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The Best Poems of All Time Part 2    by Leslie Pockell order for
Best Poems of All Time Part 2
by Leslie Pockell
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2001 (2001)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though I enjoyed Part 1 of this audio collection ('Classics to 1850') I was even more anxious to listen to Part 2 which continues from the 1850s to the present. About a dozen readers give a nice variety in style of interpretation of almost fifty verses by renowned poets.

There are quite a few lines in this second cassette to stir the blood. Paul Revere's Ride is thrilling and The Highwayman tragically romantic. The Cremation of Sam McGee made me smile, and listening to Gunga Din, though that's one I know very well, made me sad. Often, while listening to this wonderful collection, familiar phrases caught my attention, and I was fascinated to identify their source, well known phrases like 'a darkling plain', or 'Do I dare disturb the universe?'.

I was also glad to encounter poems new to me, like Tagore's The Gardener, Hughes' Harlem, Auden's Funeral Blues, and Maya Angelou's inspiring and indomitable Still I Rise. If you love poetry and have usually read it as squiggles on pages, then try listening to this inspiring collection; you'll find it an entirely new experience.

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