D. H. Lawrence
Tortoises is a collection of six poems by D.H. Lawrence inspired by his observation of tortoises going about their business, wild in the landscape of his home. They reveal something about tortoises, about the man watching them, and perhaps about the relationship of each with nature, where they dwell and develop through a lifetime, interconnected.
A collection of poetry by Thomas Hardy, some of which were previously published or adapted into his prose works.
This is a collection of lyrical poems, sonnets and verses for children by Amy Lowell.
"For quaint pictorial exactitude and bizarrerie of color these poems remind one of Flemish masters and Dutch tulip gardens; again, they are fine and fantastic, like Venetian glass; and they are all curiously flooded with the moonlight of dreams. . . . Miss Lowell has a remarkable gift of what one might call the dramatic-decorative. Her decorative imagery is intensely dramatic, and her dramatic pictures are in themselves vivid and fantastic decorations." (Richard Le Gallienne, 'New York Times Book Review', 1916)
Sappho lived six centuries before Christ, at a period when lyric poetry was peculiarly esteemed and cultivated at the centres of Greek life. The metropolis of this lyric realm was Mitylene of Lesbos, where, amid the myrtle groves and temples, Beauty and Love in their young warmth could fuse the most rigid forms to fluency. Here Sappho was the acknowledged queen of song.
Sappho's poetry was venerated for a thousand years, but almost all has been lost to us; only two small odes and a few scintillating fragments surviving.
Mr. Carman seems to have imagined each lost lyric as discovered, then to translate it.
In the opinion of the reader of these poems, they approach "real poetry", which according to Robert Graves (in "The White Goddess"), constricts the throat and makes a shiver run down the spine.
Isaac Watts was a poet, hymn-writer and musician. He wrote many of what we regard as "classical hymns" such as "Joy to the World" and "When I survey the wondrous cross". His translations of the Psalms are therefore poetical and musical, as they were designed to be sung. He captures in elegant English the feel of the original Psalms as they would have been heard by the Israelites thousands of years ago.
In one hundred lyrical poems Carman strives to recreate the Lost Songs of Sappho, a task he fulfills both with imaginative freedom and great attention to the original fragments
This is a collection of long poems and short stories by Amy Lowell.
Published in 1914, this is a compilation of 107 poems by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), who is probably better known as the author of such famous novels as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.
Similar to his novels, the underlying themes of the majority of the poems in this collection are death, departure and unfulfilled love, while the central piece is comprised of the 15 short "Satires of Circumstance," funny poems with a bittersweet touch.
The poems have been recorded by our trio of readers John Burlinson, Tomas Peter and Sonia. As an interesting touch, some poems can be considered short dramatic readings, and as such have been performed as dialogues.
R. Nathaniel Dett
This poem, read by 16 Librivox Volunteers, describes the ups and downs and emotional frenzy of The Rubinstein Staccato Etude. The author, R. Nathaniel Dett, was a composer, organist, pianist and music professor. While born in Canada, he spent most of his professional career in the United States. During his lifetime he was a leading Black composer, known for his use of African-American folk songs and spirituals as the basis for choral and piano compositions in the 19th century Romantic style of Classical music.
Clark Ashton Smith
Clark Ashton Smith, referred to as one of the big three of Weird Tales, was a romantic-style poet, a Lovecraftian-style writer and a literary friend of H.P Lovecraft. As a poet, he was considered one of the last great West Coast Romantics. The Star-Treader and Other Poems, published at the age of 19, was his first volume of poetry and his breakout hit
Though Aldous Huxley is best known for his later novels and essays, he started his writing career as a poet. The Burning Wheel is his first work, a collection of thirty poems that pay homage in style to poets who wrote in the Romantic or the French symbolist styles. Many of the poems deal with themes of light, darkness, sight, music, art, war, and idealism vs. realism. Though the optimism in his early works waned as he became older, his characteristically optimistic and determined point of view shines through.
He lived simply, loved his walks and craved the company of fellow poetical wits as they craved his company in return. With his pal Dr. Sheridan, for one, Jonathan Swift delighted in the 18th century equivalent of a rap off – going back and forth in dueling verse repartee. This second volume is a cornucopia of biting, iconoclastic humor and earnest criticism of injustice. Poems herein concerning Wood’s Halfpence are the companion to his famous Drapier’s Letters and trumpet his achievement in stirring up sufficient outcry to spare Ireland from damaging monetary debasement. He knew what real money was: “For in all the leases that ever we hold We must pay our rent in good silver and gold, And not in brass tokens of such a base mould.” And he didn’t think much of monetary debasement’s evil twin, fractional reserve banking, either: “We want our money on the nail The Banker’s ruin’d if he pays”. There’s a healthy smattering here of bums and urination references too – just so you know these are genuine Swift poems -- and all manner of other topics too. In Death and Daphne, written for a favorite grisette, we learn of Death’s sagging libido due to the skinniness of his human bride. And the last poem excoriating Sheridan for comparing base women to noble clouds is a heavenly coup de grâce for any challenger who would dare to top his politically incorrect and thunderous wit:
Some critic may object, perhaps,
That clouds are blamed for giving claps;
But what, alas! are claps ethereal,
Compared for mischief to venereal?
With classical, lyrical tones, and frequently feminist-influenced themes, Sara Teasdale’s Love Songs established her as one of the leading writers in the new Romanticism movement. The book of poems, originally published in 1917, saw five additional printings before its 1918 edition owing to the tremendous demand for her work. The collection was selected as the 1918 winner of the Columbia University Poetry Prize (a precursor to the Pulitzer Prize for poetry). In spite of her commercial success and influence on other female poets such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, the style of Teasdale’s work fell out of fashion and has often been ignored in anthologies of work from that period. Here we offer a reading of the 1918 edition of her work.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child's Garden of Verses is one of the most popular and loved collections of children’s verse of the 19th century. This recital of all 64 poems is designed for children’s listening, especially sections 1–6.
"The eagerness with which the first volume of Emily Dickinson's poems has been read shows very clearly that all our alleged modern artificiality does not prevent a prompt appreciation of the qualities of directness and simplicity in approaching the greatest themes,—life and love and death. That "irresistible needle-touch," as one of her best critics has called it, piercing at once the very core of a thought, has found a response as wide and sympathetic as it has been unexpected even to those who knew best her compelling power. This second volume, while open to the same criticism as to form with its predecessor, shows also the same shining beauties."
Toru Dutt was an Indian poet, writing in English. Born in 1856, she travelled to England and France, and being a polyglot became fluent in French and English, later in Sanskrit as well. Her works gained popularity and success posthumously. This collection of her poems, Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan, was published by her father after her death in 1877. This collection is divided into 2 parts: the 1st part contains long poems about the ancient legends of her native land of India, which had been passed on to her orally in Sanskrit and which held much fascination for her, and also implied her desire to return to India. The 2nd part is a collection of Dutt's miscellaneous poems, clearly influenced by her travels in Europe and includes the memorable 'Our Casuarina Tree'.
Spenser explains in the dedication of this volume that the hymns to love and to beauty were written early in his career and their "heavenly" counterparts much later, in response to the dissatisfaction that one of the author's patrons expressed toward the earlier poems, although to a modern sensibility those are in no way offensive except perhaps in focusing upon the sublunary world. However that may be, all four poems are idealistic, expressing the neo-Platonic philosophy that was growing in popularity in Elizabethan England. According to this doctrine, the soul is primary and shapes the body that clothes it. The material world is only a pale reflection of the ideal world, and mortals gradually, through growth from infancy to old age, unfold, or "dilate," the many-dimensioned wholeness of their being as it exists in eternity. Life on earth, a journey to heaven, is conceived of as the pursuit of beauty, the proper object of earthly love, and the quest of love leads the soul back to the source of love and beauty, God. The structure of The Faerie Queene rests upon this concept.
"A Song of the Guns was written under what are probably the most remarkable conditions in which a poem has ever been composed. The author, who is now serving in Flanders, was present at the battle of Loos, and during a lull in the fighting--when the gunners, who had been sleepless for five nights, were resting like tired dogs under their guns--he jotted down the main theme of the poem. After the battle the artillery brigade to which he was attached was ordered to Ypres, and it was during the long trench warfare in this district, within sight of the ruined tower of Ypres Cathedral, that the poem was finally completed. The last three stanzas were written at midnight in Brigade Headquarters with the German shells screaming over into the ruined town."
D. H. Lawrence
Amores is one of D. H. Lawrence's earliest works of poetry, published in 1916, was a precursor to his delving in free verse in later collections. The poems in this collection are characterized by haunting and dark themes, sensuousness and his controversial dealing with sexual topics. (Anusha Iyer)
This is a wonderful collection of lyrical poetry and poetry in prose by India's most well-known poet, Rabindranath Tagore, whose book Gitanjali shot him to fame in the west. Originally written in Bengali, the poet himself translated the book into English. Most of the poems in The Crescent Moon focus on the love in a mother-child relationship and its development over the years as the child grows up, with a lot of nature imagery sprinkled in the verses. There are a lot of beautiful visual references to his homeland, India.
John McCrae, physician, soldier, and poet, died in France a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Canadian forces.
The poem which gives this collection of his lovely verse its name has been extensively reprinted, and received with unusual enthusiasm.The volume contains, as well, a striking essay in character by his friend, Sir Andrew MacPhail.
Silverpoints is the first collection of poems by John Gray. Some saw Gray as a protégé of Oscar Wilde, who agreed to underwrite the publication of Silverpoints. It includes Gray's original poems and his translations from the French of Verlaine, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Baudelaire.
Siegfried Sassoon was one of the first to write poetry about the brutal reality of war, based on his real-life experiences in the trenches. He served in World War I on the Western Front and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery under fire. However, he later became a convicted pacifist, threw his Military Cross into the Mersey river, and continued to write and publish poems and political statements against the war. His poems capture the despair he felt towards the war overall, and he paints vivid word pictures that make the reader "pray you'll never know, the hell where youth and laughter go".
Edgar Allan Poe
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping — rapping at my chamber door. "Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door — Only this and nothing more."". Those sonorous and somber words of Edgar Allan Poe that begin The Raven are part of most everyone's fond educational memories. Beautiful and haunting to hear and even more fun to read aloud. In this recording I have just attempted to express my enjoyment of the beauty in some favorite Poe poems. Beside The Raven, there are Alone; A Dream Within A Dream; Annabel Lee; City In the Sea; The Bells; A Dream Within a Dream; Annabel Lee; Dreamland; Evening Star; Lenore; Eldorado; A Valentine and "The Happiest Day". Hopefully listeners will enjoy hearing them half as much as I enjoyed the selfish pleasure of recording them.
Lucan's only surviving work, De Bello Civili, more generally known as the Pharsalia, is an epic poem about the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. The title given by posterity to the poem refers to the Battle of Pharsalus, which took place in 48 BC near the city of Pharsalus, in Thessaly. The work is important as an example of Roman Historic Epic, since divine intervention plays little part in the narrative and very few supernatural occurrences happen in the story. Lucan's Civil War is considered a major expression of literature from the Neronian times, and has attracted renewed scholarly attention in the past decades. The work remains unfinished, due to the untimely death of its author.
Also known for his "Brownies" books, Canadian humorist Palmer Cox give us a delightful collection of humorous verse and short prose vignettes. From the publisher's preface, "thrice happy is the man who, having seen, can tell the fun; and having told, can picture it for others’ eyes and so roll on the rollicking humor, for the brightening of a world already far too sad."
Sit back and listen to these light-hearted witty rhymes and see the world Jonathan Swift saw -- and maybe recognize your own. Think there is such a thing as corrupt rich guys who pretend they're God's gift to the world? So did Swift. Think some of these types strut around as if calls of nature don't apply to them? So did Swift. In one hilarious poem, he even describes gold diggers fighting over the loaded gentleman's gaseous offerings! His poem On Poetry, A Rhapsody, censored for treasonous mocking of the royal family, is in its rare uncensored form here. As free as he himself is with his sharp tongue against the blackened rich and corrupt , he knows others might have to kiss up to eat. So he includes many verses of advice on how to go about lying for a living, for example, "Your interest lies to learn the knack Of whitening what before was black." Despite the decay and hypocrisy he sees all around him he stays upbeat throughout -- even making fun out of his own tragic onset of deafness. You already know this giant of English literature for the great feast of prose he left us. Think of these delicious poems here as your sinful dessert.
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
A collection of love poems.
John Gould Fletcher
An old courtyard
In the afternoon.
Copper carp swimming lazily,
A faint toneless hissing echo of rain
That tears at my heart.
John Gould Fletcher offers a brief history of Japanese poetry, as well as a short, yet vivid, compilation of his own Japanese-inspired poems.
Lullaby-Land: Songs of Childhood is a book of children’s poetry by Eugene Field. Within the poems in this volume you will find some of his well-known works including The Duel, Wynken, Blynken and Nod, and Little Boy Blue.
Nathan Haskell Dole
This is a volume of the early poems by James Russell Lowell, including a brief biographical sketch by Nathan Haskell Dole.
The House of Dust is a poem written in the four-movement format of a classical symphony. Hauntingly beautiful despite its bleak post-World War I depictions of human mortality and loss, the poem develops its movements around central images such as Japanese ukiyo-e ("floating world") woodblock prints, touching the reader's senses with endlessly evocative allusions to wind, sea, and weather. In this underlying Japanese sensibility and dependence on central perceptual images, Aiken's poem is similar to poetry of Imagists of the time such as Amy Lowell. Also deeply influenced by the concepts of modern psychology, Aiken delved deeply into individual human identity and emotion.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
This volume of poems was published in 1923, the year Edna St. Vincent Millay became the third woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. It was perhaps the lead poem in this volume, Renascence, published in 1918 in a literary contest that first won her widespread recognition. Her works also included drama and prose, and in 1943 became the second woman to win the Robert Frost Prize for poetry. This volume is divided into three sections of lyric poems, including sonnets, a poetic form of which she was a master.
John Gould Fletcher
John Gould Fletcher (1886 – 1950) is considered by many literary scholars to be among the most innovative twentieth-century poets. He enjoyed an international reputation for much of his long career and earned the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1939. Fletcher lived in England from 1909 to 1932 and while in Europe he associated closely with Amy Lowell, Ezra Pound, and other Imagist poets. In addition to being an adherent of Imagism, which used free verse and was dedicated to replacing traditional poetics with new rhythms, concise use of language, and a concrete rather than symbolic treatment of subject, Fletcher also wrote poetry that drew from such varied sources as French Symbolism, Oriental art and philosophy, and music. The 1st part of this book, "Ghosts of an Old House," evoke, out of the furniture and surroundings of a certain old house, emotions and childish terror which the poet had concerning them. In the "Symphonies," which form the second part of this volume, the poet narrates certain important phases of the emotional and intellectual development—in short, the life—of an artist.
Millay, Edna St. Vincent
A collection of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Walter De la Mare
This fantastic adventure into the realms of the imagination is a superb example of the incomparable skill of poet Walter de la Mare. In this collection the poet explores the intersection of reality and fantasy within the context of an earth-centeredness that extends far beyond our knowing present - an exploration garnered from dreams, from mindful awakening, indeed from ephemeral ventures into the hitherto unknown.
In this series of related but diverse poems de la Mare appeals to our thoughtful consideration of his work based not solely on its subject matter but from an element of the supernatural interwoven within each verse. The poet's work thus both unites and at times divides our previously familiar concepts and long-held beliefs with a component of the mystical progression of life itself as we each venture along a path in some ways familiar yet in other ways oddly disjointed and exotic.
Prepare to be amazed at the journey on which Walter de la Mare, this exceptional poet, is about to take us. Prepare to depart on an adventure to the realms of this master poet's Sunken Garden, a "green and darkling spot" where perhaps "a distant dreamer dreams." Prepare to share in those universal reveries of prescience that bring wonder and amazement to us all.
Francis Thompson, an English poet and author, is best known for his poem "Hound of Heaven," included in this selection of his poems. After submitting some poems to the magazine "Merrie England," the editors, Wilfrid and Alice Meynell, became his benefactors and published his first volume, "Poems." Wilfrid Meynell selected these poems form Thompson's works and provides an enlightening biographical sketch. At the end of this volume are a selection of tributes to Thompson ranging from newspaper reviews to an appreciation from G.K Chesterton.
An 1883 selection of Lewis Carroll's satirical and comic verse. The collection ranges from the well-known and well-loved The Hunting Of The Snark, to lesser-known gems such as Phantasmagoria, a tale of the difficulties encountered by an inexperienced phantom in his first domestic haunting, and Hiawatha’s Photographing, a brilliant satire of Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha. (Michael Maggs)
James Elroy Flecker
This is a collection of poems by James Elroy Flecker.
Sarojini Naidu was a remarkable woman. Known as the Nightingale of India, she started writing at the age of thirteen and throughout her life composed several volumes of poetry, writing many poems which are still famous to this day.
As well as being a poet, Naidu was an activist and politician, campaigning for Indian independence and became the first Indian woman to attain the post of President of the Indian National Congress.
This volume contains the beautiful 'Indian Love-Song', as well as many other moving verses. All of them give insight into the heart and mind of this hugely important and influential woman.The poems are split into three categories: Folk Songs, Songs for Music and Poems.
Though later known for his essays and novels, Aldous Huxley started his writing career as a poet. Published in 1918, The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems is his third compilation of poetry.
The volume begins with "The Defeat of Youth", a sequence of twenty-two sonnets that explores irreconcilability of the ideal and the disappointing reality. Jerome Meckier called it “the century’s most successful sonnet sequence, better than Auden’s or Edna St. Vincent Millay’s.” In the rest of the volume, Huxley continues to explore themes started in The Burning Wheel, his first volume of poetry, including vision, blindness, and other contrasts.
The volume concludes with two English translations by Huxley of two French poems: Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1876 poem “L’Après-midi d’un faune" and Arthur Rimbaud’s (1871) poem “Les Chercheuses de poux,” translated as “The Louse Hunters.” Summary by Mary Kay.
Willa Sibert Cather
A selection of thirty-six poems by American writer Willa Cather.
Gerald William Bullett was a British man of letters. He was known as a novelist, essayist, short story writer, critic and poet. He wrote both supernatural fiction and some children's literature. "Mice & Other Poems" is one of a series of small volumes of poetry published after WWI mostly by graduates of the University of Cambridge. The doyen of "Cambridge English", Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, had this to say about the series: "That since the War, young men in extraordinary numbers have taken to expressing themselves in verse is a plain fact, not to be denied: that they choose, as often as not, to express themselves in 'numbers' extraordinary to us can as hardly be contested. But the point is, they have a crowding impulse to say something; and to say it with the emotional seriousness proper to Poetry. For my part, I love the discipline of verse: but I love the impulse better. Time will soften—I hope not too soon, lest it sugar down and sentimentalise—a certain bitterness of resentment observable in this booklet and its next followers: but, as nothing in verse is nobler than true tradition, anything is more hopeful than convention."
A collection of poetry by Hilaire Belloc ranging from religious verses to drinking songs.
Lady Jane Francesca Wilde
Jane Wilde, the mother of Oscar Wilde, was an Irish poet who wrote under the pen name Speranza. She was politically active as an Irish nationalist, a passion which may be seen in her writing. Poems is a collection of her poetic works.
A collection of dark and humorous verse from "Col D. Streamer". This collection includes poems from The Baby's Baedeker, Perverted Proverbs, and Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes.
Ralph Chaplin and many other prominent members of the Industrial Workers of the World were imprisoned under the Espionage Act of 1917 as the United States entered World War I. As with Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, these activists were accused of undermining recruiting efforts and the draft - even of encouraging soldiers to desert. Though they never gained the universal popularity of his anthem "Solidarity Forever," the poems and songs in this volume - composed during his four years in prison - represent the defiant attitude of a true rebel in the face of persecution.
Born in 1878, Thomas published his first book when he was 18. Having married while still at university, he supported his family by writing articles and books, some in the form of what we might call slow travel writing, compiled on walks throughout England and Wales. He came to poetry late, encouraged by Robert Frost, and wrote 144 poems between 1914, and 1917 when he was killed, two years after enlisting, and shortly after arriving in France.
His poetic life coincided with WW1, and though not a war poet, his is the poetry of loss, of life as it would never be again. What is powerful to the English imagination is his depiction of the fragility of the English countryside. This is inseparable from his deep understanding of the longings and regrets of those who would die. Transience and mortality are at the heart of his work. This is true in one of the country’s favourite poems, to be found on this recording: Adlestrop. He is important to other poets in that, at his best, his poetry is quietly, sometimes coldly, conversational, with a slow beat that takes us with him as he thinks through from line to line, and wraps us in his vision of life and the natural world.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
To those unacquainted with Tennyson's conscientious methods, it may seem strange that a volume of 160 pages is necessary to contain those poems written and published by him during his active literary career, and ultimately rejected as unsatisfactory. Of this considerable body of verse, a great part was written, not in youth or old age, but while Tennyson's powers were at their greatest. Whatever reasons may once have existed for suppressing the poems that follow, the student of English literature is entitled to demand that the whole body of Tennyson's work should now be open, without restriction or impediment, to the critical study to which the works of his compeers are subjected.
This is a collection of poems by Vera M. Brittain, an Englishwoman, who served in World War I as a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD). She worked as a nurse during the war. These poems are based on her wartime experiences.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.