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.
"Best Iliad experience on Audible"
The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.
"Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.
"Why, oh, why is it abridged?"
Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Odyssey has been the standard translation for more than three generations of students and poets. Macmillan Audio is delighted to publish the first ever audio edition of this classic work, the greatest of all epic poems. Fitzgerald's supple verse is ideally suited for audio, recounting the story of Odysseus' long journey back to his wife and home after the Trojan War. Homer's tale of love, adventure, food and drink, sensual pleasure, and mortal danger reaches the English-language listener in all its glory.
Paradise Lost, along with its companion piece, Paradise Regained, remain the most successful attempts at Greco-Roman style epic poetry in the English language. Remarkably enough, they were written near the end of John Milton's amazing life, a bold testimonial to his mental powers in old age. And, since he had gone completely blind in 1652, 15 years prior to Paradise Lost, he dictated it and all his other works to his daughter.
"SELL YOUR SHIRT FOR THIS AUDIO BOOK!"
The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.
"Fagles is best"
The Iliad is one of the most enduring creations of Western Civilization and was originally written to be recited or chanted to the accompaniment of various instruments. Properly performed, this work today is just as meaningful, just as powerful, and just as entertaining as it was in the ninth century BC, and it casts its spell upon modern listeners with the same raw intensity as it did upon the people of ancient times.
"This is the audio version you want"
This critically acclaimed translation was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award given by the Academy of American Poets. Well versed, rapid, and various in style, the Inferno is narrated by Pinsky and three other leading poets: Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, and Louise Glück.
"A great translation of the epic."
If you want to understand the daily life and psychology of the Late Middle Ages, Neville Coghill's famous translation of The Canterbury Tales provides one of the very best means of doing so. Within its pages are to be found a broad range of society – high and low, male and female, rich and poor – who express their innermost beliefs and extravagant fantasies in a series of stories they tell as they make their way to Canterbury cathedral.
"Getting Medieval Understanding"
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.
Since it was first published more than 25 years ago, Robert Fitzgerald's prizewinning translation of Homer's battle epic has become a classic in its own right: a standard against which all other versions of The Iliad are compared. Fitzgerald's work is accessible, ironic, faithful, written in a swift vernacular blank verse that "makes Homer live as never before" (Library Journal).
John Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny.
"The most accessible reading of Paradise Lost"
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....
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.
"Wonderful recitation by Richard Armitage"
One of the great innovators in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daringly new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. Leaves of Grass is his masterpiece, written in a pure, uninhibited style, combining sensual and mystical sensibilities. Its bold, joyous voice, its expansive optimism, and its transcendental vision made it uniquely American.
An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.
"Caviar to the general?"
This original and refreshingly different dramatisation follows Dante, "lost in a dark wood", who is met by Virgil, who takes him on a tour of the underworld: a place he could end up if he decides to take his own life. Corin Redgrave is the voice of Dante.
"Gripping, intriguing - I wanted more!"
The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous Northern England poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage in this edition. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager.
"great original, translation, and reader"
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.
"An epic in every sense of the word"
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.
"Great Course, Great Professor, Great Book!"
The classical poetry of Japan focuses on direct experience of fleeting moments, in total contrast with its Occidental counterpart. These seminal poems were passed down orally, before great collections assembled works of art spanning several centuries in written form as early as the 8th century, from the Kojiki to the Kokinshu.
Victor Hugo is one of the best-known French writers, and one of the greatest literary figures of all time. His poetry made him famous very early, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest lyric poets when he was only 20 years old. We have selected for you 28 of his most well-known and powerful poems, mostly from the immortal Autumn Leaves and Contemplations. They are, in order: Childhood; Death in Life; Epitaph; Have you nothing to say for yourself; How Butterflies are born; I am content; Inscription for a crucifix; Satire on the Earth; St John; etc.
Alongside Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Rimbaud, with whom he had a stormy relationship, Paul Verlaine is one of the most influential poets of the "fin de siècle". He was one of the greatest representatives of the Decadent movement that began in the 1870s, and a leader of the "Symbolists". His stylistic innovations brought a new musicality to French poetry; it was he who paved the way for modern poetry with its experiments in free verse and new techniques.
Charles Baudelaire is one of the greatest French poets. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil), was deemed scandalous at the time because of its themes of sex and death, lesbianism, corruption, wine, and the oppressiveness of living. Its powerful imagery and ravaging use of the senses had many name him an unequaled master; the effect on fellow artists was "immense, prodigious, unexpected, mingled with admiration and with some indefinable anxious fear", while the regime of the Second Empire had Baudelaire prosecuted and fined for his "insult to public decency".
The narrator is in deep sorrow, mourning his lost love, and is slowly sinking into despair when he is visited by a talking raven from whom he seeks comfort and hope, but whose only utterance is a single portentous word - "nevermore."
The original and immortal poem also known as "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Classic Tales narrator B. J. Harrison gives a stellar reading of this Christmas classic.
The beloved poem from the great Rudyard Kipling. If you can follow these precepts, you will indeed be a man, my son.
The "Songs of Innocence" were published in 1789 and republished in 1794 together with the "Songs of Experience". They represent Blake's two perspectives on the world, that of the child (innocence) and that of the adult (experience). Blake's poetical works were largely neglected in their own time but are today considered some of the most brilliant of English verse. The "songs" are presented here together with "Auguries of Innocence".
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.
"Good reading of a gifted poet"
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.
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.