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by | Read by Douglas Hodge, David Horovitch, Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Northam, Diana Quick, Sian Thomas, Prunella Scales

Poetry & Drama • 2.4 hrs. • Unabridged • ©

It's remarkable how much poetry comes alive when it's performed by the likes of Derek Jacobi or Prunella Scales, rather than a stodgy prof in a tweed blazer. This fine HighBridge series introduces listeners to major English poets using a successful formula in each of its titles. A narrator introduces each poem, providing biographical information, setting the work in its historical context and clarifying any obscure references. The selections--usually unabridged, though sometimes excerpts--are then read by one of several actors, providing a good cross section of each poet's oeuvre. The Browning volume is particularly enjoyable, since his dramatic monologues and narrative poems, such as the "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," bring out the best in this British cast. With only a few exceptions, these performers have a keen ear for the rhythm of the verse, and they illuminate it in new ways for readers who may have previously experienced this work only in print. D.B. © AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/MAY 00]

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