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The Great Poets: William Blake

Length: 1 hr and 2 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Editor reviews

Blake's poetry presents a series of challenges for those reading it aloud because it ranges from the exuberant to the frightening. The use of three narrators in this audio anthology is a wise editorial decision, as it allows the poems to benefit from a broader range of voices. The power of Blake's apocalyptic verse is dramatic, almost chilling.

Summary

Naxos AudioBooks begins its new series of Great Poets with William Blake. This program contains all of his most popular works - including "Tyger", "The Auguries of Innocence", and "Jerusalem" - as well as some lesser-known poetry that demonstrates the range and power of his verse.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2007 Naxos Rights International (P)2007 Naxos Rights International

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What English was made for

A Short and Deep intro to Blake for me, even tho he is canonical English lit. stuff. He's a worthy one tho I'd say, so am glad to meet him. His English is still accessible and enjoyable to my modern ear and the work is well performed here. These few performers ably convey the different modes and tones required for each phase, point and piece. It's also a random act of Citizenship to listen to this - for us Brits anyway. There is an air of familiarity to hear so much phraseology that is embedded into English/British Culture and media. Being a British colonial construct and subject myself, I found this really valuable. Finally, since we are all philosphers, under lockdown, in 2020, I reckon you can't go wrong with this bit of Blake mate.

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  • ESK
  • 30-07-12

Overwhelming, mystical and... menacing

You can consider him mad or otherworldly or sectarian, but you cannot deny his genius. He was truly the prophet of the Romantic age who condemned social evils and slavery. He wasn't appreciated in his time, but, thankfully, he is now regarded as one of the most outstanding figures in poetry and the visual arts.

Here's the list of poems on the audio:
Auguries of Innocence
Introduction to Songs of Innocence
A Cradle Song
Introduction to Songs of Experience
A Dream
The Chimney Sweeper (Innocence) and The Chimney Sweeper
The Divine Image
A Divine Image
From The Gates of Paradise, For The Sexes, Prologue
Infant Joy
Gnomic Verses
The Fly
Song
Holy Thursday (Innocence) and Holy Thursday (Experience)
Laughing Song
The Garden of Love
From An Island in the Moon
A Little Boy Found
A Little Boy Lost
The Little Girl Found
A Little Girl Lost
I Heard an Angel
The Human Abstract
Night
From Jerusalem
London
The Land of Dreams
Nurse’s Song
Love’s Secret
A Poison Tree
Preface to Milton
The Little Vagabond
On Art and Artists
The Sick Rose
Ah, Sunflower
The Voice of the Ancient Bard
To The Muses
The Lamb
The Tyger
On Another’s Sorrow

The narrators did a phenomenal job! I was especially interested to hear their reading of the Tyger and A Poison Tree as they are my favourite poems. Masterly presentation!

20 people found this helpful

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  • Nick B
  • 15-11-16

Excellent

The use of several different narrators bringing life to Blake's work adds a poignancy to the poetry that the author would have well-appreciated.

4 people found this helpful

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  • cuneyt
  • 09-01-12

Master of poetic madness and beauty

William Blake is undoubtedly one of the greatest poets ever lived and still lives through his poetry. He is the Nostradamus of written and visual literature. I used to read his poetry aloud for myself to feel the power of his words better. This audiobook allowed me to hear his powerful words in their meaningful order to be read to me by several passionate readers. I recommend you to buy this audiobook, turn off all the lights (maybe only a candle if you like). Then allow yourself to sit an hour listen to the smoothly dancing words in and around and feel the sweet rush.

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  • Debi Mella
  • 16-09-19

YOU'LL BE MAD

The first narrator sounds like an uneducated drunk Irishman. That it's Blake speaks for itself. But the poems are not named, each chapter is a poem - but no titles. Tyger is chapter 41. Obviously it took me 40 tries to find it. MOST UNFORTUNATE - I then got an e-book of Blake - it too listed only chapters (so you don't know the order). So apparently this is not an Audible failure...still looking for a list by name, so I can follow the narrator.

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  • nathan
  • 08-11-16

A gem

its very good! Also if your a fan of The Doors the second poem is quoted in End of the Night.

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  • Bill
  • 14-04-20

Blake and the readers

It feels as though the readers read of this with some connection, rather than convention. I can be swept up in the words with them. I have lost much of my sight, so it's good to have these willing surrogates. I thank you very sincerely and much.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-09-19

Darkly engaging, delightfully deep

Riveting, magically deep and suspense filled, a dramatic prose that delves into the timelessness of human struggles