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The Giant Book of Poetry: The Complete Audio Edition

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Winner or finalist in the Best Books National Book Award Poetry Anthology of the Year; Benjamin Franklin Audio Book of the Year; Foreword Magazine Audio Book of the Year; and the Bill Fisher Award for Best New Fiction. Over 750 pages of poetry spanning from 4,000 BC up to the present day and including a broad cross-section of global poetry. Footnotes for each poem specify Winner or finalist in the Best Books National Book Award Poetry Anthology of the Year; Benjamin Franklin Audio Book of the Year; Foreword Magazine Audio Book of the Year; and the Bill Fisher Award for Best New Fiction. Over 750 pages of poetry spanning from 4,000 BC up to the present day and including a broad cross-section of global poetry. Footnotes for each poem specify each poem's form, define unusual or archaic words, and include notes about interpretation. Multiple indexes, including an index by subject, simplify finding exactly the right poem for any situation. The poems were specifically selected to appeal to readers new to poetry, but even experienced poetry readers will find new and enjoyable poems. The poems from the book are also available on audio CD.


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Winner or finalist in the Best Books National Book Award Poetry Anthology of the Year; Benjamin Franklin Audio Book of the Year; Foreword Magazine Audio Book of the Year; and the Bill Fisher Award for Best New Fiction. Over 750 pages of poetry spanning from 4,000 BC up to the present day and including a broad cross-section of global poetry. Footnotes for each poem specify Winner or finalist in the Best Books National Book Award Poetry Anthology of the Year; Benjamin Franklin Audio Book of the Year; Foreword Magazine Audio Book of the Year; and the Bill Fisher Award for Best New Fiction. Over 750 pages of poetry spanning from 4,000 BC up to the present day and including a broad cross-section of global poetry. Footnotes for each poem specify each poem's form, define unusual or archaic words, and include notes about interpretation. Multiple indexes, including an index by subject, simplify finding exactly the right poem for any situation. The poems were specifically selected to appeal to readers new to poetry, but even experienced poetry readers will find new and enjoyable poems. The poems from the book are also available on audio CD.

30 review for The Giant Book of Poetry: The Complete Audio Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    I was pleasantly surprised to find Lucian Blaga's "I Do Not Crush the World's Corolla of Wonders" and Adrian Codrescu's "Defense of the meek" in this great collection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Cid

    Great! You can't beat this value of poetry per dollar... :) Of course in 17 hours of audiobook there will be some narrators you don't enjoy so much, but I didn't expect it to be so good overall, actually. I just don't give it 5 stars because they don't have the chapters marked, that's just lazy. I mean, they have 7 files that change theme about halfway. I didn't expect poem by poem markers, but at least the chapter headings... I bought it in the apple store, though, maybe at audible or other Great! You can't beat this value of poetry per dollar... :) Of course in 17 hours of audiobook there will be some narrators you don't enjoy so much, but I didn't expect it to be so good overall, actually. I just don't give it 5 stars because they don't have the chapters marked, that's just lazy. I mean, they have 7 files that change theme about halfway. I didn't expect poem by poem markers, but at least the chapter headings... I bought it in the apple store, though, maybe at audible or other stores they have better markers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Daniel J

    the good: 1 it's cheap 2 lot of poetry (some of it pretty good or even great) 3 decent notes 4 useful indexes 5 some drawings throughout to accompany occasional poems the bad: 1 occasional editing errors 2 shameless self-promotion of including a few of his own poems (though none are terrible) 3 about half of the drawings 4 the over-emphasis on dead white men

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I can see this being a fair book if you really just want more bulk for your buck. The first 300 pages are essentially an anthology of the most anthologized English poems, so it's really familiar ground to anyone who's taken a college lit course. I thought the selections from more modern poetry--let's say anything after Robert Frost--were frustratingly uneven. I'd really enjoy the 1 single poem included from one writer, and then I'd feel the next poet's selections (with 7 or 8 poems) was obtuse I can see this being a fair book if you really just want more bulk for your buck. The first 300 pages are essentially an anthology of the most anthologized English poems, so it's really familiar ground to anyone who's taken a college lit course. I thought the selections from more modern poetry--let's say anything after Robert Frost--were frustratingly uneven. I'd really enjoy the 1 single poem included from one writer, and then I'd feel the next poet's selections (with 7 or 8 poems) was obtuse and needless. I can't figure his criteria for modern poems, aside from them trending toward the themes of "What is poetry?" and confessional personal stuff.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Cain

    A Giant Book of Good Selections The book offers a sampling of many poets with different styles and talent. I enjoyed the book most when I met an interesting poet I had not read before. In some cases of the poets I knew I would have included different poems. This happens. For the price I think it a good buy and a great book to learn a little about many poets.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    In the introduction to this commodious tome of wonderful poems, Roetzheim provides his Level Four Poetry Manifesto, in which he identifies the four levels on which a poem must work to be a truly great poem. I'm going to repeat a lot of it, because it's worth it: Level One: A poem should communicate cleary to the reader at the denotative level. In other words, with even a casual reading of the poem, a non-sophisticated reader should understand this surface message. The poem should offer something In the introduction to this commodious tome of wonderful poems, Roetzheim provides his Level Four Poetry Manifesto, in which he identifies the four levels on which a poem must work to be a truly great poem. I'm going to repeat a lot of it, because it's worth it: Level One: A poem should communicate cleary to the reader at the denotative level. In other words, with even a casual reading of the poem, a non-sophisticated reader should understand this surface message. The poem should offer something to the reader at level one in payment for their time reading the poem. For example, this might be an interesting story, a memorable image, a surprising ending, or a shared emotion. Multiple readers of the poem should agree on the Level One message of the poem. Level One deals with the concrete. Level One makes the poem successful for the non-skilled reader. Level Two: A poem should communicate subtly to the reader at the connotative level, creating a desired mood within the reader. This is accomplished through poetic techniques such as word choice with attention to the connotative meaning, imagery, and music.... Level Three: A poem may offer a separate, "hidden" message to the reader through the use of metaphor or similar techniques. In other words, all or part of the poem may represent something deeper in meaning than the surface description. The Level Three message should be recognizable to the skilled reader, and should be obvious to the non-skilled reader when it is pointed out. Level Four: The Level Four poetry sues a symbol to offer a separate, "hidden" message to the reader. Metaphors may be symbols, but symbols are not necessarily metaphors. The use of symbols in Level Four poetry has both literal and representative meanings and the representative meaning is flexible... The heart of the Level Four Manifesto is that each level builds on the previous levels, and levels should not be skipped if a poem is to be successful. I say this fully recognizing that some very well known poets have intentionally skipped levels and that many well known poets and poetry journals gravitate toward poetry that skips Level One... However, I would argue that this skipping of levels is exactly why the general readership of poetry shrank during most of the Twentieth Century... I believe that all poems that last hundreds of years will operate on Levels One and Two, that most will also operate on Level Three, and that many will operate on Level Four. Yes. That is exactly what poetry should do, and unwillingness to engage readers at the basic level is also why I think poetry--the most pithy and rich of writing--has been relegated to the outskirts of literature. I am so grateful to Roetzheim for introducing me to Alden Nowlan, Ted Kooser and Mark Turpin (and loads of other poets with so much to offer all readers of poetry) that my mouse moves of its own accord to five stars--and then I see page 550. Roetzheim has included his own poetry in the tome. Not just one, but five of his own poems, the same number that he gives Elizabeth Bishop and one more than he gives Margaret Atwood. Billy Collins had a similar goal of expanding poetry readership in his 180 Poems and 180 More Poems. Did he include his own poetry in the collections? No. Of course, not. That would be unutterably gauche. He included great poetry, which prompted me to wonder what his poetry was like and to buy it (his is wonderful, too). Roetzheim's inclusion of his own work in an anthology of "great" literature is not entirely uncommon, particularly among male academics, for some reason. But I simply can't overlook it, or I encourage that kind of behavior. I love the poetry you've collected, Mr. Roetzheim, I love your manifesto. I so wish you'd maintained that high, noble spirit just 30 more pages.

  7. 4 out of 5

    iamGamz

    4 Poetically Beautiful Stars “Over 750 pages of poetry spanning from 4,000 BC up to the present day and including a broad cross-section of global poetry… The poems were specifically selected to appeal to readers new to poetry, but even experienced poetry readers will find new and enjoyable poems.” – Blurb from Amazon.com This is easily The most complete book of poetry I have had the pleasure of reading. It contains quite a few of my favorites. From the famous: Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII Blake’s 4 Poetically Beautiful Stars “Over 750 pages of poetry spanning from 4,000 BC up to the present day and including a broad cross-section of global poetry… The poems were specifically selected to appeal to readers new to poetry, but even experienced poetry readers will find new and enjoyable poems.” – Blurb from Amazon.com This is easily The most complete book of poetry I have had the pleasure of reading. It contains quite a few of my favorites. From the famous: Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII Blake’s Auguries of Innocence and The Tiger Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain! Poe’s The Raven Dickenson’s I am Nobody To the not so well known, but equally enjoyable: This Be the Verse Philip Larkin They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn by fools in old-style hats and coats, who half the time were soppy-stern and half at one another’s throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, and don’t have any kids yourself.” Bitch Carolyn Kizer Now, when he and I meet, after all these years, I say to the bitch inside me, don’t start growling. He isn’t a trespasser anymore, just an old acquaintance tipping his hat. My voice says, “nice to see you,” as the bitch starts to bark hysterically. He isn’t an enemy now, where are your manners, I say, as I say, “How are the children? They must be growing up.” At a kind word from him, a look like the old day, the bitch changes her tone: she begins to whimper. She wants to snuggle up to him, to cringe. Down, girl! Keep your distance or I’ll give you a taste of the choke-chain. “Fine, I’m just fine,” I tell him.” “She slobbers and grovels. After all, I am her mistress. She is basically loyal. It’s just that she remembers how she came running each evening, when she heard his step; how she lay at his feet and looked up adoringly though he was absorbed in his paper; or, bored with her devotion, ordered in to the kitchen until he was ready to play. But the small careless kindnesses when he’d had a good day, or a couple of drinks, come back to her now, seem more important than the casual cruelties, the ultimate dismissal. “It’s nice to know you are doing so well,” I say. He couldn’t have taken you with him; you were too demonstrative, too clumsy, not like the well-groomed pets of his new friends. “Give my regards to your wife,” I say. You gag as I drag you off by the scruff, saying, “Goodbye! Goodbye! Nice to have seen you again.” I highly recommend this gem to any poetry lover. There truly is something here for everyone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kannonhall

    First of all I am a huge fan of poetry so, I knew picking up this book i was going to enjoy it. I love how this book vaired from semi-contemporary to classical poets. You were able to enjoy very different styles off poetry to another. I also like the index in the back that divides the poems into larger categories. I bought this book to find poems for a theatre competion and found that this index was extremely helpful. I would read countless pages before I fell asleep and the poems would always First of all I am a huge fan of poetry so, I knew picking up this book i was going to enjoy it. I love how this book vaired from semi-contemporary to classical poets. You were able to enjoy very different styles off poetry to another. I also like the index in the back that divides the poems into larger categories. I bought this book to find poems for a theatre competion and found that this index was extremely helpful. I would read countless pages before I fell asleep and the poems would always leave questions lingering with me as I drifted off to sleep. Its a great book to keep around the house if your a fan of poetry. I will have to say some of these poems are of very high academic merit.If you dont enjoy spending hours analyzing a poem just to understand it I would not suggest it, nor would I suggest it if you can't stand walking away from something confused. There is not a storyline but, you can find many themes that are also spelled out in the back index. Over all I would reccomend this book. My only regret is how fast I read it. I wish I had taken my time and thought about each poem more. I would suggest digesting this book one poem at a time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mauricio Garcia

    There, I'm now up to date with Anglophone poetry from the last 600 years. Yeah well you can only give 5 stars to a book if it inevitably collects some of the best poems in story, but I have a few commentaries on the editing process: There's certainly preference for the most well known authors in this compilation (Emily Dickinson for instance has almost 20 poems in it) which is kind of nonsensical. Firstly because readers are probably already familiar with them. Then if someone's not familiar with There, I'm now up to date with Anglophone poetry from the last 600 years. Yeah well you can only give 5 stars to a book if it inevitably collects some of the best poems in story, but I have a few commentaries on the editing process: There's certainly preference for the most well known authors in this compilation (Emily Dickinson for instance has almost 20 poems in it) which is kind of nonsensical. Firstly because readers are probably already familiar with them. Then if someone's not familiar with Shakespeare's sonnets two or three would do for them to search further, don't you think? I found it disproportionate too that over one third of the book is devoted to modernist authors. With over 600 poems in this book (I counted them) I thought of another system that would make an interesting read if anyone is up for the task: Start up with a poem from the year 1400 and then select one published poem per year till you reach 2000. Something like number 1 hits: 1400-2000. It'll be the same length than this book and you could see little by little the progress and evolution of themes, grammar, metric, styles, etc. What'd you think?

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Hill

    This was a great anthology of poetry especially is you have an e-reader like the Kindle or Nook like I do. Often, formatting becomes an issue when reading poetry on the Kindle but this book managed to not become bogged down with issue. In fact, I noticed only one or two. This book, while expansive, is not a "textbook" of poetry. There is no editing panel, no lengthy academic introduction, and little in the way of footnotes and commentary. Instead, this book is a collection of one man's favorite This was a great anthology of poetry especially is you have an e-reader like the Kindle or Nook like I do. Often, formatting becomes an issue when reading poetry on the Kindle but this book managed to not become bogged down with issue. In fact, I noticed only one or two. This book, while expansive, is not a "textbook" of poetry. There is no editing panel, no lengthy academic introduction, and little in the way of footnotes and commentary. Instead, this book is a collection of one man's favorite poems. While Roetzheim does offer footnotes on each poem, these often consist of rhyme scheme and meter and occasionaly the explination of a word or the inherent symbolism of the poem. The poems themselves are set up in chronological order according the birth of the specific poets. They are not set up in any school of poetry per se although poets from specfic time periods do tend to be grouped together. All in all, if you are looking for a good book of poetry with great width and depth than I recommend this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    tom bomp

    Pretty good introduction to poetry - has a decent variety, although it's obviously almost all English language. It's also mostly white men, but they did try and introduce some variety which is nice to see. The notes aren't bad, but I wished there was more - for all poems they say the form+metre and rhyme scheme (if it has one) and it usually defines weird words but it doesn't give any context or information on the author, which is a bit disappointing. The appendix on metre is nice though. The Pretty good introduction to poetry - has a decent variety, although it's obviously almost all English language. It's also mostly white men, but they did try and introduce some variety which is nice to see. The notes aren't bad, but I wished there was more - for all poems they say the form+metre and rhyme scheme (if it has one) and it usually defines weird words but it doesn't give any context or information on the author, which is a bit disappointing. The appendix on metre is nice though. The selection was decent - although there were quite a few poems that I didn't like at all and I'd have liked even more variety. Ultimately it's a good book but not outstanding - worthwhile to read if you're interested in poetry and haven't read much but probably doesn't have much to make it stand out among the pack of similar books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    This weighty anthology contains more than 750 pages and 60 illustrations complementing poems from the classical to the contemporary. The collection is designed for readers who do not normally read poetry books, and consequently it includes footnotes that define the poetic forms employed as well as unusual or archaic words used. The footnotes also offer hints for interpretation. The volume is well indexed and the selections are wide ranged, hitting on most of the important poets in each period. This weighty anthology contains more than 750 pages and 60 illustrations complementing poems from the classical to the contemporary. The collection is designed for readers who do not normally read poetry books, and consequently it includes footnotes that define the poetic forms employed as well as unusual or archaic words used. The footnotes also offer hints for interpretation. The volume is well indexed and the selections are wide ranged, hitting on most of the important poets in each period. This would make a fine gift for someone who is just beginning to develop and interest in poetry. This is now available on CD as an audiobook. The publisher just sent me a copy, and I look forward to listening to it and reviewing that edition.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John

    I love poetry, but hate having to read page after page of terrible poems just to find the gems. This book has done the work for me by picking the gems out and compiling them into one book. There were very few poems that I didn't appreciate, and quite a few that this book exposed me to which have become personal favorites. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in poetry but doesn't know where to begin.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I obviously haven't read every poem in this book, but I have read a lot of them. I just bought it last night and it was such a good deal. It is over 750 pages of poetry spanning from ancient to classical to contemporary and everything in between. And the best part is it only cost $19.95. I may be a bit overly excited about this purchase, but I am an English major freak after all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sharman Wilson

    Just a few poems in, and I love his choices! March 14, 2013: I'm up to Keats (1795-1821). So much beauty in this world of poetry! I go in spurts, but right now I'm into quite a few poetry books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I only read a few poems each day, so as to give each a fair chance, so this will be on my currently-reading list for quite a long while, but... oh, well :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    What Daniel J said--

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Hollywood

    An utterly marvelous collection of poetry from all the ages and places.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    This is an admirable collection of poetry - there's something for everyone - and an exquisite sampler for the beginning poetry enthusiast.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pascal

  23. 5 out of 5

    William S. Echols

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Everett

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate Kinder

  28. 5 out of 5

    Faceofboe

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roy Cado

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jill

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