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Publisher's Summary

An anthology of over 50 classic poems, read by some of our finest actors. This collection contains a selection of the very best poems, from verses inspired by love to war poetry, nature poems and children's rhymes. Here are much-loved favourites such as 'A Red, Red Rose', 'She Walks in Beauty', 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', 'If...', 'Kubla Khan', 'Ode to a Nightingale', 'Jabberwocky', 'My Shadow' and 'The Jumblies'; as well as timeless poems by such celebrated authors as Shakespeare, Burns, Byron, Shelley, Yeats, Kipling and Wordsworth.

Beautifully read by a wealth of well-known actors, these are poems that you will never tire of listening to. Performed by Maxine Peake, Bill Wallis, Rupert Penry-Jones, Jenny Agutter, Bill Paterson, Dean Lennox Kelly, Rupert Holliday Evans, Michael Jayston, Samantha Bond, Michael Maloney, David Schofield, Anthony Howell, Claire Rushbrook, Alex Jennings, Emilia Fox, Geoffrey Palmer and Julia McKenzie.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Great Poems

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

Not for Poetry Snobs. Full Listing in Review.

This collection grew on me, and the narration is very very good.

I delayed reviewing this since I was initially disappointed/bemused with the selection and did not wish to dash off an unfair review. This does not have anything by John Donne or Dylan Thomas (for example), and nothing more recent than WH Davies (maybe the only living poet included). Some poets have more than one poem (the editor clearly is fond of Wilfred Owen as five are included). It is arranged in themes, and within the themes I felt the juxtaposition of the choices was a bit unique (e.g. blithely mixing centuries/wars).

However, I found myself choosing to listen to this anthology a fair few times and really appreciate the narration. For example the profoundly sad “Strange Meeting” (by Owen) stands out for me. Likewise I found the narration of “The Hunting of a Snark” made the poem finally enjoyable (having never really enjoyed nonsense poems before).

The poems are as follows:

Love Themed:
My Delight and thy delight, by Robert Bridges; Red Red Rose, Robert Burns; When I was 1 and 20 – AE Houseman; Ay Fond Kiss, Robert Burns; Sonnet 43, Elizabeth Barrett Browning; My true love hath my heart, Philip Sidney; Passionate Sheppard to his love, Christopher Marlowe; I love thee, Thomas Hood; To my loving Husband, Anne Bradstreet; Annie Laurie, William Douglas; She Walks in Beauty, Bryon; Loves Philosophy, Percy Bysse Shelley; (Extract of) Romeo & Juliet & Sonnet 18, Wm Shakespeare; He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, Wm Butler Yeats;

War /Conflict / Grief Themed
1914, The Soldier, Rupert Brook; I saw his round mouths crimson, Owen; Vitaï Lampada, Newbolt; In Flanders fields, John McCrae; Anthem for doomed youth, Owen; Elegy in a Country Churchyard, GK Chesterton; Remember, Christina Rossetti; Ex Clerk, Kipling; Disabled, Owen; I have a rendezvous with death, Alan Seeger; The charge of the light brigade, Tennyson; Grief, Elizabeth Barrett Browning; In Gethsemane, Kipling; Dulce et decorum est, Owen; After Great Pain a Form of Feeling comes, Emily Dickinson; Strange Meeting, Owen

Sense of Place/Stages of Life
If, Rudyard Kipling; Leisure, WH Davies; To a butterfly, Wordsowrth; Innisfree, Wm Butler Yeats; Kubla Khan, Coleridge; (Extract of) Lady of Shallot, Tennyson; Ode to a Nightingale, Keats; The Rainbow, Wordsworth; (Extract of) Endymion, Keats; Auguries of Innocence, Blake; To Daffodils, Robert Herrick; From Cocoon forth a butterfly, Emily Dickinson

Nonsense /Children's poems
(Extract from) The Hunting of a Snark, Lewis Carroll; The Cow, RL Stephenson; Trioley, I wish I were a jelly fish, GK Chesterton; From Looking glass, Lewis Carroll; The song of Mr. Toad, Kenneth Graham; The pobble who has no toes, Lear; The Elephant, AE Housman; Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll; The Camels Complaint, Charles Edward Carroll; My shadow, RL Stephenson.

29 people found this helpful

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Doggerel and Bleeding Chunks

This is a very well-read collection of excerpts, children's rhymes and the type of verse George Orwell called good bad poems. All are brief. None too deep.

3 people found this helpful

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Poems, performed.

Loved most of the poems included in this book. It was nice to have multiple voices narrating, except some were way too soft/quiet to hear. I know they lower their voices for effect but if you can't hear the words ??? I'm a big fan of the chapters or divides between poems so I can stop and start easily.

1 person found this helpful

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Great selection of poetry

Well selected works and well performed. I very much enjoyed the characterizations of the poets.

1 person found this helpful

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No labels

The readings were good, but I wish that the reader of each poem was named, even if only in the table of contents. Poem titles in the table of contents would also be an improvement.

1 person found this helpful

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Chapter titles are unhelpful

Audible ought to take the extra time and actually include poem titles as the chapter names. Otherwise, the anthology is fine with a good mix of narration.

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good poems, bad pefromance

There are available great interpretations of poems included in other places. this audiobook is just read, we can not feel. This audiobook included my favourite poems, which I know by heart and performed in this book I questioned my affection. 1/10

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Somewhat overrated

This is a collection of good (not great) poems—a mixed bag of poetry by mostly well known poets.

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great book

I love these poems, very well read , probably the best of all poem books

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excellent

every poem so delightfully read and the selection of poems were all to my liking . I'm finding that I really enjoy being read to. I do recommend.

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  • Mr Kenneth Bradley
  • 10-19-21

ruined by Audible

great poems, mostly well read. but made useless as a collection by inept programming. no index, written titles, explanation of sequencing or other means of accessing one individually. Amateur.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 02-05-22

Where’s the index?

Nice voices, but where is the index? The chapters don’t even correspond to the themes. Not much use.
Someone else has helpfully listed the poems in her review but this needs an index, or relevant chapter divisions. Free, but I have sent it back.

3 people found this helpful

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  • edward botheras
  • 04-27-22

Poems are lovely BUT!!

Why oh why does Audible persist in not organising and labelling the chapters? I thought that each chapter was a separate poem at least that would’ve been some semblance of order but no. Individual poems are not listed.
The whole book is just a bloody mess! I’m sorry but it just is. I find this with a lot of the books and it’s such a shame.
Why oh why is not each chapter titled with the name of the poem? So then we could skip the uninterested ones and focus on others.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tristan Hardy
  • 05-27-22

read with passion and vigour

read in an animated fashion by the reader.

readers passion character and excitement dependant on the genre being read.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting an easy listen or takes interest in intelligible word play

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  • Mai
  • 04-16-22

Beautiful readings

This is a lovely selection of some of our finest poetry read by some very talented actors. Very moving and highly enjoyable.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart A. McIntosh
  • 03-23-22

Pleasant way to pass an afternoon

This anthology of over 50 well known poems was read to me by some famous actors. I have to admit that I endured the section of love and nature poems, not my favourite and often exampled to me by people who say they don't like poetry. I did, and always do, like the war poetry and children's rhymes. Here are much-loved favourites such as 'Dulce Et Decorum Est', 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', 'If...', 'Kubla Khan', 'Jabberwocky', 'My Shadow' and 'The Jumblies'; as well as timeless poems by such celebrated authors as Shakespeare, Owen, Burns, Byron, Yeats, Kipling and Houseman. I still prefer Betjeman, Cooper-Clarke, Ayers, James, Hegley, Normal and the great McGough, but this was a pleasant accompaniment for walking the dog.