This is a whimsical poem that takes the reader on a sailing hunt for the mythical Snark. The Bellman, the Butcher, the Baker, the Beaver and others named and unnamed provide a fast-paced, almost maniacal, romp to find the ellusive Snark. In the reading, you begin to suspect that Dr. Seuss may have found some inspiration from Carroll. The reading is a fast ride of thirty minutes and is suitable for children and adults alike.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Volunteers bring you nine different recordings of Christmas Bells, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of December 24th, 2006.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Volunteers bring you 21 recordings of Snow-Flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This was the Weekly Poetry project for December 20th, 2009.
Service, Robert W.
Volunteers bring you 13 recordings of The Spell of the Yukon by Robert W. Service. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for December 27th, 2009.
Service, Robert W.
On August 13-15, 2010, A hearty band of volunteers, led by Bob Ledrew and Sean McGaughey, recorded selections from the Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service with patrons, musicians and organizers of the festival. We chose Robert Service because he is an iconic Canadian poet. It was our intention to record the whole volume, but the festival was disrupted by torrential rains on its final day.
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. Its poems have a generally light, upbeat and pastoral feel and are typically written from the perspective of children or written about them.
Directly contrasting this, Songs of Experience instead deals with the loss of innocence after exposure to the material world and all of its mortal sin during adult life, including works such as The Tyger. Poems here are darker, concentrating on more political and serious themes. Throughout both books, many poems fall into pairs, so that a similar situation or theme can be seen in both Innocence and Experience. Many of the poems appearing in Songs of Innocence have a counterpart in Songs of Experience with opposing perspectives of the world. The disastrous end of the French Revolution caused Blake to lose faith in the goodness of mankind, explaining much of the volume's sense of despair. Blake also believed that children lost their innocence through exploitation and from a religious community which put dogma before mercy. He did not, however, believe that children should be kept from becoming experienced entirely. In truth, he believed that children should indeed become experienced but through their own discoveries, which is reflected in a number of these poems. Blake believed that innocence and experience were "the two contrary states of the human soul", and that true innocence was impossible without experience.
The Book of Thel is a poem by William Blake, dated 1789 and probably worked on in the period 1788 to 1790. It is illustrated by his own plates, and is relatively short and easy to understand, compared to his later prophetic books. The metre is a fourteen-syllable line. It was preceded by Tiriel, which Blake left in manuscript. A few lines from Tiriel were incorporated into The Book of Thel. This book consists of eight plates executed in illuminated printing. 15 copies of original print of 1789-1793 are known. Two copies have watermark of 1815, which are more elaborately colored than the others.
Robert Louis Stevenson
A Child's Garden Of Verses is a collection of poems for children written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The poems mainly concern childhood, illness, play, and solitude.
Byron, George Gordon, Lord
"The Giaour" is a poem by Lord Byron first published in 1813 and the first in the series of his Oriental romances. "The Giaour" proved to be a great success when published, consolidating Byron's reputation critically and commercially.
The title, An Essay on Criticism hardly indicates all that is included in the poem. It would have been impossible to give a full and exact idea of the art of poetical criticism without entering into the consideration of the art of poetry. Accordingly Pope has interwoven the precepts of both throughout the poem which might more properly have been styled an essay on the Art of Criticism and of Poetry.
An Essay on Criticism was the first major poem written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688-1744). However, despite the title, the poem is not as much an original analysis as it is a compilation of Pope's various literary opinions. A reading of the poem makes it clear that he is addressing not so much the ingenuous reader as the intending writer. It is written in a type of rhyming verse called heroic couplets.
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Music On Christmas Morning by Anne Bronte.
Published in the 1846 collection Poems By Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell under Anne's nom de plume 'Acton Bell'.
This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 29th, 2009.
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of Parting by Charlotte Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for October 25th, 2009.
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Past Days by Emily Brontë . This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 28th, 2010
Anne Brontë was a British novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She wrote a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and in short succession she wrote two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall appeared in 1848. Anne's life was cut short with her death of pulmonary tuberculosis when she was 29 years old. She published under the androgynous pen name Acton Bell.
Please note, at the time of this poetry project, the Gutenburg index was mis-interpreted and this poem was mistakenly attributed to Emily Brontë / Ellis Bell. The recorded LibriVox introductions will reflect this mistake.
Volunteers bring you 13 recordings of Lines Written From Home by Anne Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for October 3rd, 2010.
Volunteers bring you 11 recordings of The Consolation by Anne Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for March 14th, 2010.
Volunteers bring you 24 recordings of Appeal by Anne Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for February 5, 2012.
Appeal appears in 'Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell,' the first book ever published by the Bronte sisters. This book, a collection of poems by all the sisters, was first published in 1846 but did not sell at that time. After the sisters had made their names as novelists (and, sadly, after the deaths of Anne and Emily) a second edition was published in 1850 and became a commercial success.
In order to be taken seriously as poets and authors all three sisters adopted male pen names. Anne's particular pseudonym was Acton Bell.
Dunbar, Paul Laurence
Volunteers bring you 20 recordings of The Pool by Paul Laurence Dunbar. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 20, 2012.
Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 – February 9, 1906) was an African American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of his popular work in his lifetime used a Negro dialect, which helped him become one of the first nationally-accepted African American writers. Much of his writing, however, does not use dialect; these more traditional poems have become of greater interest to scholars.
Volunteers bring you 17 recordings of Love and Friendship by Emily Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for July 17, 2011.
Emily Jane Brontë was an English novelist and poet, now best remembered for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature. Emily was the second eldest of the three surviving Brontë sisters, between Charlotte and Anne. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.
Volunteers bring you 18 recordings of "The Visionary" by Ellis Bell (Emily Brontë). This was the weekly poem for January 1, 2012.
The first 12 lines originally appeared in one of a large group of Gondal poems, the word coming from the name of a fictitious island kingdom in a fantasy created by Emily and her sister Anne. When Emily finally consented to have some of her poems published in 1846, along with those of sisters Charlotte and Anne, she selected parts of the Gondal poems and removed all reference to the fantasy land. However, this poem first appeared in a new, expanded edition of the sisters' poetry (in 1850, after both Emily and Anne had died) and was apparently derived as follows:
"The Visionary (October 9, 1845)
This poem is part of the same Gondal poem from which Emily carved "The Prisoner. A Fragment." Charlotte Brontë took lines 1-12 of Emily's original poem, "Julian M. and A.G Rochelle," and added 8 lines of her own. Thus, the positive ending in which the watcher has a spiritual experience is Charlotte's and the watcher may be seen as Emily rather than a Gondal character. In Charlotte's version, it is hard to explain the guiding light in the window of stanze 2.
This account is fully supported by other sources. So the poem, as it was published in 1850, is a combination of work by Emily and Charlotte. Charlotte is accused by critics of using a heavy hand in editing some of Emily's formerly unpublished poems for the 1850 volume.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Volunteers bring you 20 recordings of Winter by Robert Louis Stevenson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 22nd, 2009.
Poe, Edgar Allan
Perhaps Edgar Allen Poe's most famous poem, the "Raven" is a macabre exploration of a man, his memories of Lenore, and the black bird that interrupts his studies on a dark December night, with tap-tap-tapping at his chamber door.
Geography and Plays is a 1922 collection of Gertrude Stein's "word portraits," or stream-of-consciousness writings. These stream-of-consciousness experiments, rhythmical essays or "portraits", were designed to evoke "the excitingness of pure being" and can be seen as literature's answer to Cubism, plasticity, and collage. Although the book has been described as "a marvellous and painstaking achievement in setting down approximately 80,000 words which mean nothing at all," it is considered to be one of Stein's seminal works.
Thomas Hardy is regarded as one of the best English novelists. His novels are heartbreaking, unconventional, sad and lyrical. He also wrote many poems. This is one of the best. This is the weekly poem for the week starting at 5 August 2012.
Volunteers bring you 13 recordings of Summer Shower by Emily Dickinson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 10th, 2010.
Vergilius Maro, Publius
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.
In this saga, the events that led to Eirik the Red's banishment to Greenland are chronicled, as well as Leif Eirikson's discovery of Vinland the Good (a place where wheat and grapes grew naturally), after his longboat was blown off-course. By geographical details, this place is surmised to be present-day Newfoundland, and is likely the first European discovery of the American mainland, some five centuries before Christopher Columbus's journey.
Catullus, Caius Valerius
Volunteers bring you 13 different recordings of To Lesbia by Caius Valerius Catullus (translation by Richard Burton.) This was the weekly poetry project for the week of August 5th, 2007.
Kabir (1440 - 1518) was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement.
The name Kabir comes from Arabic Al-Kabir which means 'The Great' - the 37th Name of God in the Qur'an.
Kabir was influenced by the prevailing religious mood of his times, such as old Brahmanic Hinduism, Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, the teachings of Nath yogis and the personal devotionalism of South India mixed with the imageless God of Islam. The influence of these various doctrines is clearly evident in Kabir's verses.
The basic religious principles he espoused are simple. According to Kabir, all life is an interplay of two spiritual principles. One is the personal soul (Jivatma) and the other is God (Paramatma). It is Kabir's view that salvation is the process of bringing into union these two divine principles.
His poems resonate with praise for the true guru who reveals the divine through direct experience, and denounce more usual ways of attempting god-union such as chanting, austerities, etc. His verses, which being illiterate he never expressed in writing and were spoken in vernacular Hindi, often began with some strongly worded insult to get the attention of passers-by. Kabir has enjoyed a revival of popularity over the past half century as arguably the most accessible and understandable of the Indian saints. (Introduction from Wikipedia)
Volunteers bring you 20 recordings of The Soldier by Rupert Brooke. This poem was written, as the concluding part of a series of sonnets, on the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Brooke, himself, died the following year on his way to a battle at Gallipoli.
This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 8th, 2009.
Volunteers bring you 10 recordings of A Channel Passage by Rupert Brooke. This was the weekly poetry project for August 30th, 2009.
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of Success by Rupert Brooke. This was the weekly poetry project for April 19th, 2009.
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of The Hill by Rupert Brooke. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 15, 2011.
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier). 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".
Volunteers bring you 19 recordings of The Call by Rupert Brooke. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for April 21st, 2013.
Yeats, William Butler
The Wild Swans at Coole is a collection of poems by William Butler Yeats, first published in 1917. It is also the name of a poem in that collection. The Wild Swans at Coole is in the "middle stage" of Yeats' writing and is concerned with, amongst other themes, Irish nationalism and the creation of an Irish aesthetic.
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.
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of Epigram by Alexander Pope. This was the Weekly Poetry project for August 8th, 2010.
D. H. Lawrence
Volunteers bring you 16 recordings of the haunting Ballad of Another Ophelia by D. H. Lawrence. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for March 24, 2013.
Volunteers bring you 21 recordings of Symphony in Yellow by Oscar Wilde. This was the Weekly Poetry project for March 18, 2012.
Oscar Wilde, an Irish author who lived for much of his life in London, is most famous for his witty, satirical plays. He also worked for some time as a journalist.
Much of his poetry was written early in his career, with a notable exception being The Ballad of Reading Gaol. This poem, Symphony in Yellow, is probably one of his earlier works; in it he describes London in a flattering manner something he was disinclined to do after his trial and imprisonment.
"It must equally be considered a splendid performance; and for the present we have no hesitation in saying that it is by far the best representation of Homer's Iliad in the English language." - London Times, 1865
"The merits of Lord Derby's translation may be summed up in one word, it is eminently attractive; it is instinct with life; it may be read with fervent interest; it is immeasurably nearer than Pope to the text of the original. Lord Derby has given a version far more closely allied to the original, and superior to any that has yet been attempted in the blank verse of our language." - Edinburgh Review, January 1865.
Wilde’s meditation on capital punishment, the Ballad of Reading Gaol comes after he was convicted and imprisoned under charges of gross indecency. The charges stemmed from his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, the son of the Marquis of Queensberry. It relates the story of an execution of a man who murdered his wife which Wilde witnessed during his internment. Published in 1898, it was Wilde’s last published poem as he would die in 1900 from cerebral menengitis, caused by syphilis.
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. It is this that Jesus Christ could see; he could continue to see the beauty of our humanity, despite all that we may do to each other, and encouraged us to love each other just the same.
“The Ballad of Reading Gaol” was published in 1898 and would gain Wilde greater recognition as a poet (in addition to being a great playwright); although his only other volume of poetry, one of his earliest works that he’d published, was also well-received. Sadly, ‘The Ballad’ would be his last.
Chesterton, G. K.
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
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of Petals by Amy Lowell. This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 27, 2011.
Amy Lawrence Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925) was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. Lowell was born into Brookline's prominent Lowell family, sister to astronomer Percival Lowell and Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell.
She never attended college because her family did not consider that proper for a woman, but she compensated with avid reading and near-obsessive book collecting. She lived as a socialite and travelled widely, turning to poetry in 1902 after being inspired by a performance of Eleonora Duse in Europe. In the post-World War II years, Lowell, like other women writers, was largely forgotten, but with the renaissance of the women's movement in the 1970s, women's studies brought her back to light. According to Heywood Broun, however, Lowell personally argued against feminism. Her poem, “Petals” is published in her collection A Dome of Many-Colored Glass (1912).
Nesbit, E. (Edith)
A light and whimsical collection of poems by the celebrated children's author E Nesbit, in collaboration with Saretta Nesbit.
The Wit and Humor of America is a 10 volume series. In this, the sixth volume, 55 short stories and poems have been gathered from 42 authors. This volume is sure to delight listeners.
Thayer, Ernest Lawrence
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Casey at the Bat by Ernst Lawrence Thayer. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for December 16, 2012.
Ernst Thayer was an American writer and poet who wrote "Casey at the Bat", the "single most famous baseball poem ever written" according to the Baseball Almanac.
Service, Robert W.
Volunteers bring you 8 recordings of The Passing of the Year by by Robert W. Service. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for December 18, 2011.
Robert William Service was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon". This poem taken from Rhymes of a Rolling Stone, published in 1912.
Volunteers bring you 22 recordings of Faults by Sara Teasdale. This was the Weekly Poetry project for March 7th, 2010.
Edwards, George Wharton
In this selection... the aim has been to bring within moderate compass a collection of these songs of the people which should fairly represent the range, the descriptive felicity, the dramatic power, and the genuine poetic feeling of a body of verse which is still, it is to be feared, unfamiliar to a large number of those to whom it would bring refreshment and delight.