Read by Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow, A Literary Christmas is a seasonal anthology that collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new - from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Rudyard Kipling’s "Christmas in India", from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to Laurie Lee’s "Cider with Rosie".
"Marvelous, with one very avoidable flaw"
Why a poetry album? Easy answer: I love poetry. I love reading it. I love memorizing it. I love hearing great actors recite it. As the poet Mark Strand wrote, “Ink runs from the corners of my mouth / There is no happiness like mine / I have been eating poetry.” In the past, when I was full from eating, I have had the audacity to set poetry to music. But, on this audiobook, you will hear the music of the poems.
"Just the poems Mam."
Adopting the methodology of the music charts, The Classic Hundred Poems presents the "top 100" poems of all time. The selections are illuminated by the informative notes of editor William Harmon and read by an ensemble of contemporary poets including Alfred Corn and Rita Dove.
"A great selection of poetry"
Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Blake, Coleridge, and Byron. The poets of the Romantic Period celebrated with readings by Sir Ralph Richardson, Christopher Hassall, Margaretta Scott, and Tyrone Power.
"Romantic Poets...you're on your own"
William Wordsworth's autobiographical poem The Prelude is arguably the most important piece of poetic writing in our language. Recorded in Wordsworth's home in Grasmere, Cumbria, Wordsworth looks back over events in his early life. Wordsworth believed that poetry should be written in the natural language of common speech, and in that way it was revolutionary in its time.
With a dynamic spirit, these great English poets made a conscious return to nostalgia and spiritual depth. Each chose a different path, but they are united in a love of moods, impressions, scenes, stories, sights and sounds. In this collection of more than forty poems are some of the finest and most memorable works in the English language.
"Inspirational, beautiful and timeless"
Wordsworth's The Prelude is the consummation of his achievement as the great founder of English romanticism. An autobiography in verse, it tells of his childhood in the Lake District, his student days in Cambridge, his passion for the French Revolution and his later disenchantment with it. It also tells of his personal journey to a belief in Nature as the great moral and spiritual force which shapes human life, but on which human society all too often turns its back.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was born in Cockermouth, in the Lake District. His Lyrical Ballads, written in collaboration with Coleridge, was published in 1798, and shortly afterwards he settled in Dove Cottage, Grasmere, with his sister Dorothy. Inspired in his early manhood by the French Revolution, he grew disillusioned with revolutionary politics and in later life became decidedly conservative. He left a vast body of work, ranging from delicately simple lyrics to deeply meditative odes.
William Wordsworth was amongst the greatest of English poets, and this wonderful recording is now available for the first time as a digital download. Included here are selections that put into perspective his great talent. The works are brought beautifully to life by Sir Cedric Hardwicke.
"Find your own way"
Simon Cliffe reads some of the greatest Christmas poems for the 12 days of Christmas. Day 1 - Merry Christmas by Louise May Alcott. Day 2 - Christ's Nativity by Henry Vaughan. Day 3 - Ceremonies for Christmas by Robert Herrick. Day 4 - New Prince, New Pomp by Robert Southwell. Day 5 - Christmas Cheer by Thomas Tusser. Day 6 - Ring Out, Wild Bells by Lor Alfred Tennyson. Day 7 - The Oxen by Thomas Hardy. Day 8 - Nativity by John Donne. Day 9 - A Christmas Carol by G.K. Chesterton.
"Good stories, not keen on the narrator"
Christmas, they say, comes but once a year. In these days it seems to also last for much of that year - but this volume is not just for Christmas! For the religious amongst us, this annual celebration of the Birth of Christ must seem bitter sweet: it's acknowledgment by billions of people countered by the pervasive spread of material possessions translating the event to little more than a sales pitch for material wares.
"Spoiled By Narration"
William Wordsworth (1770 -1850) is one of the most popular and enduring of the English poets. His poetry is beloved for its deep feeling, its use of ordinary speech, and its celebration of nature and of the beauty and poetry in the commonplace. Together with his friend, the poet and political activist Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wordsworth helped launch the romantic age in English literature. These poems demonstrate the astonishing range and beauty of Wordsworth’s work and his sustained, coherent vision.
"A marvellous collection, beautifully read."
Lyrical Ballads features a selection of poems from Wordsworth and Coleridge's 1798 collaboration, which marked the beginning of the English Romantic poetry movement. In the first episode, we hear Coleridge's "Lewti" and Wordsworth's "The Thorn", while the second episode showcases Coleridge's "The Nightingale" and Wordsworth's "Lucy" poems. In the final episode, we hear Wordsworth's "Lines Written A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" and Coleridge's ballad, "Love".
The finest voices reading a wonderful selection of poetry accompanied by selected classical music.
"excellent in every way except for background music"
A unique collection of classic poetry beautifully narrated with a musical accompaniment that enhances the power and emotion of the writing. Includes poems by Keats, Burns, Shelley, and Wordsworth.
William Wordsworth was amongst the greatest of English Poets. Included here are selections that put into perspective his great talent. The works are brought beautifully to life by Sir Cedric Hardwicke.
A selection of classic poetry beautifully enhanced by classical music. Poets include Keats, Wordsworth, and Owen.
"Decent Narration and Music but Sound Effects NO"
The English language has grown into the world’s pre-dominant spoken language, containing over one million words. Its sources are rich and diverse, having absorbed words from other cultures and times without hesitation. With such talents as Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley, Kipling, Blake, and many other classic poets using this most flexible language to render their thoughts and visions, it is no wonder that the beauty and reach of English entrances us.
"Excellent Anthology of British Poems"
October - the tenth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, and the land prepares to give up more it its colourful coverings. On this and other themes, our poets, including Wordsworth, Rossetti, Arnold, Bryant, and Alford, have much to say.
September - the ninth month of the year in our Gregorian calendar and with it arrives the autumn equinox and the first glimpses of the new season. there is much for our poets, including Browning, Kingsley, Yeats, Lanier, and Lindsay, to say and write about.