Robert Browning’s popular poems "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and "How They Brought the Good News" are often anthologised, but it is in his dramatic lyrics such as "My Last Duchess" and the chilling "Porphyria’s Lover" that his poetic genius shines. Browning, with his unusual use of language, can be a challenging poet, but one who is always rewarding. This selection shows the many imaginative facets of this often neglected Victorian poet.
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Excellent, brief review
Where does The Great Poets: Robert Browning rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
In the terms of classics, Robert Browning is one to cherish. This audiobook does his work service in terms of narration, quality of sound, and choices of material.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Poets: Robert Browning?
"My Last Duchess" is definitely memorable, but also featured some lesser known works:
-"Pippa's Song" from his verse drama, Pippa Passes
-"Home-Thoughts, From Abroad" a brief verse on his comparison of home (England) to overseas travel
-"Evelyn Hope", a poem on a young woman's passing
-“Porphyria’s Lover”, a poem on a man killing his young lover, Prophyria, after she rejects the conventions of the time (sexual morals) and he wishes to preserve the moment forever.
-"The Laboratory", a poem based on the real case of a woman poisoning her entire family
-"The Lost Leader", a poem which berates William Wordsworth, for what Browning considered his desertion of the liberal cause, and his lapse from his high idealism. More generally, it is an attack on any liberal leader who has deserted his cause
-The children's poem, "The Pied Piper of Hamlin"
-"A Grammarian's Funeral", a poem on the greatness of scholars
-"The Confessional", a poem on a young woman's grief after a priest betrays her trust and sacred confession, which dooms her politically rebellious lover
-“Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister", a poem that displays the hypocrisy of a priest who wishes to bargain with the devil in order to doom a fellow priest he views as unworthy
-"How they Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix", a poem on a horse race
-"Life In A Love", a sweet poem on love
-"A Light Woman", a poem on the dangers of being in a woman's grip who gleefully manipulates her lover
-"The Statue and the Bust", a poem that describes the starcrossed love affair of a woman whose husband keeps her in his house, and the Duke who waited and watched in her direction til inanimate objects were placed in their stead
What about David Timson and Patience Tomlinson ’s performance did you like?
They varied up the narration so it was surprising who would read which piece.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
I wish there was a greater selection of Robert Browning's work compiled, and that this had some brief introduction or analysis to the materials chosen.
1 person found this helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Great Poets: Robert Browning the most enjoyable?
The enthusiasm of the narration.
What other book might you compare The Great Poets: Robert Browning to and why?
Poets such as Alfred Lord Tennyson & William Wadsworth even his wife Elizabeth. All of them highlight challenging diction, syntax and try to form a social commentary in ironic prose.
Would you listen to another book narrated by David Timson and Patience Tomlinson ?
I enjoyed Patience Tomlinson better than I had Mr. Timson , she had much more movement and depth of feeling, a life for the work if you will. I found David Timson's reading to be rushed and not in a good way to convey the work more in a way to get the lines in on a timeline. It personally took away from my enjoyment of the piece for me.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It is thought provoking work meant for reaction. Browning highlights irony, characterizations, wrapped up in dark humor, he taps social commentary, historical settings, quilted in challenging vocabulary and diction.