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.
"beautiful stories, beautifully read.."
Twas The Night Before Christmas first appeared in the Sentinel, a New Yorkmagazine, in 1823 without an author's name attached. It was later attributed to Clement Clark Moore, a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at Columbia University, though some academics now wonder if he actually was its author.
Many poets were delighted by The Christmas Story in the 19th century. Henry WadsworthLongfellow of Hiawatha fame was one of them - his The Three Kings is his re-telling, done in a fine, upright meter and rhyme.
Dante's Divine Comedy is considered to be not only the most important epic poem in Italian literature, but also one of the greatest poems ever written. It consists of 100 cantos, and (after an introductory canto) they are divided into three sections. Each section is 33 cantos in length, and they describe how Dante and a guide travel through Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
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.
Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf is a work that is both true to the original poem and an expression of something fundamental to Heaney's own creative gift.One of the great classics of English literature, it tells the story of a hero who wins glory and learns wisdom and is then called upon to face a final test against the monstrous. There are obvious parallels to be found in the history of the twentieth century, and Heaney's Beowulf cannot fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, revealing psychological and spiritual truths that are both permanent and liberating.
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.
"Interesting, Informative English Literature course"
Everyone knows something of Shakespeare's sonnets, even if only in memorable fragments like "the darling buds of May," or "remembrance of things past," or "the marriage of true minds." For centuries these wonderfully crafted, intense lyrics have stood for something valued about youth, love, and the emotional complexities belonging to that time of life. This new recording presents all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets, using the New Cambridge Shakespeare texts.
"20 May 1609 - 2009"
A masterly new recording by Ralph Fiennes. Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T. S. Eliot's career as a poet. While containing some of the most musical and unforgettable passages in 20th-century poetry, its four parts, 'Burnt Norton', 'East Coker', 'The Dry Salvages' and 'Little Gidding', present a rigorous meditation on the spiritual, philosophical and personal themes which preoccupied the author.
Anger be now your song, immortal one, Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous, that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom, leaving so many dead men-carrion for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done. (Lines 1-6)
"Abandon all hope you who enter here." ("Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch'intrate.") Dante's Hell is one of the most remarkable visions in Western literature. An allegory for his and future ages, it is, at the same time, an account of terrifying realism. Passing under a lintel emblazoned with these frightening words, the poet is led down into the depths by Virgil and shown those doomed to suffer eternal torment for vices exhibited and sins committed on earth.
This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was Spenser's finest achievement. The first epic poem in modern English, The Faerie Queene combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry. At the same time, Spenser is expounding a deeply-felt allegory of the eternal struggle between Truth and Error....
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.
A wonderful selection of Yeats' finest work, read by the author himself along with Siobhan McKenna and others.
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 the mysterious Green Knight arrives unbidden at the Round Table one Christmas, only Gawain is brave enough to take up his challenge.... This story, first told in the 1400s, is one of the most enthralling, dramatic and beloved poems in the English tradition. Now, in Simon Armitage, the poem has found its perfect modern translator. Armitage's retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight captures all of the magic and wonderful storytelling of the original while also revitalising it.
For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 15 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.
"a little piece of heaven!"
A collection of three medieval English poems, translated by Tolkien for the modern-day reader and containing romance, tragedy, love, sex and honour.
"Good stories brilliantly read by Terry Jones"
Lord Byron's satirical take on the legend of Don Juan is a moving and witty poem that sees the young hero in a reversal of roles. Juan sheds his image as a womanizer and instead becomes the victim of circumstance as he is relentlessly pursued by every woman he meets. Comprising 17 cantos of rhyming iambic pentameter, the poem is a crisp and accessible meditation on the madness of the world.
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.
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.
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.