Imagine you are lapping up the words of your favourite poet in soothing voices and unwinding to the rhyme and rhythm of the dazzling poetry… Maybe with a cup of coffee in your hand and the wind in your hair… What a dreamlike experience! Poetry audiobooks offer exactly that. And with the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) being celebrated in April, poetry lovers all over the world are itching to read some fabulous poetry. For all such poetry lovers, we have curated a list of the best poetry audiobooks of all times – from the classics to the newbies. All of these are available on Audible.
List of Best poetry Audiobooks of All Time:
- The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
- The Poems of TS ELliot
- The Essential Neruda by Pablo Neruda
- At Blackwater Pond by Mary Oliver
- And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
- Classic Love Poems by Various Poets
- The Essential Rumi by Rumi
- The Carrying by Ada Limón
The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
Let’s kick-start the list with the newest addition to the Brilliant Poets Club. Amanda recited this poem at the inaugural ceremony in which Joe Biden was became the president in 2021. The powerful poem is an exploration of hope, unity, diversity and legacy in the context of the ‘dawn’ breaking in the United States. Praised widely for its structure, themes, relevance and poetic quality, this one’s going to be devoured by poetry lovers for years to come. And what’s more – it includes a foreword by none other than Oprah Winfrey.
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
American poet Walt Whitman’s classic poetry collection is a meditation on nature, human nature and the philosophy of life. It also has bold sexual themes that venerate the body and material pleasures just as they do the mind and spiritual pleasures. Narrated in the low, musical voice of Sam Torode, this poetry collection is evergreen and one that will last in your memory long after the last word is said.
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Paradise Lost is Milton’s classic work of theology which tells the biblical story of the Original Sin – the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden following Eve’s temptation by Satan. Narrated by Frances Barber and others, this epic unites the three realms of heaven, hell and earth to justify the ways of Gof to man. Although highly revered by literature lovers, its lessons and wisdom transcend religion and literature – making it a must read for anyone and everyone.
The Poems of TS ELliot
This audiobook, narrated by the acclaimed Lolita actor Jeremy Irons and The Lion King, is a most surreal experience. Eliot was the leader of the Modernist movement in poetry and these poems give deep insight into his thought process and beliefs. To know the connection that Eliot makes between his famous classic “The Waste Land” and the month of April, definitely turn to this audio book. It will give you answers and leave you with even more questions.
The Essential Neruda by Pablo Neruda
This audiobook comprises 50 of Neruda’s brilliant poems edited carefully and translated truthfully by Mark Eisner. Moreover, CS Verdád lends his magical voice to the poetry, heightening its emotional and sensual appeal. Yes, Neruda wrote about love explicitly and unabashedly and this collection includes many of those poems. But it also contains his philosophical speculations on everyday objects and places and on abstract themes.
At Blackwater Pond by Mary Oliver
This gem of a poetry collection is narrated by the author herself, in the soothing voice that sends ripples of thoughts through a stagnant mind yet calms the stir in it as well. In addition, it is infused with a sense of awe for nature inspired in mundane moments and will will make you count your blessings sitting at home. In this book, Oliver explores the nuances of the relationship people hold with their environment and its fruitification into an everlasting peace. It’s the perfect audiobook to listen to while looking out of the window while in quarantine (or otherwise!)
And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
In this impactful audiobook narrated by Maya Angelou herself are 32 of her most brilliant poetic works. This including the titular gem as well as “Phenomenal Woman” and “Just For A Time”. Constructed around the themes of race, resilience, hope and family, it offers a feminist take on a variety of subjects. Basically, his book is one to devour in a single night, and keep ruminating on for days to come.
Classic Love Poems by Various Poets
This stunning selection of love poetry that has charmed lovers and beloveds since time immemorial is the perfect audiobook to immerse yourself in when in a romantic mood. It includes the most well known of love poems, such as Lord Byron’s She Walks In Beauty Like The Night and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s How Do I Love Thee to Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee. It is narrated by Richard Armitage in his beautiful, heartrending voice which may move even a rock to tears.
The Essential Rumi by Rumi
With Rumi’s best poems selected carefully from his vast work, this poetry collection embodies Rumi in his truest and rawest form. Rich in metaphors and allegories of Rumi’s typical style are poems that span the themes of love, spirituality and friendship. These poems are narrated by Robertson Dean. This is poetry of the highest acclaim that will force you into introspect and self-reflect.
The Carrying by Ada Limón
We started with a contemporary poet who’s making a mark in the world of poetry and we will end with another. However, this poetry collection is not a light, bubbly read. For instance, it deals with difficult and serious topics of miscarriages, old age and its sicknesses and the male gaze. Yet, there are vestiges of hope in what seems like a desolate picture she paints, and that hope is compelling. This audiobook talks with quiet power that makes its presence known. Limón is one of the most wonderful contemporary poets out there. This collection, written and narrated by her, is definitely worth your attention.
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