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The Great Poets W B Yeats

By W. B. Yeats, Jim Norton (Narrator), Marcella Roirdan (Narrator), Denys Hawthorne (Narrator) & Nicholas Boulton (Narrator)
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Item description for The Great Poets W B Yeats by W. B. Yeats, Jim Norton, Marcella Roirdan, Denys Hawthorne & Nicholas Boulton...

Naxos AudioBooks continues its new series of Great Poets represented by a collection of their most popular poems on one CD with John Keats. Although this man had a short life, he produced a series of outstanding poems many of which appeared first in letters to his sister. He was largely unappreciated during his lifetime, and died in Rome at the age of 26. Most of his 150 poems were written in just nine extraordinary months in 1819. This selection contains some of his finest works, the principal Odes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Old Meg and Much Have I Travelled.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Audiobook
Studio: Naxos AudioBooks
Pages   1
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 4.75"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Dec 1, 2007
Publisher   Naxos AudioBooks
ISBN  9626344903  
ISBN13  9789626344903  

Availability  0 units.

More About W. B. Yeats, Jim Norton, Marcella Roirdan, Denys Hawthorne & Nicholas Boulton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin in 1865, and educated in Ireland and England. He published numerous volumes of poetry, initially influenced by the Romantics and Pre-Raphaelites, and later by Symbolism. He was deeply involved in the Irish liberation movement, and after Ireland's independence served as a senator for two terms. Yeats was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Drama
2Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Poetry
4Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Unabridged
5Books > Audio CDs > Poetry & Drama
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( Y ) > Yeats, William Butler
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
9Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
10Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > British & Irish

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Great Poets W B Yeats?

Yeats Read Aloud  Apr 10, 2010
This CD contains 32 of Yeats' poems, many of which that show up in anthologies, and contains most of my favorites: "When You Are Old," "The Wild Swans at Coole," "An Irish Airman Forsees His Death," "The Second Coming," "A Prayer For My Daughter," "Leda and The Swan," "Among Schoolchildren," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Why Old Men Should Be Mad," and "Byzantium." The readers are Jim Norton, Nicholas Soulton, Denys Hawthorne and Marcella Riordan.

Yeats is certainly capable of the most violent, horrific imagery. One need look no further than "Leda and the Swan" or "The Second Coming" with the lines "a shape with lion body and the head of a man." But I am reminded every time I read or listen to the poetry of Yeats that he is a master of making very ordinary sentences into the most beautiful of poetry as few other poets can: "the children's eyes/In momentary wonder stare upon/A sixty-year old smiling public man" (Among Schoolchildren"); "For an hour/I have walked and prayed/May she be granted and not yet/Beauty to make a stranger's eyes distraught" ("A Prayer for my Daughter"); "Those that I fight I do not hate and/Those that I guard I do not love" (An Irish Airman Forsees His Death"). And finally from perhaps my favorite of all Yeats' poems "The Wild Swans at Coole," "The trees are in their autum beauty/The woodland paths are dry,/Under the October twilight the water/Mirrors a still sky" and the achingly beautiful simple line about the swans: "Their hearts have not grown old."

I like to listen to these magnificent poems of one of the greatest of modern poets while I am driving.

Highly recommended.
Professionally Not Greatly Read  Jun 6, 2009
Yeats, among the greatest English poets ever, ought not to have his poems badly read in an audiobook release. A bad reading, however, gains advantage in being spotted and dismissed by all instantly. More harmful in the commercial market, which can't afford to offer yet another audio recording of Yeats, even if great, when several already exist that are adequate, professional and sell fairly well.

The readers on this Naxos recording--Jim Norton, Denys Hawthorne, Nicholas Boulton, and Marcella Riordan--are experienced, professional actors with good voices who give adequate, sometimes even good readings of Yeats' poems. But the experience of listening to them is much like watching a public television performance of a minor British play. The viewer, sufficiently interested, watches to the play's end, but, after shutting off his or her TV immediately forgets what, during two passable hours, he or she has just seen.

Yeats is simply too GREAT a poet for passable readings to pass the time. His poems, those many that are great, must be read brilliantly so as to stir great emotions in their listeners, imprinting permanently onto their neural cells & pathways the transcendent music of these poems' truth and beauty. LESS than a great reading of Yeats disserves the precious few poetry listeners who search, find, and purchase what they hope will be an extraordinary experience of Yeats. Another this site reviewer of this audio CD spent half his words pining over the unavailability of Seamus Heaney's readings of Yeats. I wish I had, instead of buying this CD, waited for a re-release of Heaney's Yeats.

A last caveat emptor. The selection of poems made for this CD consists of too many minor poems, while leaving out "Lapis Lazuli," "Easter 1916," "Never Give All the Heart," "A Cradle Song," and all of the Crazy Jane poems.
As the recordings of Irish poet William Butler Yeats made by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney or by the great old man himself become more and more difficult to uncover even here upon this mighty this site, so deep, so wide, so comprehensive, we do well to hear these songs and odes here, thanks to Naxos, in a fairly representative gathering from the extensive lyrical writings of Mr. Yeats.

I prefer of course to here the recordings of a sparce handful of Yeatsian poetry done by Mr. Heaney while a Harvard Professor for the Poetry Room, and often at hand here, now no longer, in Mr. Heaney's humble, authentic voice reading the words he loves. But now we have these professional voices reading for us some songs from Yeats.

Jim Norton of course is a well-known voice to followers of Naxos and beyond. We find him often reading Mr. James Joyce as in Dubliners, Pt. 2 and in the abridged Ulysses (Abridged) (Modern Fiction) as well another great Irish author's The Third Policeman (Complete Classics). Here he reads for us the deeply moving (for old men like me) "Down by the Salley Gardens", the famous "To the Lake Isle of Inisfree", the deeply theological ode to God's merciful kindness "Ballad of Father Gilligan", "The Song of the Wadnering Aengus", "Broken Dreams", the great "Wild Swans at Coole", "A Prayer for my Daughter", "Leda and the Swan", "(from) Under Ben Bulbin," the wonderful late piece "Politics" and in duet "The Man and the Echo."

Nicholas Boulton, who appeared in Shakespeare in Love (Miramax Collector's Series) and recorded previously for Naxos the part of Cecil in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan here contributes his voice to another ten or so poems. Denys Hawthorne, also well known from radio, film and television (including the Inspector Morse series), here adds his voice to another eleven poems, including such well known pieces as "Cuchulain Comforted," written shortly before the poet's passing, "Sailing to Byzantium" and "Byzantium," "The Tower," "Why should not old men be mad," "Among schoolchildren," etc.

Marcella Riordan, well known for Naxos listeners as Molly Bloom in Ulysses, here lends her voice in part to "For Anne Gregory."

In total there are 32 poems, with biographical narrations and introduction between each. Oddly at one point we expect we are being prepared to hear the great Easter 1916 (hich is not included here) but suddenly jump into "An Irish Airman Forsees (sic) His Death." The grim and professional narrator is not identified.

I would wish for a greater pause between poems, to reflect and remember, rather than the immediate interjection of the narrator. I wish the narration was capable of cancelling. I wish too much.

The cover portrait, which to me resembles slightly more James Joyce than Mr. Yeats, is by Betsy Graves.

Highly recommended for any library, and for every home. Please see as well the great if brief collection by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney for Faber at The Faber Yeats: Poems Selected by Seamus Heaney (Poet to Poet: An Essential Choice of Classic Verse); get the more comprehensive collections of his poetry, and above all, before anything else, read the immortal Professor Helen Vendler's commentary in Our Secret Discipline: Yeats and Lyric Form.

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