The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.
An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.
"Excellent narration of a large and complex work"
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are unquestionably two of the greatest epic masterpieces in Western literature. Though more than 2,700 years old, their stories of brave heroics, capricious gods, and towering human emotions are vividly timeless. The Iliad can justly be called the world’s greatest war epic. The terrible and long-drawn-out siege of Troy remains one of the classic campaigns. The Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars to his beloved wife.
For thousands of years, Homer's ancient epic poem the Iliad has enchanted readers from around the world. When you join Professor Vandiver for this lecture series on the Iliad, you'll come to understand what has enthralled and gripped so many people.Her compelling 12-lecture look at this literary masterpiece -whether it's the work of many authors or the "vision" of a single blind poet - makes it vividly clear why, after almost 3,000 years, the Iliad remains not only among the greatest adventure stories ever told but also one of the most compelling meditations on the human condition ever written.
The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.
Seamus Heaney’s new translation of Beowulf is a work that is both true to the original poem and an expression of something fundamental to Heaney’s own creative gift.One of the great classics of English literature, it tells the story of a hero who wins glory and learns wisdom and is then called upon to face a final test against the monstrous. There are obvious parallels to be found in the history of the twentieth century, and Heaney’s Beowulf cannot fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, revealing psychological and spiritual truths that are both permanent and liberating.
Rumi's Spiritual Verses is the greatest mystical poem in Islamic culture - and of all time. Rumi examines our human separation from reality, love, and truth. He shows how love - neither erotic nor sentimental but divine, by which the universe is held together - enlightens ignorance and dissolves suffering. The first book of the Masnavi is the key to the whole work: It takes off from simple, amusing tales into realms unimaginable, but wholly familiar to the human heart.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in 1830 in Amherst Massachusetts. Rightly regarded as a major American poet, her life was sheltered, introverted, and reclusive. Despite writing over 1800 poems, only a dozen or so were published during her lifetime. Her structures and wordings are at times difficult to get to grips with, though recurring themes of religion and death certainly shadow many of her works.
"Le poète est semblable au prince des nuées / Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer ; / Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées, / Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher." (L'Albatros)
Ce livre audio propose une sélection de vingt-deux poèmes extraits du recueil "Les Fleurs du Mal, Spleen et Idéal" de Charles Baudelaire. À travers ses poèmes, Baudelaire nous fait partager le drame qui se joue en lui et qui n'est autre que la tragédie humaine. Baudelaire, premier poète moderne, donne à la poésie sa véritable dimension : exprimer, par-delà les mots, ce vertige absolu qui s'empare de l'âme. Tout chez lui affirme la nécessité de la souffrance, la fatalité du péché.
At the end of his life, William Blake (1757-1827) gave up hope of being widely understood, but the twentieth century brought to his work a new and intense interest and acclaim.
A new version of The Epic of Gilgamesh by Sebastian Lockwood. This is the story of Gilgamesh, King of Kings, who brought back knowledge from before the flood - who loved and lost his companion Enkidu and had to find out why we die. The Epic of Gilgamesh was written on clay tablets over 4,000 years ago, in what is today Baghdad Iraq - the Biblical Garden of Eden between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Lockwood gives a passionate reading from a text that faithfully follows the original.
This original and refreshingly different dramatisation follows Dante, "lost in a dark wood", who is met by Virgil, who takes him on a tour of the underworld: a place he could end up if he decides to take his own life. Corin Redgrave is the voice of Dante.
One of the greatest works in literature, Dante's story-poem is an allegory that represents mankind as it exposes itself, by its merits or demerits, to the rewards or the punishments of justice. A single listen will reveal Dante's visual imagination and uncanny power to make the spiritual visible.
If you want to understand the daily life and psychology of the Late Middle Ages, Neville Coghill's famous translation of The Canterbury Tales provides one of the very best means of doing so. Within its pages are to be found a broad range of society – high and low, male and female, rich and poor – who express their innermost beliefs and extravagant fantasies in a series of stories they tell as they make their way to Canterbury cathedral.
This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was Spenser's finest achievement. The first epic poem in modern English, The Faerie Queene combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry. At the same time, Spenser is expounding a deeply-felt allegory of the eternal struggle between Truth and Error....
Since it was first published more than 25 years ago, Robert Fitzgerald's prizewinning translation of Homer's battle epic has become a classic in its own right: a standard against which all other versions of The Iliad are compared. Fitzgerald's work is accessible, ironic, faithful, written in a swift vernacular blank verse that "makes Homer live as never before" (Library Journal).
The masterpiece of Rome's greatest poet, Virgil's Aeneid has inspired generations of readers and holds a central place in Western literature. The epic tells the story of a group of refugees from the ruined city of Troy, whose attempts to reach a promised land in the West are continually frustrated by the hostile goddess Juno. Finally reaching Italy, their leader, Aeneas, is forced to fight a bitter war against the natives to establish the foundations from which Rome is destined to rise.
This collection is narrated by distinguished Broadway performers Brian Murray and Suzanne Toren. It contains all 45 poems from two famous works, revealing a child's unspoiled view of human nature and the corruption and disillusionment awaiting the innocent. Included are such favorites as "The Lamb", "The Tyger", and "The Sick Rose".
Una tarde de otoño cualquiera el poeta se funde completamente con el medio natural y escucha la conversación de dos hojas secas cualesquiera que se encuentran al borde del camino en la que una le cuenta a la otra como ha llegado hasta allí arrastrada por el torbellino de aire, mientras que la otra ha llegado a lomos de las aguas del río y sólo un último vendaval ha sido capaz de levantarla y de traerla donde se encuentra.
The famous short poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
With its intricate structure and imagery, Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T. S. Eliot's career. Its greatness is done full justice in this rendition by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. Containing some of the most melodic passages in modern poetry, Four Quartets blends the religious, the philosophical and the personal themes that preoccupied T. S. Eliot.
'The Waste Land' is a landmark in 20th-century poetry. Here it is read by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. Published in 1922, it is a brilliant exploration of a faithless, immoral society trying to rebuild itself after the devastation of the Great War. Rich in literary references and steeped in allusive and evocative imagery, 'The Waste Land' is widely considered to be the pinnacle of modernist poetry.
Composed around 1294 in Italian, the Vita Nuova tells the story of Dante's encounters with and love for Beatrice, culminating in her early death and its effect upon him. Utilizing and developing the conventions of courtly love, in a mixture of prose and verse, Dante deepens the emotional content of the genre, while pointing the way towards the intellectual and spiritual journey of the Divine Comedy.