John Lithgow has compiled an outstanding collection of memorable poems and has gathered his famous friends to read them. The wide variety of carefully selected poetry in this audiobook provides the perfect introduction to reel in those who are new to poetry, and for poetry lovers to experience beloved verses in a fresh, vivid way. Lithgow offers insightful and sometimes poignant commentary to accompany each poem. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud".
William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters. Family members can take turns listening to these poems and enjoy how each comes to life through the spoken word in this engaging poetry collection.
©2007 The Watershed Company; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
Poetry is so much more interesting to listen to than to read, unless one is in love with the sound of one's own voice, that this must be a purely rhetorical question.
John Lithgow's grandmother. And the Jumblies. After all, they went to sea in a sieve, they did!
Lithgow doing the bulk of the reading makes this less of a book than a long conversation with the author. As to the guests, they could not have been more perfectly suited. Billy Connolly stood out as particularly exceptional reading "To a Mouse" and "The Owl and the Pussycat." In the first case, the only other potential reader that comes to mind seems a bit too serious for a poem about a "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie." In the second, Connolly's humor is perfectly suited to the task.
Third Poet from the Sun
John Lithgow reads well and selected some interesting poems - but the overall work is too much about him and his opinions. I found it hard to even listen to the poems because of his editorializing introductions. The name and date and name and dates of the author would have been sufficient, and then he could have grouped his comments into separate sections that people could have listened to without having them overshadow the poems.
The selection of poems was good.
His narration was fine, but his lengthy commentary was intrusive.
Lithgow reads well and offered a good selection.
There are so few recorded collections of poetry available on the market that it was frustrating to hear one that could have been good marred by being turned into verbal lit crit.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
An eclectic collection of poets make up this book. I enjoyed the guest readers who did a great job of giving life to the readings. Lithgow's love for poetry comes through as he gives his personal history of reading poetry and then proceeds to give a brief review of each poet. It is certainly a collection I will listen to from time to time.
I like John Lithgow, and his prologue describing his early years of discovering poetry through the orange covered Childcraft books resonated with me, since this was also my experience.
I like to listen to poetry, not have it's meaning explained to me. I would suggest that John Lithgow do his next "Poetry Corner" as an anthology similar to Garrison' Keillor's "Good Poems" and just share his favorite poems with us.
Strong, clear, and dramatic readers.
I felt disappointed, because my expectation was for a book of John Lithgow and others reading poetry, not having Lithgow explaining the history and life of the poets in each section. For every two poems there was extensive explanation.of the poets and their poems. I felt like I was at a poetry lecture.
Anyone who would like to know the background and history of the poets presented will find this book to be impressive and well researched. Anyone who simply wants to listen to poetry will have to put up with a lot of excess verbiage.
Jana P. Grammy of 7 boys, Mom of 3 daughters, 1 son Lover of books & better eye sight.
There is absolutely something enchanting & rather intoxicating about John Lithgow's voice. His narration is reminiscent of 'dear ole Dad' giving a bit of information about each piece & it's author; but never too much too bore, yet enough to enlighten & entice you to want more.
The kids actually WANT to hear it so much so that we now have a nightly 'read'. The poetry is always varied, making it always new sounding & exciting to young & older ears alike. It's a wonderful thing to be able to say "the kids want to hear poetry each night"! It's kind of funny, I always feel like I'm "tricking" people into believing this, as if maybe I'm referring to some children's stories that can be considered poetry. Not the case! This is the real deal, with poets both old & new. They have even looked up different poets after hearing them in this to hear more of their works. Now if that's not an EXCELLENT poetry book, to inspire even the youngest of us, what is?
Thank-you for such a great 'book', the memorable nights, & opening the children's minds to thoroughly enjoy poetry!
I hope this helps you, & you give a listen. (Click Yes below if it helps you decide-thanks:)
You will enjoy this. I listened all the way through and then started over again.
My favorite "character" is John Lithgow. His intelligence and humor suffuse the collection.
I loved this audiobook. John Lithgow is erudite and funny. The collection is not comprehensive. How could it be? It's Lithgow's personal favorites, arranged in alphabetical order by poet's last name. No theme. No survey of development. Just lovely poems, one after another, with Lithgow's commentary in between.
I loved listening to this book for the language of poetry.
Listening to John Lithgow's stories of his grandmother reciting poetry.
The poem about the carriage that broke down on its' 100th birthday.
This is a great book for getting people interested in poetry again.
I recommend this audiobook to those who would like exposure to many different poets and poems, would like to learn more about poets and their poems, or to a budding poetry enthusiast.
The most interesting aspect of the book were the short biographies, anecdotes, general interpretations and personal responses to the poems, as well as information about other favorite poems by those poets and where to go to look for more or to hear actual recorded poet readings. The least interesting were probably the majority of the poems - for me.
Yes. I heard John Lithgow's reading of "Oh! The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss. I enjoyed his expressive performance there. His poetry readings, while his passion for them were quite clearly conveyed, tended to be a bit duller.
This audiobook was actually a wonderfully diverse range of American and British (nearly) poetry from over the centuries. The sampling of poetic literature throughout my grade school years had nothing on it. There were several poets I'd recognized, a few poems I'd read, and many others I had heard of for the first time. The reason I'd purchased this audiobook was to expose myself to more poetry, and on that account, I was satisfied with my purchase.
I also appreciated John Lithgow's undeniable love for poetry and his desire to share this love with others. Unfortunately, he failed in that with me. I have come to the conclusion that poetry doesn't do much for me. While I had enjoyed a few of the poems in this collection, nearly all of them didn't stir anything in me. Most of them went in through one ear and out the other. I found myself listening to the poet's mini biographies and anecdotes rather than the poems themselves. When I consider my own enjoyment level, I sincerely regret purchasing this audiobook. However, this has nothing to do with the quality of the production and everything to do with my own personal tastes in poetry - or lack thereof.
I did enjoy a few of the performances, but most of them did not resonate with me. I might want to try reading poetry instead of listening to it in the future.
Parts of this review were cross-posted from Goodreads.
I bought this to help me with a college paper, it is an excellent resourse for anyone that has had limited exposure to poetry. John Lithgow makes the poetry an entertaining and enjoyable experience.Now that my class is over I plan to listen just for fun.
He made the poetry understandable and the stories came alive with his insightful narration along with the actors recitile.
(this interrogative is grammatically incorrect; should read, "What do the narrators bring..."
The readers of the selected poetry make each poem 'sing'. My only slight criticism is wishing that British voices had been selected to read those poems whose authors were English/British. American voices (and i'm American) just doesn't carry the same lilt. My bias, i know.
yes, but it's better in small bits.
lovely book; will be listening to this repeatedly.
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