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Publisher's Summary

Listen to the sound of English as it was meant to be heard.

This collection of timeless British and American poems is an experience to be treasured. The readings, by brilliant classic actors Alexander Scourby, Nancy Wickwire, and Bramwell Fletcher, are presented in the order they appear in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Third Edition, and are selected for their ability to delight. The poetry is also among the most anthologized verse in the English language.

Included are such best-loved works as Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?", John Donne's "Go and Catch a Falling Star", Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", Robert Burns' "A Red, Red Rose", John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn", Walt Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain", and William Butler Yeats' "The Wild Swans at Coole", a total of 81 major poems from 39 poets. It is simply a collection of the best.

Public Domain (P)1992 The Audio Partners

Critic Reviews

"The readings are seamlessly and expertly delivered with sensitive interpretations." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about 81 Famous Poems

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Untitled Chapters Make An Audiobook Hard To Use

The audio quality is quite good, but because this is a book of many short poems, the untitled chapters make the book hard to use. This is important because listening to a poem just once or twice is never enough.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

no chapter titles makes this a useless book.

its impossible to find what your looking for without chapter titles. would have been 4 stars if they were not too lazy to let you know what your reading

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s OK, a few gems

Some gems in here but a bit dry on the overall delivery even though the classic poems work best with the dryness. The 3 stars is because this is just missing some sort of “juice” or sauciness to its compilation. It serves more as a rolling background for soaking in some classic poems. Just feels academic and high brow in its delivery versus exciting and savory.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No chapter titles

With a total of 81 poems they should have the chapters titled with the name of the poem and author.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Followed easily with the Norton Anthology of Poetry

After decades I got out my Norton anthology I studied at U of Michigan and took this as a review. It stops at Yeats and wished it could continue.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

listen over & over, sumptuous voices, lyrical

superb choice of poems, had it in other formats, like piece of music, can listen over and over and still hear something new, enchanting

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No wonder

This collection of “famous poems” explains why classic poetry is one of the least appreciated art forms. There are so many great poems, yet few managed to sneak their way into this collection.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

81 poem's

👍book I book to have for reading and writing to hear 👂!like the too much

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent collection, well done.

With 81 poems, I thought sure that I might cull, but I didn't find a single one that I'd consider dull,
There were some that spoke more to me than others might have done , but when I listen to them again (in a minute) I want to hear each one.
Thank you for presenting this, the readers were quite fine, and quite unlike most things these days, I hung on every line.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Snoooooooozzzeeee.

imagine your most dreaded literature class, imagine too,your professor lacks the reading talent .

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CMHD
  • 06-19-17

Great readings, but why no list of the poems?

Any additional comments?

The audio is divided into chapters, but they are just numbered, it does not list the poems, which is frankly ridiculous.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mark
  • 02-02-19

recited beautifully but .....

pros. recited beautifully and is a treasure because of it.

cons. There is a intro giving the title. so why then is this not a positive? Rather than the narrator giving the intro its an ascended that starkly contrasts the tone and I would love to get rid of it but don't think you can do that with audible. Who ever produced this needs there head examined.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Prudens
  • 06-22-20

Beautiful poetry

The poetry is beautiful but sometimes interpreted gloomily by the reader., or not in the rhythm and spirit of the poem.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-22

Well known poems

A great anthology- hard to judge it as a story as such because it is a collection of well loved poems, some told better than others but that is often fine to interpretation. I like the female readers more than the male ones but that could be in part due to the selection.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martinkrb
  • 08-10-22

Superb Narration

The readings helped me to follow and enjoy many of the poems I've previously found difficult to fully appreciate.Thank ypu.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. Anthony Carney
  • Mr. Anthony Carney
  • 05-01-22

Marred product

Another lazy product from Audible. Employ an Editor so that listeners are able to navigate the product

I'm not sure why the narrator up to #50 or so has the same urgent declamatory hectoring phrasing.

Just awful

.