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Poetry of W.B. Yeats (Audiobook)

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Forty of William Butler Yeats' finest poems, read by various narrators. Forty of William Butler Yeats' finest poems, read by various narrators.


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Forty of William Butler Yeats' finest poems, read by various narrators. Forty of William Butler Yeats' finest poems, read by various narrators.

30 review for Poetry of W.B. Yeats (Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I enjoyed some poems better than others. I listened to this in an audio format, read by T. P. McKenna. It was my first time to listen to poetry in the audiobook format, and I found it more difficult to follow than poems in print. I think a longer pause between poems would help transition from one to the other a bit better. I tend to listen to audiobooks while driving, and distractions caused by traffic which don't cause one to lose much when listening to a novel create a bigger challenge in audi I enjoyed some poems better than others. I listened to this in an audio format, read by T. P. McKenna. It was my first time to listen to poetry in the audiobook format, and I found it more difficult to follow than poems in print. I think a longer pause between poems would help transition from one to the other a bit better. I tend to listen to audiobooks while driving, and distractions caused by traffic which don't cause one to lose much when listening to a novel create a bigger challenge in audio format. The narrator's voice reminded me of that of a stodgy old English professor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. While some of the poems are a little too sing-songy for my liking - that is, I'm not the biggest fan of his super rhyme- and syllable-driven work - many are absolutely stunning. Poems about love and dreams, mysticism and myths--right up my alley. I would love to do a full review but do not currently have the time. For now, I'll just list some of my favourites: - The Song of the Happy Shepherd - The Man who Dreamed of Fa The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. While some of the poems are a little too sing-songy for my liking - that is, I'm not the biggest fan of his super rhyme- and syllable-driven work - many are absolutely stunning. Poems about love and dreams, mysticism and myths--right up my alley. I would love to do a full review but do not currently have the time. For now, I'll just list some of my favourites: - The Song of the Happy Shepherd - The Man who Dreamed of Faeryland - The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner - To Ireland in the Coming Times - The Host of the Air - Into the Twilight - He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - The Travail of Passion - In the Seven Woods - The Old Age of Queen Maeve - Baile and Ailinn - Words - King and No King - These are the Clouds - The Two Kings - Fallen Majesty - Friends - The Cold Heaven - That the Night Come - Solomon to Sheba - The Hawk - Ego Dominus Tuss - Solomon and the Witch - The Leaders of the Crowd - The Second Coming - A Prayer for my Daughter A thought on the world today: My mind, because the minds that I have loved, The sort of beauty that I have approved, Prosper but little, has dried up of late, Yet knows that to be choked with hate May well be of all evil chances chief.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Linwood

    Simply a wonderful introduction to the work of one of my absolute favourite poets. My copy will likely fall apart with rereading in years to come.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Madison Hogg

    This book took me nearly half a year, and it was worth it. Yeat’s poetry is achingly beautiful and often surprisingly humorous. I found the later poems in this collection particularly enjoyable. “What beauty like a tightened bow, a kind That is not natural in an age like this... Why what could she have done, being what she is? Was there another Troy for her to burn?”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. A delightful collection of Yeats' poetry! Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. A delightful collection of Yeats' poetry!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Miki

    This is part of the regional reading I'm doing because I'm staying in county Roscommon at the moment. County Roscommon is next to (south of) county Sligo: Yeats' country. It's beautiful in Roscommon, and Sligo is the nearest bustling town to where I'm hiding. This collection was very enjoyable to read. You get faeries, nature, history, love poems, and politics. These poems evoke a whole range of emotions. If you don't know of his history with Maud Gonne, then be warned that there are quite a few This is part of the regional reading I'm doing because I'm staying in county Roscommon at the moment. County Roscommon is next to (south of) county Sligo: Yeats' country. It's beautiful in Roscommon, and Sligo is the nearest bustling town to where I'm hiding. This collection was very enjoyable to read. You get faeries, nature, history, love poems, and politics. These poems evoke a whole range of emotions. If you don't know of his history with Maud Gonne, then be warned that there are quite a few poems dedicated to her and his love for her. Yeats's rhythm and meter aren't always consistent in one poem: "O little did they care who danced between, And little she by whom her dance was seen So she danced. No thought, Body perfection brought." ('The Double Vision of Michael Robartes', 180) Nor are the rhymes: "Whereby the haystack - and roof-leveling wind, Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed; And for an hour I have walked and prayed Because of the great gloom that is in my mind." ('A Prayer for my Daughter', 198) What bothered me most was that a lot of poems focus on beauty, especially those poems that include women. I realize that he discusses beauty as he references art, but beauty is relevant in about two thirds of the compilation ('When You are Old', 37, 'The Old Age of Queen Maeve' 72, 'The Arrow', 85 'Adam's Curse', 86, 'Under the Moon', 89, 'Michael Robartes and the Dancer', 182, 'Prayer for My Daughter', 198, etc...). There must be other ways to discuss art and women. Yeats is creative, so I find it difficult to believe that he couldn't have come up with more interesting and unique ways to discuss art and women. That being said, what I love are his own hyphenated adjectives and the way that he repeats phrases at the ends of stanzas of the incredible tales he tells, such as 'The Stolen Child' (23), 'September 1913' (122) and 'The Curse of Cromwell' (206). Some fantastic hyphenated adjectives that he has created are cloud-pale eyelids and dream-dimmed eyes (66), lute-thronged angelic door and death-pale hope (70), fool-driven land (108), war-wasted men (114) and the cut-throat north (143). It's very easy to get lost in Yeats's poems. They are lyrical, engrossing, and emotionally-charged. I would highly recommend his poetry to all readers-especially those who don't "get" poetry. Yeats is accessible. Some of my favourite poems are, 'The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes' (13), 'Ephemera' (19), 'The Madness of King Goll' (20), 'Never Give All the Heart' (92), 'Words' (94), 'Reconciliation' (96), 'King and No King' (97), 'Brown Penny' (109), 'To a Child Dancing in the Wind' (142), 'That the Night Come' (148), 'The Magi' (149), 'A Coat' (150), 'The Wild Swans at Coole' (151), 'An Irishman Foresees his Death' (153), 'The Cat and the Moon' (174), 'Michael Robartes and the Dancer' (182) and 'Are you Content?' (218). My partner bought me this book for Christmas. He purchased it from Libre in Sligo.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I don't have nearly enough background to deal with or adjudicate this collection. Things started to pick up for me with The Wild Swans at Coole and never looked backed. I didn't "get" many of the poems that dealt with Irish mythology, and I just didn't have the time to google each name associated with the various Irish rebellions. Someday. Lyrically, each poem was beautiful, sometimes quirky, and always oozing (sorry, but it's the best word) with subtext and emotion. In the uncollected poems tow I don't have nearly enough background to deal with or adjudicate this collection. Things started to pick up for me with The Wild Swans at Coole and never looked backed. I didn't "get" many of the poems that dealt with Irish mythology, and I just didn't have the time to google each name associated with the various Irish rebellions. Someday. Lyrically, each poem was beautiful, sometimes quirky, and always oozing (sorry, but it's the best word) with subtext and emotion. In the uncollected poems toward the end, I was often disturbed by the thoughts coming from Yeats' pen. But then, so was he.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Josh Booth

    This was my official introduction to W.B. Yeats's work. It really surprised me at how much I enjoyed it. I'm not really big on poetry, but I would read Yeats any day. I enjoyed Ephemera, When You are Old, Broken Dreams, and several others. Yeats is my new favorite poet thanks to this book. That's not to say that his writing is perfect. Some of the messages of his poems went over my head. Then again I didn't really digest much of the work, I read at least 8-10 poems every time I picked this book This was my official introduction to W.B. Yeats's work. It really surprised me at how much I enjoyed it. I'm not really big on poetry, but I would read Yeats any day. I enjoyed Ephemera, When You are Old, Broken Dreams, and several others. Yeats is my new favorite poet thanks to this book. That's not to say that his writing is perfect. Some of the messages of his poems went over my head. Then again I didn't really digest much of the work, I read at least 8-10 poems every time I picked this book up bare minimum. That was back to back. Also, I did find myself bored with a few of the poems. The longer ones mostly felt drawn out. Personally I recommend this. Great stuff! Good introduction!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ginny_1807

    When you are old When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And h When you are old When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vasile

    I'm in awe with Yeats poems. They're unique, special and evocative. He create hues and colour in each poem. My fav!!!! I'm in awe with Yeats poems. They're unique, special and evocative. He create hues and colour in each poem. My fav!!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I love Yeats, and this is a fine collection, read by someone who has a lovely intonation.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Hicks

    Such beauty!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bernie

    My rating is based on my taste in poetry. This book gives a selection of Yeats's poetry throughout his career under a selection of themes. My preference has to be the poems based on nature and mysticism. After reading many of his poems which were of current affairs within his lifetime I wished I had a better knowledge of Irish history. There is a sense of humor in some of his early work but as he got older the themes dwell on old age, his talent, memories of the past and questioning the relevanc My rating is based on my taste in poetry. This book gives a selection of Yeats's poetry throughout his career under a selection of themes. My preference has to be the poems based on nature and mysticism. After reading many of his poems which were of current affairs within his lifetime I wished I had a better knowledge of Irish history. There is a sense of humor in some of his early work but as he got older the themes dwell on old age, his talent, memories of the past and questioning the relevance of participation of his friends in the revolution. After reading this book I have a better sense of the Celtic Revival and the mindset of this great Irish poet.

  14. 5 out of 5

    KYLE MILLER

    Well, what's there to say about the best works of the foremost poet of the twentieth century? His earliest works are slowly paced and lyrical and he was fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. As he aged his poetry became more physical in nature -- more realistic -- focusing on the cyclical nature of life, though he remained interested in the spiritual throughout his life. Well, what's there to say about the best works of the foremost poet of the twentieth century? His earliest works are slowly paced and lyrical and he was fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. As he aged his poetry became more physical in nature -- more realistic -- focusing on the cyclical nature of life, though he remained interested in the spiritual throughout his life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Villiers

    This is a brilliant collection of Yeats's poems, well edited with a valuable introduction to the poet and his work and a fine set of notes. This is the definitive edition of the collected poems. This is a brilliant collection of Yeats's poems, well edited with a valuable introduction to the poet and his work and a fine set of notes. This is the definitive edition of the collected poems.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    Loved it. My favourite is: The cap and bells

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eamonn O'Sullivan

    Outstanding

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Deane

    Of course, will return, frequently.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liam Guilar

    This is an excellent book; as Ellmann says in his Foreword:"MacNeice's book on Yeats is still as good an introduction to that poet as we have, with the added introduction that it is also an introduction to MacNeice." What makes it so good as a discussion of all of Yeats' work is MacNeice's obvious and explicit ambivalence. On the one hand, he admits 'If I were making a general anthology of shorter English poems , I would want to include some sixty poems by W.B.Yeats. there is no other poet in the This is an excellent book; as Ellmann says in his Foreword:"MacNeice's book on Yeats is still as good an introduction to that poet as we have, with the added introduction that it is also an introduction to MacNeice." What makes it so good as a discussion of all of Yeats' work is MacNeice's obvious and explicit ambivalence. On the one hand, he admits 'If I were making a general anthology of shorter English poems , I would want to include some sixty poems by W.B.Yeats. there is no other poet in the language from whom I should chose so many." On the other, there is so much about Yeats that MacNeice distrusts or dislikes: Politically they were light years apart. Their attitudes to the world and the people in it, and even their attitudes to art are dissimilar. Even as Irishmen they came from radically different backgrounds and though both of them spent a lot of their time in England, their attitudes towards Ireland were very different. Because MacNeice keeps both attitudes open, and open to challenge and investigation, his criticism has a clarity and charity lacking in a lot of other discussions. Written in the 1940s, it is also eerily prescient....the 30s had bought the ideologically committed poet and critic into the foreground, just as the 1980s bought the ideological critics back out in force. MacNeice, though often lumped with the left leaning, insists on making distinctions between this case and that, between this poem and that one. It's a model of criticism that isn't often followed. There's a lot in this book that gets picked up by later critics: but some things have dropped away. These days "everybody" knows that Pound modernised Yeats. This has always seemed a dubious claim. MacNeice traces the change in style to a number of features which sound far more probable including Synge and the Abbey. There are numerous other introductions to Yeats, but this was one of the first and still a good place to start.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    It was difficult for me to rate this volume using one to five stars. For the most part Yeats does not speak to me. It was a chore to finish this book. It was climbing a mountain just to say I’d done it, but finding the scenery along the way excessively tedious. Of the 507 poems in this comprehensive edition, I found five that were brilliant works of poetic genius. Those are the ones found in anthologies of best or favorite poems, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”, “The Wild Swans at Coole”, “The Seco It was difficult for me to rate this volume using one to five stars. For the most part Yeats does not speak to me. It was a chore to finish this book. It was climbing a mountain just to say I’d done it, but finding the scenery along the way excessively tedious. Of the 507 poems in this comprehensive edition, I found five that were brilliant works of poetic genius. Those are the ones found in anthologies of best or favorite poems, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”, “The Wild Swans at Coole”, “The Second Coming”, “Sailing to Byzantium”, and “Leda and the Swan.” There we also pleasant enough dramatic and narrative poems like “The Island of Statues,” “The Shadowy Waters,” and “The Wandering of Oisin” that were enjoyable to read. For the rest, I was bored by the overabundance of occult gibberish and symbolism about towers, roses, winding stairs, and gyres, and the tedium of having them repeated over and over again. I confess my ignorance of Irish folklore and politics. But, after reading his poems on those themes and receiving neither insight or pleasure from them, it sparked little desire or curiosity in me to learn more about either subject.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Will

    "The Second Coming Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles m "The Second Coming Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tristy

    This is the quintessential collection of the poetry of Yeats. It's dense and a bit difficult to get through, but the best part of the book are the detailed appendices and extensive explanatory notes. These both include long quotes from Yeats' personal writings, lectures and conversations, which help shed light on where the inspiration for his poetry came from. This is especially helpful with the Irish mythology that plays such a big role in his work. It's also delightful to discover that many of This is the quintessential collection of the poetry of Yeats. It's dense and a bit difficult to get through, but the best part of the book are the detailed appendices and extensive explanatory notes. These both include long quotes from Yeats' personal writings, lectures and conversations, which help shed light on where the inspiration for his poetry came from. This is especially helpful with the Irish mythology that plays such a big role in his work. It's also delightful to discover that many of his poems came directly from dreams he had - several times he says he woke up and "took dictation" without anything extra added! The explanatory notes are so fascinating, I wish they had an index, so I can look specific stories up when I need to.

  23. 4 out of 5

    H

    "Those masterful images because complete Grew in pure mind, but out of what began? A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street, Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can, Old irons, old bones, old rags, that raving slut [Called Heart and Company:] Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone, I must lie down where all the ladders start, In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart." -III of "The Circus Animals' Desertion" This edition has a very good introduction by John Kelly. "Those masterful images because complete Grew in pure mind, but out of what began? A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street, Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can, Old irons, old bones, old rags, that raving slut [Called Heart and Company:] Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone, I must lie down where all the ladders start, In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart." -III of "The Circus Animals' Desertion" This edition has a very good introduction by John Kelly.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Reader Z

    How we alone of mortals are Hid under quiet boughs apart, While our love grows an Indian star, A meteor of the burning heart, One with the tide that gleams, the wings that gleam and dart, The heavy boughs, the burnished dove That moans and sighs a hundred days: How when we die our shades will rove, When eve has hushed the feathered ways, With vapoury footsole by the water's drowsy blaze. How we alone of mortals are Hid under quiet boughs apart, While our love grows an Indian star, A meteor of the burning heart, One with the tide that gleams, the wings that gleam and dart, The heavy boughs, the burnished dove That moans and sighs a hundred days: How when we die our shades will rove, When eve has hushed the feathered ways, With vapoury footsole by the water's drowsy blaze.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A good introduction to Yeats, and though at times I found his works beautiful and fascinating, a few poems veered off into some aloof little corner that couldn't hold my attention. I think perhaps I need a larger volume to work with in order to find my favourites. A good introduction to Yeats, and though at times I found his works beautiful and fascinating, a few poems veered off into some aloof little corner that couldn't hold my attention. I think perhaps I need a larger volume to work with in order to find my favourites.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

    Complete poems, snipped from various albums and including two read by the poet himself. Lost a star because not all the readers mention the title of their poems. The audio volume tends to vary too...otherwise fine for listening.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cody

    A great, albeit slightly dated, book on Yeats.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adrianne Mathiowetz

    Brendan, Today I found myself in a used bookstore, seeking shelter from the rain. Never underestimate the power of repetition.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lightsey

    Yeats is such a total poet that reading this fills me with despair, but isn't that what summer's for? Yeats is such a total poet that reading this fills me with despair, but isn't that what summer's for?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maus

    Yeats is always wonderful.

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