Narrative, Lyric, Polemic, and Ribald Verse
The renowned translator Walter Arndt (1916–2011) presents a collection of Pushkin’s narrative, lyric, polemic and ribald verse with three versions of each poem: the original Russian, a close translation into English, and a poetic verse translation that aims to capture the form and spirit of the original.
Great Poets: Robert Burns
On this recording from Naxos’ The Great Poets series, a Scot, the actor Forbes Masson, reads 25 works by Scotland’s most famous poet. The selection includes all Burns’s most popular poems, including, A Red, Red Rose, The Jolly Beggars, Address to the Haggis and Auld Lang Syne. 1 CD: 1hr 18mins.
The Great Poets: Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was considered disreputable when it was published in 1855; now he is seen as ‘America’s poet’. This selection of ten poems includes ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ from Leaves of Grass and Whitman’s Civil War rallying cry to the North, ‘Beat! Beat! Drums!’.
The Finest Nonsense of Edward Lear
Read by one of Britain’s best-loved actors, these 29 verses include ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and ‘The Jumblies’, with less well-known rhymes such as ‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’ and ‘The New Vestments’. The sleeve notes offer a fascinating insight into Lear’s life. Age 8+
Beneath Troubled Skies
Poems of Scotland at War, 1914–1918
Some of the finest First World War verses were written by Scottish poets. This collection of work by Charles Hamilton Sorley, EA Mackintosh, Margaret Sackville and others powerfully evokes the terror of the trenches and the anguish of bereavement.
A Book of Nonsense
The Centenary Edition
‘I cannot give the reasons, / I only sing the tunes: / the sadness of the seasons, / The madness of the moons.’ Magical, macabre and brilliantly off-beat, the creator of Gormenghast’s nonsense verse features a gallery of bizarre creatures such as the Dwarf of Battersea and Aunty Mig who became a pig. This centenary edition includes twelve previously unpublished drawings and a foreword by the poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
The Poetry of a People
Over many centuries, from Caedmon to Carol Ann Duffy, Britons have recorded their joys and sorrows, their loves and losses, in verse. In this anthology, which accompanied Radio 4's celebration of National Poetry Day in 2015, Andrew Marr tells the story of the country through the words of its poets. Alongside the work of such acclaimed writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Wordsworth are many lesser-known gems, offering us a glimpse of people's lives and experiences in every era.
Classic English Love Poems
From lines by the 14th-century Lincolnshire poet Robert Mannyng (1288–1338), to ‘Is My Team Ploughing?’ from AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad (1896), this romantic anthology spans six centuries and includes, among its 87 poems, works by many of the greatest poets in English literature.
The Poems & Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty
Satirized as ‘stately Buck Mulligan’ in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Oliver St John Gogarty (1878–1957) was a leading figure in the Irish literary Renaissance, whose elegant lyric verse was greatly admired by his friend WB Yeats. This complete edition brings together his 15 volumes of poetry, together with more than 200 unpublished poems and the three plays he wrote for Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, allowing modern readers to appreciate the full range of his lively, evocative writing.
Poetry and Film
Artistic Kinship Between Arsenii and Andrei Tarkovsky
Arsenii Tarkovsky’s first collection of poems was published in 1962; the same year, his son’s first feature film won the Golden Lion at Cannes. This collection of Arsenii’s poems, with introductory essays, explores the relation between poet and filmmaker.
Pardoners, Frankeleyns and Nonne Preestes Tales
in Middle English
These three tales from The Canterbury Tales are read in the original Middle English by Richard Bebb: they are the Pardoner’s story of three ruffians out to ‘kill death’; the Franklin’s tale of a young wife’s rash promise; and the Nun’s Priest’s retelling of the exploits of Chanticleer. Unabridged.
Some Desperate Glory
The First World War the Poets Knew
Max Egremont presents an original and engrossing account of the First World War, told through the stories of eleven poets and through a selection of their poetry for each year of the war. Along with the famous war poets – Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Edward Blunden, Edward Thomas and Isaac Rosenberg, the book follows the experiences of the lesser-known Charles Sorley, Julian Grenfell and Robert Nichols, and the composer Ivor Gurney.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Poems Selected by James Fenton
In this volume from the Faber Nature Poets series, James Fenton presents a fine and wide-ranging selection of Coleridge’s work. He uses the texts newly edited by JCC Mays along with some from earlier editions to provide intriguing examples of shifts in the poems’ effects; among the most striking are the two versions of Kubla Khan and Dejection, and the original text of The Ancyent Marinere (1798).