The Poets' Corner

  • by John Lithgow
  • Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren, Glenn Close, Gary Sinese, John Lithgow
  • 6 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This unique package provides a unique poetry experience from one of today's most beloved performers. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Painless Crash Course in the Great Western Poets

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some of the modern poems were so awful, I wanted to cry, but the rest were so good, it made up for it.


Any additional comments?

Lithgow expertly introduces 50 prominent poets. They are presented alphabetically and samples of their poetry are narrated by Hollywood stars such as Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Jodie Foster, etc.

I suppose the word “family” is in the title because there is some nonsense poetry included and because of Lithgow’s grandfatherly tone. But if I were trying to introduce my children to poetry, this is not the selection I would choose because of the inclusion of modern poetry with its clunky rythms and obtuse meanings. (If someone has to explain a poem to you before you can like it, you have already missed much of the magic, soul-touching quality of poetry.)

If I had known how much modern poetry was in this audiobook, I probably would not have purchased it. On the other hand, I was glad to have such a painless, crash course on the “greats” of Western poetry. I even learned to appreciate the talents of several poets that I hadn’t liked before. I had hoped for more classic poetry and couldn’t find a list before buying, so I'm including a list here for future buyers:

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)
W.H. Auden (1907-1973)
John Berryman (1914-1972)
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)
William Blake (1757-1827)
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning(1806-1861)
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Lewis Carroll (1831-1898)
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400?)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
Hart Crane (1899-1932)
E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
John Donne (1572-1631)
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Robert Frost (18874-1963)
William S. Gilbert (1836-1911)
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
Gerard Manley Hopkins(1844-1889)
A.E. Houseman (1859-1936)
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)
Ben Johnson (1572-1657)
John Keats (1795-1821)
Philip Larkin (1922-1985)
Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882)
Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1915)
Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
Ogden Nash (1902-1971)
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
Christina Rosetti (1830-1894)
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Percy B. Shelley (1792-1822)
Edmund Spencer (1552-1599)
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Willam Wordsworth (1770-1850)
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

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- Litlovingmama

Thank You, JL

There once was a book on my iPad,
When piped into ears made them glad;
Adoring the poems of Keats,
and too the bohemian beats,
I mostly wish John Lithgow were my dad.
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- Scot

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-05-2007
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio