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!"
For thousands of years, Homer's ancient epic poem the Iliad has enchanted readers from around the world. When you join Professor Vandiver for this lecture series on the Iliad, you'll come to understand what has enthralled and gripped so many people.Her compelling 12-lecture look at this literary masterpiece -whether it's the work of many authors or the "vision" of a single blind poet - makes it vividly clear why, after almost 3,000 years, the Iliad remains not only among the greatest adventure stories ever told but also one of the most compelling meditations on the human condition ever written.
"Vandiver never disappoints"
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.
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).
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!"
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"
What is it in Homer's Odyssey that has so enthralled readers from around the world for thousands of years? By joining Professor Vandiver for these 12 lectures on the Odyssey, you'll find out why.This literary exploration centers on a single provocative question about the epic poem's protagonist, Odysseus: Why does he long so powerfully to go home? To probe the depths of this question, you'll embark on meticulous, insightful examinations of the most important episodes in the Odyssey.
"Another Great Course of a Greak Greek Classic"
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."
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.
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 13 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"
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?"
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 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"
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.
Written a thousand years ago, this long poem is the very first surviving piece of English literature. Join Beowulf, a young warrior, as he achieves glory by fighting and killing three fantastic monsters. This new translation, by the Nobel laureate poet Seamus Heaney, offers modern listeners an accessible, intensely dramatic text. It amply demonstrates why this epic has spread its influence over more than a millennium of literature.
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....
"A Fabulous Grab-Bag"
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Drawing upon everyday incidents, common situations, and rural imagery, Robert Frost fashioned poetry of great lyrical beauty and potent symbolism. His language is simple, clear, and colloquial, yet dense with meaning and wider significance.
"Beautifully performed masterpieces!"
The Arthurian legend of Camelot has been told many times, but never better than by Alfred Tennyson. Employing some of the most stirring and beautiful blank verse ever written, Tennyson crafted his version of the Knights of the Round Table over the course of nearly fifty years, completing it in 1885. Despite the length of time, Tennyson managed to maintain a high level of style and continuity throughout.
John Pollen (1855-1923) was an official in the Indian Civil Service. A keen linguist, he learned Russian, Esperanto, and Persian and in 1915 published an English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. His collection contains 158 quatrains and includes a set of seven prefatory quatrains by Andrew Lang and a foreword by the Aga Khan.
With its intricate structure and imagery, Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T. S. Eliot's career. Its greatness is done full justice in this rendition by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. Containing some of the most melodic passages in modern poetry, Four Quartets blends the religious, the philosophical and the personal themes that preoccupied T. S. Eliot.
'The Waste Land' is a landmark in 20th-century poetry. Here it is read by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. Published in 1922, it is a brilliant exploration of a faithless, immoral society trying to rebuild itself after the devastation of the Great War. Rich in literary references and steeped in allusive and evocative imagery, 'The Waste Land' is widely considered to be the pinnacle of modernist poetry.
Composed around 1294 in Italian, the Vita Nuova tells the story of Dante's encounters with and love for Beatrice, culminating in her early death and its effect upon him. Utilizing and developing the conventions of courtly love, in a mixture of prose and verse, Dante deepens the emotional content of the genre, while pointing the way towards the intellectual and spiritual journey of the Divine Comedy.
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.
In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around the work and person of Walt Whitman, and attempts to go back to Leaves of Grass as he first encountered it, to explore why Whitman's epic "continues to inspire and sometimes daunt" him. The result is a personal reassessment and appreciation of one master poet by another, as well as an unconventional and brilliant introduction - or reintroduction - to Whitman.
The Tirukkural (honoured Kural) is one of the world's greatest literary and philosophical masterpieces. Composed in Tamil by Tiruvalluvar sometime between 2 BCE and 5 CE, its succinct couplets seek to explain and guide the listener through life's various situations: political, spiritual, domestic and social.
This anthology has been in the making for some years in the mind of the editor, Dione Venables, founding member of The Orwell Society. In 2006 she contributed the postscript to her cousin Jacintha Buddicom's memoir about the childhood and early youth of George Orwell. She continues to work for greater clarity and appreciation of the great man's genius and felt that this emotional layer of perception had been largely ignored by academia.
An erotic narrative poem that explores desire and jealousy, love experienced and love lost, Radhika Santawanam is the most recognized work of 19th-century poet and courtesan Muddupalani. Celebrated as a literary masterpiece in Muddupalani's lifetime, Radhika Santawanam was banned by the British in 1910. When it was published again, a century and a half later, critics panned its graphic descriptions of lovemaking. Now, after another 100 years, this epic is available in its entirety for the first time in English translation.