From Library Journal
Listening to the Wordsworth tapes is enticing. It's hard to discern if this is a poetry reading with biographical notes or a biography with examples of the poetry. Either way, it works. And it is easier to listen to the poetry than to read it. The one problem is that employing six readers, plus a narrator, is confusing, especially since one of the stated aims of this program is to show the cohesiveness and progression in Wordsworth's work. Still, all readers (men and women) seem adeptly chosen. The same six readers tend to overdramatize Shelley's poems. The selections are for the most part fragmentary, skipping from long work to long work, with slighter, shorter poems used almost as fillers. As to biography, surely there must have been more to Shelley's life than love affairs and the deaths of children. By structuring everything around his romances and his friendships with fellow poets (especially Byron), this tape does little to enhance either the poetry or the biography. One hopes libraries will already have the now out-of-print 1985 program of Shelley's work narrated by Vincent Price. Meanwhile, purchase of William Wordsworth: Poems is recommended.?Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
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