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Poetry

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  1. 8.1 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    Great poetry can indeed outlast stone and the glory of princes, and the English poetic tradition is among the world’s richest. This audiobook tells the story of that tradition through its towering figures—Spenser and Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden, Wordsworth and Tennyson, Whitman, Dickinson, and Eliot—and through scores of other poets. Clear and accessible, blending criticism with imagination and illustrated with scores of quotations, this new history will delight all who care about the past and the future of English poetry.

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    The History of English Poetry

    8.1 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.9 hrs • 2/11/2014 • Unabridged

    From the acclaimed author of My Name Is Bill and Home before Dark comes a major reassessment of the life and work of one of America’s preeminent twentieth-century poets. E. E. Cummings’ radical experimentation with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax resulted in his creation of a new, idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. And while there was critical disagreement about his work (Edmund Wilson called it “hideous,” while Malcolm Cowley called him “unsurpassed in his field”), at the time of his death in 1962, at age sixty-seven, he was, after Robert Frost, the most widely read poet in the United States. Now, in this new biography, Susan Cheever traces the development of the poet and his work. She takes us from Cummings’ seemingly idyllic childhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts, through his years at Harvard (rooming with Dos Passos, befriending Malcolm Cowley and Lincoln Kirstein) where the radical verse of Ezra Pound lured the young writer away from the politeness of the traditional nature poem and towards a more adventurous, sexually conscious form. We follow Cummings to Paris in 1917 and, finally, to Greenwich Village to be among other modernist poets of the day, including Marianne Moore and Hart Crane. Rich and illuminating, E. E. Cummings: A Life is a revelation of the man and the poet, and a brilliant reassessment of the freighted path of his legacy.

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    E. E. Cummings by Susan Cheever

    E. E. Cummings

    7.9 hrs • 2/11/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 15.9 hrs • 8/3/2010 • Unabridged

    Abraham Lincoln read it with approval, but Emily Dickinson described its bold language and themes as “disgraceful.” Ralph Waldo Emerson found Leaves of Grass “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed,” calling it a “combination of the Bhagavad Gita and the New York Herald.” Published at the author’s own expense on July 4, 1855, Leaves of Grass initially consisted of a preface, twelve untitled poems in free verse (including the work later titled “Song of Myself,” which Malcolm Cowley called “one of the great poems of modern times”), and a now-famous portrait of a devil-may-care Walt Whitman in a workman’s shirt. Over the next four decades, Whitman continually expanded and revised the book as he took on the role of a workingman’s bard who championed American nationalism, political democracy, contemporary progress, and unashamed sex. This volume, which contains 383 poems, is the final “Deathbed Edition,” which was published in 1892.

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    Leaves of Grass

    15.9 hrs • 8/3/10 • Unabridged
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  4. 4.4 hrs • 8/1/2009 • Abridged

    Good Poems includes poems about lovers, children, failure, everyday life, death, and transcendence. It features the work of classic poets, such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Robert Frost, as well as the work of contemporary greats such as Howard Nemerov, Charles Bukowski, Donald Hall, Billy Collins, Robert Bly, and Sharon Olds. The poems are read by Keillor and a number of the poets included in the collection. Some are wise, some are funny, some are soothing or heartwarming. All were chosen for their wit, frankness, passion, and, in Keillor’s words, their “utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with at 7 a.m.”

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    Good Poems

    By various authors, with an introduction by Garrison Keillor
    Performed by Garrison Keillor and a full cast
    4.4 hrs • 8/1/09 • Abridged
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    18.8 hrs • 5/1/2009 • Unabridged

    One of the great innovative figures in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daring new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. His poems have been woven into the very fabric of the American character and have continued to provide inspiration to people and poets for generations. Leaves of Grass is Whitman’s masterpiece, written in a pure, uninhibited style and combining sensual and mystical sensibilities. Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose essay “The Poet” inspired the work, praised it, saying “I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed.” Self-published in 1855, it was repeatedly expanded and revised by Whitman throughout the rest of his life. This recording follows the final, most complete edition which appeared in 1892, the year of Whitman’s death. Among the poems in the collection are “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” Whitman’s elegy to the assassinated president Abraham Lincoln.

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    Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

    Leaves of Grass

    18.8 hrs • 5/1/09 • Unabridged
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    4.5 hrs • 7/1/2005 • Unabridged

    In the first in a new series of brief biographies, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brilliantly evokes the medieval world of England and provides an incomparable introduction to the great poet’s works. Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, lived a surprisingly eventful life. He served with the Duke of Clarence and with Edward III, and in 1359 was taken prisoner in France and ransomed. Through his wife, Philippa, he gained the patronage of John of Gaunt, which helped him carve out a career at court. His posts included controller of customs at the Port of London, knight of the shire for Kent, and King’s forester. He went on numerous adventurous diplomatic missions to France and Italy. Yet he was also indicted for rape, sued for debt, and captured in battle. He began to write in the 1360s, and is now known as the father of English poetry. His Troilus and Criseyde is the first example of modern English literature, and his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, the forerunner of the English novel, dominated the last part of his life. In his lively style, Peter Ackroyd, one of the most acclaimed biographers and novelists writing today, brings us an eye-opening portrait, rich in drama and colorful historical detail, of a prolific, multifaceted genius.

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    Chaucer

    4.5 hrs • 7/1/05 • Unabridged
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  7. 18.1 hrs • 1/1/2004 • Unabridged

    In this authoritative, fresh, and compelling account of the extraordinary life and enduring work of Dylan Thomas—author of Under Milkwood, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Adventures in the Skin Trade, Portrait of the Artist As a Young Dog, and numerous poems and stories—Andrew Lycett peels back the layers of story that have accumulated around this extraordinarily talented writer, one of the most celebrated and contradictory literary figures of the twentieth century. Lycett uses as his overwhelming motif the deeply ambivalent forces in Thomas’ life—“I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me” said Thomas—that allowed him to be a wild boy in public and a poet of deep sensitivity in private, and helped him to bridge the gap between modernism and pop, the written and the spoken word, individual art and performance art.

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    Dylan Thomas by Andrew Lycett

    Dylan Thomas

    18.1 hrs • 1/1/05 • Unabridged
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