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The Caedmon Poetry Collection: A Century of Poets Reading Their Work Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

No matter how inspired an actor's reading of poetry might be, there's simply no substitute for hearing a poet read his or her own work. Even if the rendition itself is far from optimal, we hear the cadences, the emotion, and the line breaks exactly as the poem was intended. Since the early 1950s, Caedmon has been the unrivaled leader in spoken-word records and tapes. Though many of these performances are unfortunately out of print now, these three CDs give a taste of things past and, hopefully, to come. And with all but six of these 35 poets now dead, this is one of the few places we can hear the voices of William Butler Yeats, Gertrude Stein, Carl Sandburg, W.H. Auden, Conrad Aiken, Marianne Moore, Stephen Spender, Robert Graves, Edith Sitwell, Wallace Stevens, and the like. T.S. Eliot reads "The Wasteland" in its entirety to end the third CD on a high note. Today's listeners might hope for a more racially diverse collection (Derek Walcott is the only nonwhite American poet included), but this anthology remains a reflective document from the 1950s and early 1960s. Recommended for all public libraries. Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

A rare and thrilling listening experience. A choice gathering of some of the twentieth century's greatest poetry... read by the century's greatest poets - here available on CD

A reawakened love for the sound of poetry has made modern poems subtly different from the poems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centures. We have only to listen to these poets reading their own works to know how important their interpretations are to a full comprehension of their poems. The ministerial intonations of Eliot, the passionate orchestrations of Thomas, the very very precise formulations of Cummings, the easy conversational inflection of Frost are integral, lending subtle clarifications which go beyond the printed page.

The fact that this recording includes the voice of Yeats is something of a miracle. In the early 1930's, when the thought of recording poets occurred to few, Yeats himself made several recordings for radio broadcast. By sheer luck, an unmutilated copy was preserved; and now the rich and melodious voice can be heard by a new generation.

The Caedmon Poetry Collection eliminates the struggle for perfect communication between author and reader. Just listen and you'll understand...


CD 1:
William Butler Yeats
The Song of the Old Mother
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W.H. Auden
In Memory of W.B. Yeats
Dylan Thomas
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child In London
Fern Hill
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Galway Kinnell
The Dead Shall Be Raised Incorruptible
Edith Sitwell
Still Falls the Rain
Murial Rukeyser
The Speed of Darkness
May Swenson
The DNA Molecule
Robert Graves
Poem to My Son
Randall Jarrell
Eighth Air Force
Philip Levine
To My God in His Sickness
Archibald MacLeish
Epistle to Be Left in the Earth
W.S. Merwin
The Last One
Anne Sexton
Divorce, Thy Name is Woman
Little Girl, My String Bean, My Lovely Woman
Carl Sandburg
The Windy City

CD 2:
William Carlos Williams
The Seafarer
E.E. Cummings
darling! because my blood can sing
if everything that happens can't be done
Joseph Brodsky
Nature Morte
Robert Frost
The Road Not Taken
After Apple Picking
Derek Walcott
Omeros, Book 1, Chapter1
Marianne Moore
What Are Years
Stephen Spendor
Robert Lowell
Skunk Hour
Conrad Aiken
Gertrude Stein
If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso
Richard Wilbur
Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
Sylvia Plath
The Thin People
Robert Penn Warren
American Portrait: Old Style

CD 3:

Pablo Neruda
Arte Poetica
May Sarton
Old Lovers at the Ballet
Richard Eberhart
The Groundhog
Stephen Vincent Benet
Litany for Dictatorships
James Agee
White Mane
Ezra Pound
Moeurs Contemporaines
Wallce Stevens
The Idea Of Order At Key West
Margarett Atwood
The Animals in That Country
T.S. Eliot
The Wasteland


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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 3 pages
  • Publisher: Caedmon (April 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0694522783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0694522781
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 151 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I originally thought that it would be great to have these poets on a digitized CD format. I now want to re-evaluate my thinking. After 8 hours of looking up poems, I know the table of contents is wrong. The selections by Cummings are not correct and I don't know the right titles. The Spender poem is wrong and I don't know the title. The May Sarton poem is not on the CD at all. After 30 yrs you'd think that Harper Collins could at least identify the poems and poets properly. What a poor way to represent great poets!!!!
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By MET on June 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My copy of the collection must be recorded incorrectly. The voices are sped up and sound very unnatural. The recording speed must have been set at the wrong value for each track, because some poets sound like a chipmunk and others sound almost okay. The CD plays the same way on a audiophile CD player and two different computers. I recorded a wav file and varied the sampling rate using Matlab. A technician must have transposed 22050 to 20250 Hz on some of the tracks. Though, the other track speeds don't make sense.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Aquino on December 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Wish I listened to this while studying poetry in school - it would have helped me to "get" the beauty and attraction of poetry.

It's great fun to read up on the poet's bios on Wikipedia while listening to each of them on this tape.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ian R. Bruce on October 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a self-confessed philistine when it comes to poetry - even obvious and popular poems can leave me cold or confused. And it's not through want of trying.

So I thought that hearing poetry read by the author might be enlightening: and it was. This is a good collection with all the famous names from the age of early recorded sounds on thru to the end of the century: Frost, Pound, cummings, Plath. What's odd is how mannered they all sound - even the Welshman Dylan Thomas, who traded on his deep regional roots, delivers in plummy tones.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. Vassalos on February 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Poetry is meant to be listened to! Good collection, even if a bit uneven. The notes are not helpful.
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