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.
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).
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.
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.
In this course we'll explore how Walt Whitman broke with the tyranny of European literary forms to establish a broad, new voice for American poetry. By throwing aside the stolid conventions and clichéd meters of old Europe, Walt Whitman produced a vital, compelling form of verse, one expressive of the nature of his new world and its undiscovered countries, both physical and spiritual, intimate and gloriously public.
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.
The origins, history and authorship of Beowulf are shrouded in uncertainty. This heroic epic probably began, as most do, with a wandering troubadour strumming a stringed instrument, sitting before a hearth-fire, and singing the verses to a spellbound audience arrayed before him. Beowulf is a rousing adventure story, filled with intrepid heroes, monsters and fire-breathing dragons, which can be listened to for the sheer enjoyment of the tale.
The Kalevala provides a compelling insight into the myths and folklore of Finland. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the 19th century, this impressive volume follows a tradition of oral storytelling that goes back some 2000 years, and it is often compared to such epic poems as Homer's Odyssey. However, The Kalevala has little in common with the culture of its Nordic neighbors: It is primarily poetic, it is mythical rather than historic, and its heroes solve their problems with magic more often than violence.
Paradise Lost, along with its companion piece, Paradise Regained, remain the most successful attempts at Greco-Roman style epic poetry in the English language. Remarkably enough, they were written near the end of John Milton's amazing life, a bold testimonial to his mental powers in old age. And, since he had gone completely blind in 1652, 15 years prior to Paradise Lost, he dictated it and all his other works to his daughter.
The Aeneid represents one of the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of Western Civilization. Within the brooding and melancholy atmosphere of Virgil's pious masterpiece lies the mythic story of Aeneas and his flight from burning Troy, taking with him across the Mediterranean the survivors of the Greek onslaught. Aeneas, after many travails and adventures, including a love affair with Dido Queen of Carthage and a visit to the underworld to see his father, ends up in Italy.
The "Songs of Innocence" were published in 1789 and republished in 1794 together with the "Songs of Experience". They represent Blake's two perspectives on the world, that of the child (innocence) and that of the adult (experience). Blake's poetical works were largely neglected in their own time but are today considered some of the most brilliant of English verse. The "songs" are presented here together with "Auguries of Innocence".
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.
William Wordsworth was amongst the greatest of English poets, and this wonderful recording is now available for the first time as a digital download. Included here are selections that put into perspective his great talent. The works are brought beautifully to life by Sir Cedric Hardwicke.
This critically acclaimed translation was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award given by the Academy of American Poets. Well versed, rapid, and various in style, the Inferno is narrated by Pinsky and three other leading poets: Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, and Louise Glück.
For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 13 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.
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.
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.
Nearly 100 of the most popular and loved poems in the English language, this collection is one of the most comprehensive anthologies of its kind available. It covers a remarkable range, from the striking vision of Blake and Shelley and the insights of Keats to lighter but equally memorable verse by Tennyson, Donne, and Edward Lear.
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.
A collection of three medieval English poems, translated by Tolkien for the modern-day reader and containing romance, tragedy, love, sex and honour.
John Pollen (1855-1923) was an official in the Indian Civil Service. A keen linguist, he learned Russian, Esperanto, and Persian and in 1915 published an English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. His collection contains 158 quatrains and includes a set of seven prefatory quatrains by Andrew Lang and a foreword by the Aga Khan.
"Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie" is an epic poem by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published in 1847. The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the time of the expulsion of the Acadians. The idea for the poem came from Longfellow's friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Longfellow used dactylic hexameter, imitated from Greek and Latin classics, though the choice was criticized.
Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the World....
The famous short poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Lord Alfred Tennyson.