Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Poets' Corner - John Lithgow

Poets’ Corner
The One-And-Only Poetry Book For The Whole Family
Compiled by John Lithgow
Grand Central Publishing


If you’re still reading, congratulations. Far too many people feel intimidated by poetry, as if it’s a strange foreign language that requires a specialized education to understand. As John Lithgow explains beautifully in his Introduction, nothing could be further from the truth. Our lives have always been full of poetry, from nursery rhymes to Shakespeare to rap music.

Ferreting out the deeper, esoteric meaning of a poem, while interesting to some, is absolutely not necessary to being able to enjoy a poem for what it is. This collection contains a very wide selection of poets. Some poems may be familiar from school; some may be recognizable due to the parts that are quoted often in popular culture; some may be completely new to you. All of them are worth reading for the sheer enjoyment of it. Each poem is accompanied by a few paragraphs that give pertinent information about the poet, the poem, or both. There are even suggestions for other poems by that particular poet.

As anyone who has ever read a Shakespeare play in high school can tell you, reading the words silently is one thing. Hearing the words spoken is a completely different experience. Many people are astounded at how very accessible Shakespeare is, when spoken aloud. To that end, this book comes with a CD that contains 50 works from the collection, read aloud by Jodie Foster, Gary Sinise, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman, to name a few. This collection and the accompanying CD are perfect for readers/listeners of all ages. It will remind older readers of the joys of poetry, and introduce a new generation to those same joys.

November 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-58002-1 (hardcover with CD)


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