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The Richard Burton Poetry Collection

Narrated by: Richard Burton
Length: 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Summary

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).

©2010 Saland Publishing (P)2010 Saland Publishing

Critic reviews

"Most listeners will feel that the tale of the mariner is the highlight of this disc. Certainly it comes over most thrillingly in dramatic form with Richard Burton making a real character of the mariner himself, John Neville, as narrator, painting the scene with exactly the right imaginative sense, and Robert Hardy giving to the wedding guest a tone of bewildered fear. It is all most exciting with plenty of varying pace and mood." ( Gramophone Magazine)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Could have been perfect

In my opinion there has never been a voice more suited to the recitation of poetry than the rich melodious voice of Richard Burton. The first half of this collection is his and Robert Hardy's recording of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a stunning masterpiece that sweeps you away in its sails.



My two critical caveats, firstly the recording is veiled, particularly in the standard format, the enhanced version does help. I find it improbable that it is beyond the wit of modern audio engineers to rectify this.



Secondly, not an issue for the poet officianardo, but the remaining of the audio doesn't give any indication as to what poem Burton is reciting, neither is it in the chapter headings, a real shame.



Burton's recitation - 5 stars

Audio presentation - 2-3 stars



Overall - 4, just for Burton's delivery and emotion.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Burton's voice is unsurpassed - pure pleasure

An excellent collection, beautifully read. The audio quality is not as good as it could be, but good enough. Richard Burton is my favourite actor and I owned this collection for many years on cassette tape. His voice is pure power and emotion and is in my view unsurpassed. He has great oratory skill and brings the poems to life like no other could.
The thing missing here is a listing of the poems - even my cassette tape had sleeve notes. Come on Amazon, get your act together! Why couldn't you have included it in the product description? You might sell a few more if you do. I found it online after searching for 5 minutes - here it is so you don't have to:

The Richard Burton Poetry Collection
Volume 1:

1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1817 edition)
2. Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight"
3. John Donne, "The Good-Morrow"
4. Thomas Hardy, "Afterwards"
5. Hardy, "In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'"
6. Hardy, "At Castle Boterel"
7. Hardy, "The Sunshade"
8. Donne, "Song" (Go and catch a falling star...)
9. Hardy, "At Casterbridge Fair" (I. The Ballad-Singer, II. Former Beauties, III. After the Club-Dance, IV. The Market-Girl, V. The Inquiry, VII. After the Fair)
10. Donne, "Song" (Sweetest love, I do not go...)
11. Hardy, "The Souls of the Slain"
12. Donne, "The Sun Rising"

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

frustrating

very enjoyable and well read but would have been better if each poem had been introduced.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A splendid meeting of narration and material.

For the increasing numbers who never had an opportunity to see Burton on stage, hearing him read poetry is one way of discovering what all the fuss is about. With one or two exceptions, his film work is mediocre, but in these narrations the depth of his intellect, his passion for words and his magnificent vocal skills give us not only beautiful versions of some wonderful poems, but also a splendid portrait of a great artist in his finest medium. Highly recommended.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Why were the titles of the poems never given?

I would like each poem to have been preceded or succeeded by the title and poet. As it was, I did not know the poems I was listening to, apart from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

O poem titles

Obviously anything narrated by Richard Burton is going to be good, BUT WHERE ARE THE POEMS AND POET TITLES.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jamie Milton Freestone
  • Jamie Milton Freestone
  • 11-02-12

A truly great voice reading some excellent poems

1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge ??? Rime of the Ancient Mariner
2. Samuel Taylor Coleridge ??? Frost at Midnight
3. John Donne ??? The Good-morrow
4. Thomas Hardy ??? Afterwards
5. Thomas Hardy ??? In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"
6. Thomas Hardy ??? At Castle Boterel
7. Thomas Hardy ??? The Sunshade
8. John Donne ??? Song: Go and catch a falling star
9. Thomas Hardy ??? At Castorbridge Fair
10. John Donne ??? Song: Sweetest love, I do not go
11. Thomas Hardy ??? The Souls of the Slain
12. John Donne ??? The Sun Rising

Richard Burton's reading on this volume is exceptional. Although the sound quality of the recording is not particularly good, Burton's stage experience, enunciation and naturally sonorous voice put most of the other poetry recordings I've heard to shame.

Some reviewers have complained about a lack of notes ??? or even titles ??? to introduce poems. That is a genuine oversight by the producer. (Hence my inclusion of a complete list of the poems, although I don't have time signatures for them Im afraid.)

The reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which accounts for about half of the recording, is superby dramatised and would make a great bedtime story for precocious children. As for the rest of the material, I happen to like Hardy and Donne (I recommend Burton's collection devoted exclusively to the work of Donne if you too are a fan) and so I am happy to dip into the recording at any point on my iPod and hear a poem I'll enjoy. If you don't rate Hardy and/or Donne then I still feel the collection may be worth it solely for the Coleridge. I can also attest from experience that, purely in terms of voice work, this recording is unsurpassed in the realm of audiobook poetry collections. There aren't many classically trained actors around these days who could declaim the poems the way Burton does ??? maybe Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellen? In terms of Americans, maybe Kelsey Grammer? In fact John Lithgow's pretty good.

In any case, despite production flaws, I recommend this thoroughly to anyone who likes the above mentioned poems, or to anyone who appreciates a beautiful speaking voice delivering verse.

Jamie MIlton Freestone

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for goodgirl2
  • goodgirl2
  • 25-10-15

No titles

Richard Burton -- awesome. Love his voice. Miss his acting. No titles -- frustrating.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Publicagent
  • Publicagent
  • 16-11-15

Burton Incredible / Chapters Confusing

This is the best poetry reading I have heard. I got it for the Rime of the Ancient Mariner which exceeds expectations. As usual, there's no way to tell what poems or authors come after. I can't believe audible has gotten away with failing to label chapters for so long. This isn't like a book where 2 just means a different chapter. It's a different author altogether(I think). Hopefully more competition in near future will force them to up their game. Also, more could have been included. Poetry collections are really lacking in length

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pamela Webster
  • Pamela Webster
  • 11-06-12

the names of the poems?

I was thrilled to listen to Richard Burtons voice. His accent and diction are beautiful. I was however, disappointed that the download did not provide the names of the poets or the poems, as I'd like to know what I'm listening to.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brandon Sholund
  • Brandon Sholund
  • 23-08-18

A master orator at work

I can think of nothing better than Richard Burton reading some of the best classic poetry. The languid voice and rich Welsh tone do great justice to this short collection. Normally, that would be enough for me to grant this collection 5 stars but this production does not shine. One of me biggest problems was with the quality of the production. The audio is not of a high quality, it almost sounds like he is reading these poems from his own kitchen. Also there are some awkward silences, add in the fact that none of the poems are introduced leaving the listener to guess the name of the piece and I got the feeling that the production is sub-par. That a shame because Burton does a good job of reading these classic pieces and if you can ignore the flaws you will not be disappointed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Nicholas Stancioff
  • Nicholas Stancioff
  • 20-11-16

I can ocean like to see – poetry

Oh that we could still hear poetry
Oh that we could still see poetry
In gutters of snippets, bits
Our minds are poorly lit
We roll, sloths clinging to the last remnants
Of a history that never was

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Royal
  • Royal
  • 14-12-11

Great Dissapointment!

What disappointed you about The Richard Burton Poetry Collection?

Burton recites the poems just fine, but without stating the titles or crediting the poets' names. One has no idea what poem or from what poet he is reciting. Sometimes it is even difficult to be sure whether he has switched to a new poem or is simply pausing between chapters of the same poem. This is definitely a bad offering.

Has The Richard Burton Poetry Collection turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Burton?

Burton is fine, but he omitted the title of each poem and neglected to give the poets credit.

What character would you cut from The Richard Burton Poetry Collection?

None. Who knows what poems were even offered!

Any additional comments?

This is so bad I would recommend Audible drop it from its selections. I feel that this particular collection was very carelessly produced. Shameful, actually.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Maggie Martos
  • Maggie Martos
  • 22-11-11

No Commentary

I really expected there to be some commentary so you know what you are listening to! Disappointed. Enjoyed the poetry, but didn't learn much and that is what I was hoping for. Won't buy more poetry unless it says it has commentary, so you know the title of the poem an the author before you hear it.

3 people found this helpful