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Publisher's Summary

Alan Bennett's selection of English verse by his favourite poets: Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman, W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, and Philip Larkin is accompanied by his own enlivening commentary and was recorded before a live audience. In this personal anthology, Alan Bennett has chosen more than seventy poems by six well-loved poets, discussing the writers and their verse in his customary conversational style through anecdote, shrewd appraisal and spare but telling biographical detail.

Speaking with candour about his own reactions to the work, Alan Bennett creates profound and witty portraits of Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, John Betjeman, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and Philip Larkin, which are all the more enjoyable for being in his own particular voice.

©1990 Alan Bennett (P)2014 Channel 4

What listeners say about Six Poets

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The inimitable Alan Bennett

Short informative, touching biographies of each poet mingled with the poems and read as only the inimitable Alan Bennett can...delightful couple of hours

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  • Martin
  • 14-07-2015

Just Listen

The only audiobook I can truly say I turned on and listened to to the finish. I was completely entranced by the power of the poetry, the voice of the narrator and the background stories he provided for each poet. Even if you have only a passing interest in poetry or want it revived, give this a go.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Brookes
  • 30-05-2016

Acute and humorous

Well chosen and excellently read extracts from each of the poets to illustrate the kind of poetry Alan likes best. He does not veer from the contentious, which is a good thing.

10 people found this helpful

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  • tim
  • 18-08-2020

An excellent, quirky selection

An excellent selection with an interesting commentary, but to be honest (and this may be heretical) I wished someone else had actually read the poems, with a bit more variation of tone.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mystery man
  • 03-04-2018

Most enjoyable.

A fantastic book . Pure pleasure, he reads it quite well with loads of passion.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Captain Nikolin of Bridport
  • 25-09-2020

Bennet - the lecturer I wish I’d had

Bennett’s observations are typically polite yet astute; his choices are wonderful - I longed for the Whitsun Weddings during Larkin, but the recitals had me in tears even without it. The mixture of biography and appraisal a perfect journey through the century’s poetry.

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  • S. Evans
  • 14-01-2020

Beautiful, gentle genius

This is the perfect match of narrator, guide and companion, with six wonderful poets, all represented by a handful of very well chosen verses. It's much too short of course, one never wants to leave.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. F. Wrin
  • 27-08-2021

Loved this

I am listening to this over and over again, what a treat.

I think that any and all people interested in poetry would enjoy this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jenny
  • 31-07-2021

Wonderful

Thank You!💜 What a great share an appreciation of these interesting and amazing Poets and their wonderful works through Alan Bennett 's insightful, thoughtful, gently humorous and informative connections and for me, his gorgeous reading. I also love the sounds of others appreciating the performances and soon became accustomed to the nature of this recording, with its own real time, natural eccentricity quality that is so different to the usual sound booth, polished perfection Audible book. 🙏🏼

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  • F Gibb
  • 10-02-2021

great book. terrible recording

Too much background noise spoiled, a little, the experience of a wonderful book.
Would I swap this unclear recording of Alan Bennett performing in his own personable way for a clean and well produced version by another?
Not a chance!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-06-2021

Bennett's gentle whit is a delight

Bennett's gentle whit is a delight, but it is a little over shadowed by the quality of the recording. Perhaps time to revisit and polish? It would do both the poets and the commentator justice.

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