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Summary

Alan Bennett's selection of English verse by his favourite poets: Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman, W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, and Philip Larkin is accompanied by his own enlivening commentary and was recorded before a live audience. In this personal anthology, Alan Bennett has chosen more than seventy poems by six well-loved poets, discussing the writers and their verse in his customary conversational style through anecdote, shrewd appraisal and spare but telling biographical detail.

Speaking with candour about his own reactions to the work, Alan Bennett creates profound and witty portraits of Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, John Betjeman, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and Philip Larkin, which are all the more enjoyable for being in his own particular voice.

©1990 Alan Bennett (P)2014 Channel 4

What listeners say about Six Poets

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  • Overall
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Just Listen

The only audiobook I can truly say I turned on and listened to to the finish. I was completely entranced by the power of the poetry, the voice of the narrator and the background stories he provided for each poet. Even if you have only a passing interest in poetry or want it revived, give this a go.

14 people found this helpful

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Acute and humorous

Well chosen and excellently read extracts from each of the poets to illustrate the kind of poetry Alan likes best. He does not veer from the contentious, which is a good thing.

8 people found this helpful

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Most enjoyable.

A fantastic book . Pure pleasure, he reads it quite well with loads of passion.

4 people found this helpful

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An excellent, quirky selection

An excellent selection with an interesting commentary, but to be honest (and this may be heretical) I wished someone else had actually read the poems, with a bit more variation of tone.

3 people found this helpful

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Bennet - the lecturer I wish I’d had

Bennett’s observations are typically polite yet astute; his choices are wonderful - I longed for the Whitsun Weddings during Larkin, but the recitals had me in tears even without it. The mixture of biography and appraisal a perfect journey through the century’s poetry.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful, gentle genius

This is the perfect match of narrator, guide and companion, with six wonderful poets, all represented by a handful of very well chosen verses. It's much too short of course, one never wants to leave.

1 person found this helpful

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great book. terrible recording

Too much background noise spoiled, a little, the experience of a wonderful book.
Would I swap this unclear recording of Alan Bennett performing in his own personable way for a clean and well produced version by another?
Not a chance!

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A Lockdown delight.

This was a find for me ;favourite poets and poems read with the humour and obvious love of the subject by Alan Bennet
A short audio book ,wish it was longer.
Has made me want to revisit the likes of Auden and Houseman ,while his rendition of my own personal favourites of Larkin
were read exactly how they should be read.brilliant listen,especially for bed time. 5 stars enjoy!

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Do not think you are coming under this umbrella

Wonderful little pen pictures of poets and examples of their poems. What more could you ask for.

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I regularly return to this audio book

I absolutely love this. Alan Bennett brings the poetry to life and gives interesting insight into what might have influenced the work. I am in awe of those who use language so eloquently, including Bennett.