The Classic Fifty Poems

  • by John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christopher Marlowe
  • Narrated by Philip Levine, Paul Muldoon
  • 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Adopting the methodology of the music charts, The Classic Fifty Poems presents the "top 50" poems of all time. Determined by a consensus of over 1,000 compliers, and arranged in order of popularity, each author's work is illuminated by the informative notes of editor William Harmon, who offers insights into the historical period in which each author lived and the author's choice of verse form, tone, and style.Newly revised, and read by an ensemble of contemporary poets, The Classic Fifty Poems is a feast for poetry lovers.

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What the Critics Say

"Why did no one think of this before?" (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

technical comment

My problem with this audio collection is that it contains no list of poems and poets. To find a particular poem, you need to either create your own list or poke around the audio estimating its location. I've never picked up a poetry book without a table of contents.

A technical suggestion is to segment the poems so you have the choice of going directly to a poem. An even more ambitious division would be to also segment the intro and poem separately. I'd be more likely to go back and listen to specific poems. When I feel the impulse to listen to a song, I put in a CD and go directly to the song.

From a technical standpoint, it feels like they took some of the greatest poems in literature but neglected to separate the text into verses and paragraphs.
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- Patrick

Great for High School Freshmen

Also good for those who know nothing about poetry, were not a liberal arts major, or really don't have a clue about the history of poetry in the English language. Less than 45 minutes is devoted to poetry. The balance of the time is devoted to mediocre biography and general comments by a narrator. If you fit in the category of knowing nothing about poetry or are a high school freshman this is just what you need. It's otherwise worthless and I'm not certain I'd recommend it to high school freshmen.

Very little poetry. Lots of inane commentary.
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- JerryT

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-06-2001
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books