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Poetry

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Jean

Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States Member Since 2010

I am an avid eclectic reader.

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A Peek at Troy's Bookshelf

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133 REVIEWS / 188 ratings 36 Followers / Following 0
 
Troy's greatest hits:
  • Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained

    "To Reign in Hell"

    Overall
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    Story

    One of the separation points I have when reading classical poetry is that it's just not the same when reading to yourself. Poetry of this caliber demands a performance. From Homer to Shakespeare and beyond, epic poetry requires the performance from a master with a strong voice to get the drama across on a higher level. Charlton Griffin delivers that punch, catapulting the listener through some of the best epic poetry ever offered in this planet's history.

    For those who only think they know the story, and especially for those who seem to think of Paradise Lost as merely "Biblical fanfic," I would invite those people to spend some time in the mind of the literary genius of Milton through this work. And as a bonus, you get the sequel for free, as well as a 2-hour bio of Milton so as to place these works in the historical and spiritual contexts in which they were written - a time of ecclesiastical upheaval. Getting the proper perspective makes all the difference when understanding and appreciating a work like this.

  • The Canterbury Tales

    "Getting Medieval Understanding"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Canterbury Tales has withstood the test of time because within them, Chaucer paints character portraits of the kinds of people he met in his time. I have read both modern translations and translations that are closer to Chaucer's original, keeping in mind that English was a foreign language back then compared to anything we understand now. It's the kind of thing that makes Shakespeare far easier to understand. In fact, I had the same problem with Shakespeare and Chaucer both back in school in that I felt like I was missing a vital ingredient in truly being able to understand and appreciate them.

    While it took some time to get through this because I was constantly comparing the audio with the printed versions I have, I found that the extra time was well spent. I have a love for the printed word, but I tend to learn and retain information better through audio. As much as I hate to admit it, reading something like this is more akin to literary scholarship than it is reading an anthology of short stories as it might have been in Chaucer's day. I found this audio version to be of immense value in that I could hear the stories perhaps as Chaucer himself might have told them to other people that he met along the way. The character studies become people, even if they are perhaps exaggerated here and there, and that sort of thing helps to bring both this work - and the history of the time in which it was written - to vibrant life. And now that my appreciation has grown enough to catch up to my curiosity, I can truly say that I understand now that it's not simply the age of the work that makes The Canterbury Tales the classics they are. It's the character studies and the stories that make them the classics they are.

    As with any translation, there is the risk of potentially losing something. Advanced scholars might be more inclined to try the original versions after hearing this. As it is, maybe it's the style, but it seemed to me pretty close. Most of what I didn't translate well for me was more a case of not understanding some of the vocabulary of the age, which is why I kept comparing the printed texts; I had to keep looking things up as some things that were common in Chaucer's time simply do not exist in ours. Again, well worth it, I think, though I understand most won't take that kind of time or effort. Audio will probably help considerably. There's something about hearing things in context that help a reader to fill in the gaps. If you love old literature, or if you have a fascination with the Middle Ages as I do, this is positively a must-read, for through the arts we better understand our histories.

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    "A Poetic - Not Literal - Translation"

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    The translator's introduction is invaluable for getting across the exact point of what this version is all about. The medieval version of this poem is alliterated, and rather than directly translate the words to modern English for the sake of the story, liberties have been taken to recreate the poetry of the alliteration and verse meter while. The story is therefore a more liberal translation, but serves quite well on that point for those seeking poetry over linguistics.

    There are a number of versions of this tale told throughout the ages, and much like with any legend from the Arthurian lineup, I find myself seeking out multiple versions to compare and contrast how they've evolved. As I am not well-versed in medieval English, I find this translation to be welcome for it's preservation of the poetic form. I've read a number of prose translations over the years, and much like with The Iliad and The Odyssey, I feel like I've come closer to appreciating the poet's original intent when presented with a version such as this where the poetry itself takes center stage. It's made that much more so when the translator, via the narrator, connects this story backwards from Arthur's Briton to the fall of Troy.

    The narrator reminds of me of a historian you might see on PBS. He sounds scholarly enough to get the point across that he's the surrogate for the translator, but at the same time he offers a quiet dignity to the tale itself, calling the listener back to the original poet, perhaps reciting his work around a campfire to a cadre of soldiers. All in all, a superb rendition, one that any medievalist or Arthurian enthusiast should seek out.

Madeleine

Madeleine London, United Kingdom 04-12-14 Member Since 2008

Audiobook addict.

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  • "Very good until it it gets to the 2..."

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    Professor Markos is a passionate teacher on the history of poetry. I was a little disappointed that he was only covering poetry when I started the course, but quickly got engrossed in his lectures because he has organized the course very well and so some of the more difficult concepts of that emerge in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries were very well explained.

    However, when Prof. Markos gets to the 20th century, it becomes very clear just how disenchanted he is with even modernity, not to mention post-modernity. His derision is obvious and unhelpful. Primarily because, for instance, people like Derrida are some of the hardest philosophers to understand when it comes to literature. I could have used less derision and more information.

    More

    From Plato to Post-modernism: Understanding the Essence of Literature and the Role of the Author

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Louis Markos
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Any lover of Shakespeare or the Romantic poets can concede that poetry is pleasurable. But is it good for you? Can it teach you anything? These are questions that have beguiled and engaged eminent critics for millennia, and now you can develop your own answers and options with these 24 lectures.

    Madeleine says: "Very good until it it gets to the 20th Century"

What's Trending in Poetry:

  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    The Great Poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 1 min)
    • By Gerard Manley Hopkins
    • Narrated By Jeremy Northam
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A collection of the best-known poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). One of the Victorian era's greatest writers, Hopkins' reputation has continued to grow since his death. This collection includes "The Windhover", "The Caged Skylark", "Carrion Comfort", "Spring", and "Fall and Inversnaid".

    Robert says: "Excellent encounter with the poet."
  • 4.3 (539 ratings)

    The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  • 4.3 (232 ratings)

    Beowulf

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Seamus Heaney
    • Narrated By Seamus Heaney
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (85)

    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.

    Gail says: "Would like the whole thing!"
  • 4.4 (148 ratings)

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Simon Armitage
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (71)

    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.

    Mary says: "great original, translation, and reader"
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  • 4.4 (99 ratings)

    A Child's Christmas in Wales

    • NONE (48 mins)
    • By Dylan Thomas
    • Narrated By Dylan Thomas
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    Thomas's recording of this holiday classic is considered the first official audiobook. You'll hear the author's recollection of a holiday in the seaside town of his youth as well as some of his most celebrated poems, including "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night."

    Ruth Green says: "An index of contents"
  • 4.4 (100 ratings)

    The Waste Land & Four Quartets

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By T.S. Eliot
    • Narrated By Paul Scofield
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (61)

    These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.

    Judith says: "Exquisite!"
  • 4.3 (63 ratings)

    The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Homer, A. T. Murray (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    The Odyssey is the greatest adventure story ever written, and one of the great epic masterpieces of Western literature For almost 3,000 years, it has been a storehouse of ancient Greek folklore and myth. It is also our very first novel, if we think of it in terms of romantic plot development, realistic characterizations, frequent change of scene, and heroic dramatic devices.

    Carl says: "Fantastic Audio Reading by Griffin!"
  • 4.4 (59 ratings)

    Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
  •  
  • 4.5 (54 ratings)

    The Modern Scholar: Dante and His Divine Comedy: The Modern Scholar

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Timothy B. Shutt
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Kenyon College professor Dr. Timothy B. Shutt examines Dante's greatest work, The Divine Comedy, both in terms of its autobiographical elements and its allegorical meaning for the human race.

    Jeanne says: "Lectures certainly, but entertaining as well"
  • 4.5 (31 ratings)

    Realms of Gold

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John Keats
    • Narrated By Samuel West, Matthew Marsh
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    John Keats' letters paint an unforgettably vivid and moving picture of the richly productive but also tragic final years of the poet's life. As he ponders on the nature of the writer's craft, he must first confront his brother's death from tuberculosis and then the imminent prospect of his own, tormented by the fear that he will not live to consummate his relationship with Fanny Brawne.

    Josh says: "Ashes in Italy, but alive in my Ipod"
  • T'was the Night Before Christmas

    • ABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Clement Clark Moore
    • Narrated By John William Cawthorne
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (29)

    This is a wonderful rendition, set to the overture of "The Nutcracker", of the timeless Christmas classic by Moore to be enjoyed again and again from season to season.

    Marigold Galore says: "just lovely!"
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  • Homer Box Set: Iliad & Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Homer, W. H. D. Rouse (translator)
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    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.

    Ganesh says: "Best Iliad experience on Audible"
  • A+ Audio Study Guide: The Poetry of Walt Whitman

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Kristen Silva Gruesz
    • Narrated By Peter Strauss
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Walt Whitman explores the freedom of the wanderer, the sorrow of the pallbearer, and the spirit of the adventurer in his remarkable collection of poems, Leaves Of Grass. Both an explorer of cultural thought and a lover of sensual pleasure, Whitman champions the cause of common men, and revels in emotional and physical love. In plain and beautiful language, Whitman redefined the world of poetry.

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  • Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Milton
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (129)

    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.

    thomas says: "SELL YOUR SHIRT FOR THIS AUDIO BOOK!"
  • Beowulf

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Seamus Heaney
    • Narrated By Seamus Heaney
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (85)

    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.

    Gail says: "Would like the whole thing!"
  • Inferno: From The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Dante Alighieri, Benedict Flynn (translator)
    • Narrated By Heathcote Williams
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    "Abandon all hope you who enter here." ("Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch’intrate.") Dante’s Hell is one of the most remarkable visions in Western literature. An allegory for his and future ages, it is, at the same time, an account of terrifying realism. Passing under a lintel emblazoned with these frightening words, the poet is led down into the depths by Virgil and shown those doomed to suffer eternal torment for vices exhibited and sins committed on earth.

    Laurel says: "The Best Inferno So Far"
  • The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (76)

    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.

    Larry says: "Not for listening."
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  • Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative

    • ORIGINAL (32 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    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.

    Saud says: "Could have been more"
  • The Iliad

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Homer, Richard Lattimore (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (103)

    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 B.C.,and it casts its spell upon modern listeners with the same raw intensity as it did upon the people of ancient times.

    Jefferson says: "An Excellent Iliad"
  • Leaves of Grass

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Walt Whitman
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In the preface to Leaves of Grass, Whitman states, "The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem". The themes of equality for all people, fertility, sacredness of self, beauty in death, love of comrades, and the immortality of the soul prevail.

  • The Waste Land & Four Quartets

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By T.S. Eliot
    • Narrated By Paul Scofield
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (61)

    These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.

    Judith says: "Exquisite!"
  • Beowulf: The New Translation

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Gerald J. Davis
    • Narrated By John Hanks
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The origins, history and authorship of Beowulf are shrouded in uncertainty. This heroic epic probably began, as most do, with a wandering troubadour strumming a stringed instrument, sitting before a hearth-fire, and singing the verses to a spellbound audience arrayed before him. Beowulf is a rousing adventure story, filled with intrepid heroes, monsters and fire-breathing dragons, which can be listened to for the sheer enjoyment of the tale.

  • Casey at the Bat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Ernest Lawrence Thayer
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    One of America’s favorite pastimes is baseball, and “Casey at the Bat,” one of the most famous poems in American history, captures the excitement of the game from start to finish! Tension is high that day in the typical late 19th century town of Muddville. We enter the ninth inning, the team is behind by two runs, and things are looking grim for the win unless by some miracle the infamous Casey can get up to bat and possibly save the day.

  • Little Orphan Annie and Billy Millers Circus-Show

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By James Whitcomb Riley
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Classic dialect poem stories from a master storyteller, James Whitcomb Riley. Written in the early 1900s these stories draw you in through their strange speech patterns and repeated phrasing. Both speak to the common themes of childhood. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • Beowulf [PDQ Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Francis Barton Gummere and Unknown
    • Narrated By Nigle Simmons
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in medias ("into the middle of affairs") or simply, "in the middle", which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity.

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  • The Jumblies

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Edward Lear
    • Narrated By Diane Havens
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Nineteenth century illustrator/author Edward Lear, best known for his nonsense poems and limericks, created this silly verse tale of the green headed, blue handed Jumblies who go to sea in a sieve - but voice actor/storyteller Diane Havens shares it in her own unique faux-British by way of Queens - the New York Queens, that is.

  • If

    • UNABRIDGED (2 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Phillip J. Mather
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This quintessentially English poem is in the form of a father’s advice to his son on transitioning into manhood. Phillip J. Mather’s masterful delivery poignantly captures Kipling’s inspirational and timeless philosophy.

  • Las hojas secas [The Dried Leaves]

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
    • Narrated By Emilio Villa
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Una tarde de otoño cualquiera el poeta se funde completamente con el medio natural y escucha la conversación de dos hojas secas cualesquiera que se encuentran al borde del camino en la que una le cuenta a la otra como ha llegado hasta allí arrastrada por el torbellino de aire, mientras que la otra ha llegado a lomos de las aguas del río y sólo un último vendaval ha sido capaz de levantarla y de traerla donde se encuentra.