Poetry On Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work (1888-2006) Compilation
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|1. Those Winter Sundays - Robert Hayden|
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|1. Even In Paris - Richard Howard|
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|1. Wonder - Sharon Olds|
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This unprecedented anthology collects out-of-print and unissued recordings to bring you Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Whitman, Frost, Cummings, Dylan Thomas, Langston Hughes, Bukowski, Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath and a multitude of others reading their cherished works. A 68-page booklet fills out this beautiful portrait of the poetic artist.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Many of the recordings are surprising for the style of reading. Whitman's is one -- his accent made me gape. Likewise, the style of Yeats or Eliot is a real insight into how poetry was received in a different time.
I give the collection 4 stars instead of 5 for its unevenness. I can think of vastly more interesting people than Rebekah Presson Mosby to compile such a collection. And the selection of contemporary poets is erratic with glaring omissions and curious (even pointless) inclusions. Why three selections of Amiri Baraka (whose work I do like) but only one of Seamus Heaney? Or A.R. Ammons or John Ashberry or Adrienne Rich?
Sadly missing (a partial list and in no particular order): Louise Gluck, Nikki Giovanni, Mark Doty, Thomas Hardy, Marianne Moore, Philip Larkin, W.S. Merwin, Michael Ondaatje. (Of course, I have my own biases.)
And it would have been wonderful to hear some poets back to back on the same work. For example, William Butler Yeats and Galway Kinnell reading "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" (Yeats's work and one of Kinnell's favorites). Admittedly, this might be asking too much.
So, on balance, very worth having for the recordings of the late poets.
A follow up reading by a contemporary poet on those pieces would add value to the set, and allow the customer two views of the written work.
For me, there were many surprises and delights: the tenderness of Robert Hayden (I never heard of him `til now--honestly!), the voices of Ezra Pound, Dorothy Parker, Elizabeth Bishop, Dylan Thomas, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Maxine Kumin, Adrienne Rich, Marge Piercy, and Charles Bukowski. I'd never heard of Gloria Vando, Anne Waldman, Vijay Seshadri, Elise Paschen, or Carl Hancock Rux and Pedro Pietri and many others. I enjoyed old favorites: Simon J. Ortiz, Juan Felipe Herrerea, Luis Rodgriquez, Seamus Heaney, and Amiri Baraka. The recordings of Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning were made "on a wax cylinder supplied by Thomas Edison."
Perhaps, Pulitzer Prize winners are over-represented, but the selections are thoroughly enjoyable. Also, nearly everyone is an American poet, but it would take ten CDs or more to cover Europe, so I can understand the production was in the U.S only. (The notes on Simon Ortiz are incorrect; he's from Acoma Pueblo, not Acuna). The four CDs are in lovely autumn colors (russet, dark orange, pale green, and golden yellow; the cover of the box is of autumn oak leaves--such a beautiful production. The listener will become especially aware of the long-term work of Rebekah Presson Mosby in recording many of these poets and producing the _Poetry on Record_ as well writing several essays in the accompanying booklet.