Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are unquestionably two of the greatest epic masterpieces in Western literature. Though more than 2,700 years old, their stories of brave heroics, capricious gods, and towering human emotions are vividly timeless. The Iliad can justly be called the world's greatest war epic. The terrible and long-drawn-out siege of Troy remains one of the classic campaigns. The Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars to his beloved wife.
One of the greatest works in literature, Dante's story-poem is an allegory that represents mankind as it exposes itself, by its merits or demerits, to the rewards or the punishments of justice. A single listen will reveal Dante's visual imagination and uncanny power to make the spiritual visible.
These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.
"The 20th century"
A collection of the best-known poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). One of the Victorian era's greatest writers, Hopkins' reputation has continued to grow since his death. This collection includes "The Windhover", "The Caged Skylark", "Carrion Comfort", "Spring", and "Fall and Inversnaid".
Richard Burton reads from Hardy and Donne, and performs a wonderful unabridged version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (along with Robert Hardy and John Neville).
"Could have been perfect"
The Odyssey is the greatest adventure story ever written, and one of the great epic masterpieces of Western literature For almost 3,000 years, it has been a storehouse of ancient Greek folklore and myth. It is also our very first novel, if we think of it in terms of romantic plot development, realistic characterizations, frequent change of scene, and heroic dramatic devices.
The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.
How does a body of poetry written in a remote part of the world find its way to best seller lists in the U.S. over 700 years later? What is the compelling quality inherent in great literature that resonates throughout the ages? Coleman Barks, poet and translator of Jelalludin Rumi's poetry, explores the genius, mystery and rapture of Rumi's work; why he has become the most-read poet in America, and what his poetry has in common with the immortal writings of Dickinson, Emerson and Thoreau.
The 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), one of the most popular of poets, was celebrated in 2009. A pioneer of the Romantic movement, works such as "A Red, Red Rose", "A Man's a Man for a' That", and the ubiquitous "Auld Lang Syne", have made him an international figure. Naxos AudioBooks' popular Great Poets series marked the anniversary with this audio, bringing together all the key works.
Richard Burton, the multi-award winning actor, reads the finest work of Thomas Hardy.
"An absolute gem"
Graeme Malcolm, Eric Stoltz, and other accomplished actors bring life to the words of the world's favorite poets, including William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
In words remarkable for their richness of rhythm and imagery, Milton tells the story of man's creation, fall, and redemption, "to justify the ways of God to men". Here, unabridged, and told with exceptional sensitivity and power by Anton Lesser, is the plight of Adam and Eve, the ambition and vengefulness of Satan and his cohorts.
A new version of The Epic of Gilgamesh by Sebastian Lockwood. This is the story of Gilgamesh, King of Kings, who brought back knowledge from before the flood - who loved and lost his companion Enkidu and had to find out why we die. The Epic of Gilgamesh was written on clay tablets over 4,000 years ago, in what is today Baghdad Iraq - the Biblical Garden of Eden between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Lockwood gives a passionate reading from a text that faithfully follows the original.
This varied, well-chosen selection brings onto one audiobook the best of Dylan Thomas. Here is the legendary recording of "Under Milk Wood", with Richard Burton and Richard Bebb as narrators; but here also are two radio productions he wrote before that great classic, and though interesting in their own right, they show how "Under Milk Wood" grew gradually in his imagination.
"close your eyes and spoil yourself"
When we think of Oscar Wilde we think of his wonderful wit and of course his plays and short stories. We rarely think of his poetry. We should. His work brings new insights into both his view of the world and how we can view him.
An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.
"Wonderful Ovid, Over The Top Narration"
Poems by Emily Dickinson is a compilation of the poetry of Emily Dickinson in three different series, each composed of the following subjects: Life, Love, Nature, Time, and Eternity.
The notoriously reclusive New England poet broke all the rules of Victorian-era poetry to create a new, uniquely American style. Despite the fact that the majority of the poems recited here were never published in her lifetime, Dickinson remains one of the most influential voices in American literature.
This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.
The Aeneid represents one of the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of Western Civilization. Within the brooding and melancholy atmosphere of Virgil's pious masterpiece lies the mythic story of Aeneas and his flight from burning Troy, taking with him across the Mediterranean the survivors of the Greek onslaught. Aeneas, after many travails and adventures, including a love affair with Dido Queen of Carthage and a visit to the underworld to see his father, ends up in Italy.
Naxos AudioBooks continues its new series of Great Poets, represented by collections of their most popular poems in one program. W. B. Yeats was one of the most beloved poets of the 20th century. He left a large legacy of outstanding poems, and the finest are collected here: "Down by the Salley Gardens," "The Lake Isle of Inisfree," "The Secret Rose," and "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven". They are read by a strong cast, led by Olivier award-winner Jim Norton.
Homer's epic poem, written near the end of eighth century BC in Greece, follows the hero Odysseus as he journeys home after the fall of Troy. Many scholars believe that The Odyssey was originally composed as an oral tradition and was more likely meant to be heard than read, making it a great listen.
A collection of poems written by the revered American poet, essayist, and journalist. Included are selections from this most famous work, Leaves of Grass, as well as Drum Taps and Songs of Parting.
Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf is an epic poem that traces the exploits of the titular hero. After coming to the aid of the king of the Danes, whose mead hall is under constant attack by the monster Grendel, Beowulf slays Grendel's mother and goes on to become the king of the Geats.