settled in the Yukon where he worked as a bank clerk but evidently dreamed of more adventurous pursuits. Service's readings of his poems show that he could adopt either a Scottish or North American accent. Here they are read in an accent that is not too far removed from the place of his birth.

By: Robert Williams Wood (1868-1955)

How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers by Robert Williams Wood How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers

How do you tell apart a parrot from a carrot? A plover from a clover? A bay from a jay? Although there are several ways of differentiating, R. W. Wood’s use of pun and rhyme is one of the most entertaining!

By: Romesh C Dutt

The Mahabharata by Vyasa: the epic of ancient India condensed into English verse by Romesh C Dutt The Mahabharata by Vyasa: the epic of ancient India condensed into English verse

The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. With more than 74,000 verses, Mahabharata is said to be the longest poem. Mahabharata tells the story of the epic Kurukshetra War and the fates of the cousin brothers Kauravas and the Pandavas. But more than that the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or 'purusharthas'. The latter are enumerated as dharma (right action), artha (purpose), kama (pleasure), and moksha (liberation). (Introduction by om123)

By: Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon (1829-1879)

Book cover Afternoon in July

LibriVox volunteers bring you 14 recordings of An Afternoon in July by Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for July 7, 2013.Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon, born Rosanna Eleanor Mullins, was a Canadian writer and poet. She was "one of the first English-Canadian writers to depict French Canada in a way that earned the praise of, and resulted in her novels being read by, both anglophone and francophone Canadians."Leprohon's novels were popular in both English and French Canada in the late 19th-century, and were still being reprinted in French in the mid-1920s...

By: Royal Baking Powder Company

Billy in Bunbury by Royal Baking Powder Company Billy in Bunbury

This 1924 poem/recipe book, designed as promotional material for the Royal Baking Powder Company, is set in the Oz community of Bunbury. Little Billy, who won’t eat, is taken to the delicious kingdom Bunbury by King Hun Bun to help whet his appetite. Meanwhile, the King leaves the boy’s mother with a recipe book for treats, made easy by the use of Price’s Baking Powder. Written by Ruth Plumly Thompson, though neither her name, nor the illustrator’s (Gertrude Kay) appears on the book.

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.

Book cover Smoke Upon Your Altar Dies

LibriVox volunteers bring you 15 recordings of The Smoke Upon Your Altar Dies by Rudyard Kipling. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 6, 2013.Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kilping was one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient...

By: Rupert Brooke

Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke by Rupert Brooke Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke

Rupert Chawner Brooke (August 3, 1887 – April 23, 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic War Sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier), as well as for his poetry written outside of war, especially The Old Vicarage, Grantchester and The Great Lover. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”.

By: Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

Book cover Poster-Painter's Masterpiece

Sam Walter Foss was an American librarian and poet. For many years the opening lines from Foss' The Coming American ("Bring me men to match my mountains / Bring me men to match my plains / Men with empires in their purpose / And new eras in their brains") were inscribed on a granite wall at the United States Air Force Academy to inspire cadets and officers, but they were removed in 2003 to harmonize in perception to the Air Force Academy's having become coeducational.

By: Samuel Rogers (1763-1855)

Book cover To the Gnat

LibriVox volunteers bring you 15 recordings of To The Gnat by Samuel Rogers. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 19, 2013.Some comments from our readers.. "It might seem a tad mellow dramatic, but if you live in the country as I do, this might just resonate. Here it is the mosquito that presents as my mortal enemy, and if it infiltrates my room at night, there is no sleeping until it has been vanquished. (Arielph)"Coming from Scotland as I do where we have the dreaded Midgie, which feels like it has the teeth of a Doberman, I can sympathize with the poet on his anticipation of a sleepless night...

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...

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: Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

Book cover Helen of Troy and Other Poems
Book cover India Wharf

Sara Teasdale was an American lyric poet.

Book cover Mastery

LibriVox volunteers bring you 21 recordings of Mastery by Sara Teasdale. This was the Weekly Poetry project for April 28th, 2013.

Book cover Leaves

Autumn, interchangeably known as fall in North America, is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphere), when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier and the temperature cools considerably. One of its main features is the shedding of leaves from deciduous trees. In North America, autumn is usually considered to start with the September equinox (21 or 22) and end with the winter solstice (21 or 22 December). (Wikipedia)

Book cover Old Maid (Teasdale)

LibriVox volunteers bring you 10 recordings of The Old Maid by Sara Teasdale. This was the Weekly Poetry project for September 8, 2013.

Book cover Spring, 1918

LibriVox volunteers bring you 13 recordings of Spring, 1918 by Sara Teasdale. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 11th, 2014.

By: Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

Book cover Widow's House

LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of The Widows' House by Sarah Orne Jewett. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 11, 2012.Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine.

Book cover Widow's House

LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of The Widows' House by Sarah Orne Jewett. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 11, 2012.Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine.

By: Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)

Book cover Golden Threshold

Sarojini Naidu was a remarkable woman. Known as the Nightingale of India, she started writing at the age of thirteen and throughout her life composed several volumes of poetry, writing many poems which are still famous to this day. As well as being a poet, Naidu was an activist and politician, campaigning for Indian independence and became the first Indian woman to attain the post of President of the Indian National Congress. This volume contains the beautiful 'Indian Love-Song', as well as many other moving verses...

By: Sidney Lanier (1842-1881)

Book cover The Song of the Chattahoochee.

Sidney Clopton Lanier was an American musician, poet and author. He served in the Confederate army, worked on a blockade running ship for which he was imprisoned (resulting in his catching tuberculosis), taught, worked at a hotel where he gave musical performances, was a church organist, and worked as a lawyer. As a poet he used dialects. He became a flautist and sold poems to publications. He eventually became a university professor and is known for his adaptation of musical meter to poetry. Many schools, other structures and two lakes are named for him.

Book cover My Springs

LibriVox volunteers bring you 9 recordings of My Springs by Sidney Lanier. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for April 7th, 2013. This rather lovely poem is the poet's tribute to his wife's eyes.

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.

Book cover Guards Came Through and other Poems

This is a volume of poems by Arthur Conan Doyle, published in 1919. Many of them concern wartime experiences.

By: Sir John Suckling

The Constant Lover by Sir John Suckling The Constant Lover

Sir John Suckling (1609-42) was one of the Cavalier poets at the court of King Charles I of England. He took up arms in the conflicts of that era but was said to be more fit for the boudoir than the battlefield. He was a prolific lover, a sparkling wit and an excessive gamester and is credited with inventing the card game, Cribbage. Cavalier poetry was witty, decorous and sometimes naughty. The Constant Lover displays these elements as well as Suckling’s conversational ease and charm.

By: Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Astrophil and Stella by Sir Philip Sidney Astrophil and Stella

Astrophil and Stella is a sonnet sequence written by Philip Sidney, an Elizabethan poet and courtier. It details the frustrated love of Astrophil (whose name means “star-lover”) for his beloved Stella (whose name means “star”). It is likely that Sidney based his poems on his own unrequited passion for a married woman. The sequence inspired other sonnet writers of the period, such as Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Lady Mary Wroth.

Book cover To Sleep

LibriVox volunteers bring you 11 recordings of To Sleep by Sir Philip Sidney. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 23, 2014. Sir Philip Sidney (30 November 1554 – 17 October 1586) was an English poet, courtier and soldier, who is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age.

By: Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)

Book cover A selection of poems by Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1552 – 29 October 1618) was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England.Raleigh's poetry is written in the relatively straightforward, unornamented mode known as the plain style. C. S. Lewis considered Raleigh one of the era's "silver poets", a group of writers who resisted the Italian Renaissance influence of dense classical reference and elaborate poetic devices.In poems such as "What is Our Life" and "The Lie", Raleigh expresses a contemptus mundi (contempt of the world) attitude more characteristic of the Middle Ages than of the dawning era of humanistic optimism...

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)

The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott The Lady of the Lake

The scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The time of Action includes Six Days, and the transactions of each Day occupy a Canto.

By: Sophocles (c. 497 BC - c. 406 BC)

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Oedipus Rex

Oedipus the King (often known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex) is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Over the centuries, it has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.

Antigone by Sophocles Antigone

This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.

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: Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943)

A Selection from Young Adventure, A Book of Poems by Stephen Vincent Benét A Selection from Young Adventure, A Book of Poems

Stephen Vincent Benét (July 22, 1898 – March 13, 1943) was an American author, poet, short story writer and novelist. He is best known for his book-length narrative poem of the American Civil War, John Brown’s Body (1928), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929, and for two short stories, “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “By the Waters of Babylon”. It was a line of Benét’s poetry that gave the title to Dee Brown’s famous history of the destruction of Native American tribes by the United States: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

By: Susan Coolidge (1835-1905)

Book cover Verses

Susan Coolidge was the pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who is best known for her What Katy Did series. This is the first of three volumes of her verse.

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: The Gawain Poet

Pearl by The Gawain Poet Pearl

Written in the 14th century by the Gawain poet, 'Pearl' is an elegiac poem reflecting on the death of a young daughter, pictured as a pearl lost in a garden. It is considered a masterpiece of Middle English verse, incorporating both the older tradition of alliterative poetry as well as rhyme, centered around the development of an intricately structured image. Sophie Jewett's translation from the Northern dialect of the original renders much of the poem's liveliness and beauty accessible to modern readers, whilst encouraging them to pursue their reading further, to read the original itself.This recording is dedicated to the memory of Pearl Jean Shearman, 1914-2012.

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: 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 In Time Of The Breaking Of Nations

LibriVox volunteers bring you 9 recordings of "In Time Of The Breaking Of Nations" by Thomas Hardy. This was the Weekly Poetry project for June 30, 2013.Written during the First World War, this is a poem about love, war and their timelessness by one of the best Victorian novelists.

Book cover Wessex Poems

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

By: Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839)

Book cover Oh! Where do the Fairies Hide Their Heads

Librivox volunteers bring you 12 readings of Oh! Where Do the Fairies Hide Their heads by Thomas Haynes Bayly. Oh! Where do the fairies hide their heads, When snow lies on the hills, When frost has spoiled their mossy beds, And crystallized their Rills? Beneath the moon they cannot trip In circles o’er the plain; And draughts of dew they cannot sip, Till green leaves come again.This was the weekly poetry project for February 15, 2015.

By: Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

Book cover Workhouse Clock

There were scarcely any events in the life of Thomas Hood. One condition there was of too potent determining importance—life-long ill health; and one circumstance of moment—a commercial failure, and consequent expatriation. Beyond this, little presents itself for record in the outward facts of this upright and beneficial career, bright with genius and coruscating with wit, dark with the lengthening and deepening shadow of death.

Book cover Death-bed

Thomas Hood was an English poet, author, and humourist, best known for poems such as The Bridge of Sighs and The Song of the Shirt. Hood wrote regularly for The London Magazine, the Athenaeum, and Punch. He later published a magazine largely consisting of his own works. Hood, never robust, lapsed into invalidism by the age of 41 and died at the age of 45. William Michael Rossetti in 1903 called him "the finest English poet" between the generations of Shelley and Tennyson.

By: Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

Book cover Meeting of the Waters

LibriVox volunteers bring you 16 recordings of The Meeting of the Waters by Thomas Moore. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 25, 2102.

Book cover Farewell -- But Whenever --

Librivox volunteers bring you seven readings of Farewell! – But Whenever – by Thomas Moore. This is the fortnightly poetry project for October 12, 2014.

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: Titus Lucretius Carus (94? BC - 49? BC)

On the Nature of Things by Titus Lucretius Carus On the Nature of Things

Written in the first century b.C., On the Nature of Things (in Latin, "De Rerum Natura") is a poem in six books that aims at explaining the Epicurean philosophy to the Roman audience. Among digressions about the importance of philosophy in men's life and praises of Epicurus, Lucretius created a solid treatise on the atomic theory, the falseness of religion and many kinds of natural phenomena. With no harm to his philosophical scope, the author composed a didactic poem of epic flavor, of which the imagery and style are highly praised.

By: Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639)

Book cover Sonnets of Michael Angelo Buonarroti and Tommaso Campanella

Michael Angelo and Campanella represent widely sundered, though almost contemporaneous, moments in the evolution of the Italian genius. Michael Angelo was essentially an artist, living in the prime of the Renaissance. Campanella was a philosopher, born when the Counter-Reformation was doing all it could to blight the free thought of the sixteenth century; and when the modern spirit of exact enquiry, in a few philosophical martyrs, was opening a new stage for European science. The one devoted all his mental energies to the realisation of beauty: the other strove to ascertain truth...

By: Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso Jerusalem Delivered

The First Crusade provides the backdrop for a rich tapestry of political machinations, military conflicts, martial rivalries, and love stories, some of which are complicated by differences in religion. The supernatural plays a major role in the action. Partly on this account, and partly because of the multilayered, intertwined plots, the poem met with considerable contemporary criticism, so Tasso revised it radically and published the revision under a new name, La Gerusalemme Conquistata, or "Jerusalem Conquered," which has remained virtually unread, a warning to authors who pay attention to the critics...

By: Toru Dutt (1856-1877)

Book cover Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan

Toru Dutt was an Indian poet, writing in English. Born in 1856, she travelled to England and France, and being a polyglot became fluent in French and English, later in Sanskrit as well. Her works gained popularity and success posthumously. This collection of her poems, Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan, was published by her father after her death in 1877. This collection is divided into 2 parts: the 1st part contains long poems about the ancient legends of her native land of India, which had been passed on to her orally in Sanskrit and which held much fascination for her, and also implied her desire to return to India...


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