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 NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 447 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004I9AR0M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,085 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

16-page viewer’s guide with an introduction by Bill Moyers, profiles of the writers, and a guide to selected poetry festivals across America
Poet book lists and a biography of Bill Moyers
SDH subtitles
Plus more at

Editorial Reviews

"A wonderfully ear-opening experience" --The New York Times
"Spellbinding" --Newsday
"Enriching and gratifying" --Los Angeles Times
"Soul-stirring" --Variety
"The poetic sensibility come alive" --USA Today

The magic of the spoken word takes center stage in this exhilarating eight-part series that showcases contemporary poets and their work. Join host Bill Moyers as he engages 18 writers—including greats Robert Bly, Adrienne Rich, and Gary Snyder--in lively conversation, and share the experience of hearing them read aloud before a live audience. Produced and directed by Emmy®-winning documentarian David Grubin and filmed on location at the fifth biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in historic Waterloo, New Jersey, The Language of Life combines intimate, one-on-one interviews and public performances--several with musical accompaniment by the famed Paul Winter Consort. Featured poets include National Book Award honorees, Pulitzer Prize winners, and a former U.S. Poet Laureate. Collectively, the writers here testify to the full range of human experience and poetry’s power to inspire, redeem, and celebrate life.

In a broadcasting career spanning nearly 40 years, journalist Bill Moyers distinguished himself at PBS, NBC, CBS, and Newsday. His many honors include lifetime achievement Emmy® and Peabody awards.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is a set of eight (8) one-hour videos of contemporary poets who share with us their lives: their hopes and triumphs, their laughter and pain, their sorrows and joys. The setting is the 1994 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Waterloo, New Jersey, and Bill Moyers not only provides his audience with a wonderful glimpse into the various activities of the festival, but also shares with us his thought-provoking conversations with each of the featured artists. The programming is beautifully done, and probably even more exciting by virtue of the skillful editing than if we'd been there to see and hear it in person.
Time and space do not permit a review of each of the programs. Suffice it to say that, no matter what order you view them in, each one will be better than the one before or the one after. The artists will surprise and delight you, and sometimes they'll make you cry. This set is a collector's piece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For lovers of poetry written and spoken June 9, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My husband, Ken, and I happened to see one episode of the original series of "Bill Moyers: The Language of Life" on PBS in the mid-1990's. He spends two days (or more) at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival talking to poets and recording their readings in front of a live audience. There are some amazing writers he presents here. Naomi Shahib Nye, Robery Bly, Robert Hass, Lucille Clifton, Adrienne Rich, Coleman Barks, Sundiata Sekou, Carol Forche, Claribel Alegria, David Mura, Jimmy Braca, to name just a handful. We got the audiocassette tapes right away, which I couldn't get enough of. I recently bought the dvds this year. Since my retirement, I'm interested in writing - I gravitate to poetry. This series puts you in the middle of it all. Wonderful fresh interviews with the poets and equally meaningful and insightful readings by the poets of their own work. Gets my juices flowing every time I want to sit down to write. It is that inspiring. I like pretty much everything Moyers does - his interviews are always engaging, sometimes gripping. This is one of Moyers's best works, in my view. Too bad PBS never aired this series again... At least we have the dvds to remember. I recommend it for all poets and lovers of poetry. You will fall in love with language again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Marteials for Teaching Poems March 2, 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Excellent marteials for teaching and learning poems in Colleges and Graduate Schools. Tapes provide students with a different view from ordinary classes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rumi lives! April 16, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have loved Moyers interviewing Coleman Barks on Rumi's poetry for years. I had it on an audio tape which I tried to get transcribed onto a cd for my car. The quality was so bad I couldn't even listen to it! Now I have it in living color! but sadly not while in my car!
On my bucket list is getting to the Geraldine R Dodge Poetry festival in New Jersey. It's happening this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Moyers rocks! November 19, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bill Moyers rocks! And I love Rumi too! Poetry is the fewest words, well-chosen, the describe life perfectly. Check it out!
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