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    $13.60 $12.39 list($20.00)
    1. Break, Blow, Burn : Camille Paglia
    $10.20 $5.97 list($15.00)
    2. The Prophet
    $16.96 $9.49 list($19.95)
    3. The Poetry of Pope John Paul II
    $360.00 $359.99 list($600.00)
    4. The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare:
    $10.46 $7.14 list($13.95)
    5. The Handmaid's Tale : A Novel
    $10.20 $10.05 list($15.00)
    6. Delights and Shadows
    $11.53 $10.42 list($16.95)
    7. Teaching with Fire: Poetry That
    $16.29 $15.80 list($23.95)
    8. The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects
    $14.28 $12.87 list($21.00)
    9. The Rose That Grew From Concrete
    $18.15 list($27.50)
    10. Slouching Toward Nirvana : New
    $12.89 $12.45 list($18.95)
    11. The Moments, the Minutes, the
    $10.50 $3.97 list($14.00)
    12. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
    $10.46 $6.94 list($13.95)
    13. The Sermon on the Mount - Reissue
    $9.42 $8.95 list($14.95)
    14. The Odyssey
    $10.37 $9.90 list($15.95)
    15. The Iliad (Penguin Classics)
    $46.60 $39.95
    16. American Government: Readings
    $16.49 $16.46 list($24.99)
    17. 2005 Poets Market (Poet's Market)
    $8.00 $4.99 list($10.00)
    18. Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
    $10.17 $6.00 list($14.95)
    19. Essential Rumi
    $8.95 $6.27 list($9.95)
    20. Letters to a Young Poet

    1. Break, Blow, Burn : Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375420843
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
    Publisher: Pantheon
    Sales Rank: 1269
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Paglia's Commentary Entertains As Well As The 43 Poems...
    ....she is 'right on' these classic poems--To His Coy Mistress should be every freshman's poem and Paglia elucidates why, Lagston Hughes Jazzonia compares Harlem of the Harlem Renaissance to ancient Mesopotamia, and Lady Lazarus works through some serious love/hate of papa and the paternalistic world of letters and Camille breaks it down for us. Plus she throws in Joni Mitchell, Walt Whitman, the ghostly speech from Hamlet, and one of my favorites Shelley's Ozymandias. In her introduction, she describes her personal experiences with the world of poetry from her Italian heritage to well done tv ads (such as the M&Ms commercial) to meeting and being influenced by her college mentors, Bloom and Kessler. I have been entralled by her style of criticism and popular culture reviewing since her days at the Netzine Salon. Here, she is a little subdued from some of those articles, but nevertheless, her passion about these pieces seem to have lifted the literary criticism world out of it's doldrums. Paglia's poetry book should not only help ol' dogs like me to get back into the reading and enjoyment of poetry and literature--(heck, I'm jealous of those kids who have been able to sign up in one of her classes)--but it also should give those kids in Lit 101 a big hand. This is a very good book by a living legend and a great Lady of Letters. Get it. You will enjoy every page.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable...But You May Disagree With Her Choices
    I really liked this book. Any book that discusses poetry passionately and promotes its importance in the world is great by me. However, when discussing "Best of" choices, it is entirely a matter of opinion. Poetry is the most subjective and individual kind of writing -- many argue it is the highest form of literature (and I would agree with that). My problem are the choices here. Camille Paglia has her own taste of course, so she's entitled. But of the choices here, in MY opinion, about 10% would fall into the category of "best of."

    I always find Camille Paglia's work engaging, so I would recommend this book. A plus if you're a poetry lover like myself. And, as always, I do appreciate her speaking out against Academia with its stilted, post-post modern tastes. This is a woman with strong opinions and she states them passionately. Buy a copy of Break, Blow, Burn -- try it for yourself. You may feel differently about her choices, agree or disagree, but at the very least enjoy the debate. Another Amazon pick I need to recommend, one I purchased recently and can't stop thinking about is called THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez -- about a poet who can't published. Now there's a character I can relate to!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not the Spicy Meatball I Was Expecting
    Basically, it's very dull.Not the spicy meatball I expected after all the hoopla over Sexual Personae (which I didn't read).I guess I have to complete it although, at times, I feel like I'm taking my spoon of castor oil on Saturday night.And my God!She's more Freudian than I am - I don't feel like such a psycho-interpretive methodoligical dinosaur any more.I'm sure one motive for the anthology is to shock.After 26 "usual suspects" selected from the greatest hits of English poetry, she starts bouncing all over the place - I've not heard of at least half of the 18 remaining poets - then wraps it up with Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock."The essays would each be given A's if submitted by an college graduate student.In that sense, they're "exemplary essays"; but they're written in such a homogenous style, it seems adaptable to any poem from any period.I admit, though, I've learned something new in nearly every essay; but otherwise ... dull.Sorry.If you think June Jordan's Poetry for the People is too scattershot and political or Adrienne Rich's What Is Found There is unfocussed and uncomfortably earnest, this is the book for you.(And I don't care how hard she tried to hide it with her formidable intellect, I have to believe that Paglia loves these poems.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enertaining, Knowledgeable
    Break, Blow, Burn
    By: Camille Paglia

    With Break, Blow, Burn Paglia gives insight and understanding to fourty-three poems. Some we know and love and some we will learn of. When I read poetry I like to see what the poem means to me, where I place myself in it, what it makes me feel orwhat memories it provokes. I don't always break each poem down to see what the author means. I picked this book because of the long list of poets featured. Some I learned of such as John Dunne, George Herbert, Robert Lowell,Wallace Stevens, Theodore Roethke, May Swenson, Chuck Wachtel, Rochelle Kraut and some I already love such as, Paul Blackburn, William Blake, William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Walt Whitman,William Butler Yeats, William Carlos Williams, Frank O'Hara, Gary Snyder, Joni Mitchell, Wanda Coleman, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Langston Hughes , Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath,Jean Toomer and a few others. . I found Break, Blow, Burn to be entertaining as much as it is knowledgeable. The insight Paglia gives to these poems is wonderful. Paglia is a very gifted writer with a trained eye for the passion of poetry.
    reviewed by

    4-0 out of 5 stars Metaphoricly Speaking ....
    Camille Paglia's "Break, Blow, Burn" is the lyric equivalent of Ford's 2005 Mustang!

    (Okay, maybe I would like to have seen ee cummings included.) ... Read more

    2. The Prophet
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0394404289
    Catlog: Book (1923-09-12)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1169
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    In a distant, timeless place, a mysterious prophet walks the sands. At the moment of his departure, he wishes to offer the people gifts but possesses nothing. The people gather round, each asks a question of the heart, and the man's wisdom is his gift. It is Gibran's gift to us, as well, for Gibran's prophet is rivaled in his wisdom only by the founders of the world's great religions. On the most basic topics--marriage, children, friendship, work, pleasure--his words have a power and lucidity that in another era would surely have provoked the description "divinely inspired." Free of dogma, free of power structures and metaphysics, consider these poetic, moving aphorisms a 20th-century supplement to all sacred traditions--as millions of other readers already have.--Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (168)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth your time
    Most stories have some sort of existential or spiritual point to make. Gibran's story has many. But unlike most books this one sacrifices length and plot, employing a simple and poetic (in prose) directness in order to tell us not so much the meaning of life as how to live. The prophet in Gibran's story is asked by his people to talk about everything from the law to pain and death. And his sermons are both instructive and profound without being over righteous or narcissistic. In fact, so carefully woven and universal is Gibran's prose that one could conceivably adopt The Prophet as some sort of new age holy book. This would, of course, not only be potentially unwise but also unnecessary since its foundations are clearly derived from Judeo-Christian spiritual values. It certainly does not square with many eastern religions in its almost excessive romanticization of notions such as good, evil and God. And even for western readers, it is probably most valuable when considered as an eloquent reminder of our own spiritual heritage. I will keep this book and undoubtedly reread it many times over for its depth and wisdom. It isn't easy to write a modern set of spiritual aphorisms without sounding awkward, cliched, or downright wrong. But Gibran manages it with a natural attractiveness and spiritual sincerity that has assured its status as a modernized tome of timeless spiritual values.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual masterpiece
    Khalil Gibran's The Prophet is a truly awe inspiring work of prosaic poetry. Despite being a native-born Arabic speaker, Gibran wrote The Prophet in English, ensuring that his powerful words lost nothing in translation.

    The work's 28 short chapters recount the words of a prophet as he leaves his home to depart on a new journey. The words that flow from the prophet's mouth and onto the pages are philosophical and spiritual treatises on all aspects of life. Chapters discuss the range of human experiences and include discussions such as "On Friendship", "On Pain" and "On Death." What unites the 28 chapters is Gibran's thought provoking and probing literary style as Gibran's prophet invokes his listeners to live life to the fullest. The book is not overtly religious but every word and sentence is filled with a spiritual clarity.

    The book is eminently quotable with every chapter providing a nugget of truth worthy of repeating. Amazingly, Gibran packs his masterpiece into less than 100 pages, making it a very quick and easy read. Readers will find themselves returning to The Prophet again and again to recapture the beauty of Gibran's words.

    The Prophet, which Gibran himself recognized as his greatest masterpiece, is a timeless literary classic. Its truth has touched generations of readers and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MidWest Book Review
    If I have ever read a book that is timeless, other than the Word of God, it would have to be this one. Although I may not have agreed with every word written, so many of the words of wisdom within these pages brought peace and comfort to me.
    I read this book many, many years ago. I quoted from it at times and thought of it often. The words seemed to wrap themselves around your heart and spring out in times of need. There are not many books that can stake that claim, and I have read many.

    A classic in my opinion and a book that will never be outdated.


    5-0 out of 5 stars the beauty of spirituality
    I was given this book by a writer friend who called it "the most beautiful book I've ever read." So, since she and I have similar literary tastes, I was inclined to read it. This little book, written in a rich, colorful, deep, and wise poetic style, is full of some of the most moving and impressive spiritual phrases and messages I've ever read. It was written in 1923 but its poetry and wisdom are timeless.

    David Rehak
    author of "Poems From My Bleeding Heart"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful!!
    This is a book you can read and re-read many many times.
    Great and timeless thoughts about relationships, love and
    friendship. I will share this with my family. :)

    Jeffrey C. McAndrew
    author of "Our Brown Eyed Boy" ... Read more

    3. The Poetry of Pope John Paul II
    by John Paul II, Pope John Paul II
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $16.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1574555561
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
    Publisher: USCCB
    Sales Rank: 29978
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this trio of poems wriiten in the summer of 2002, Pope John Paul II uses the imagery of a mountain stream, the Sistine chapel and the story of Abraham and Isacc as he reflects on God as the origin and end point of all creation and ponders the beginning and end of his time as Pope. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars We have such a gift!
    Our Holy Father is indeed a gifted poet. This should be required reading for all Catholics. And suggested reading for everyone else!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Inspirational book!!
    The book was really amazing, I think any religious person,or anyone interested in becoming a christian should consider reviewing it. ... Read more

    4. The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare: 38 Fully-Dramatized Plays
    by William Shakespeare, Eileen Atkins, Joseph Fiennes, John Gielgud, Imogen Stubbs, Claran Hinds, Simon Russell Beale
    list price: $600.00
    our price: $360.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1932219005
    Catlog: Book (2003-03)
    Publisher: Audio Partners
    Sales Rank: 49628
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For the first time in audio publishing history, all of Shakespeare's plays are available in one extraordinary, definitive collection. Based on The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, here are all of the master's 38 plays, complete and unabridged, fully dramatized on CDs with an original score and sound design for each play. A monumental project that spanned five years and cost $3 million, The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare represents the collective vision of four people: Shakespeare scholar Tom Treadwell, film producer Bill Shepherd, BBC director Clive Brill, and composer Dominique Le Gendre. Together they have assembled the 400 great actors of the British theater and produced a landmark digital recording with a sophisticated layering of sound that immerses the listener in Shakespeare's world. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A monumental project with flaws but immense overall value
    To Buy or Not to Buy!

    Educators, lovers of theatre and great literature--take note! Late in the 1990s, Harper Row began to release on cassettes the Arkangel Complete Shakespeare, all of which I reviewed in one paper or another. Using some of the best of the young theatrical talent in Great Britain and some of the older established stars of stage and screen, the producers gave us readings of every single word of every single play by Shakespeare, including the seldom-performed "Two Noble Kinsmen" which is partially by Shakespeare.

    Well, hold on! Audio Partners has been contracted to release the entire set on CDs. The trick is that you cannot purchase the individual sets but are required to purchase the entire package of 38 plays for $600. That is 98 CDs in all with a playing time of just over 101 hours! Libraries and school departments take note.

    Hearing them as they were released on tape in batches of four or five, I was impressed mostly with the enormity of the project but found some things to quibble about. Casting Oberon and Titania with a pair whose voices were South African or Jamaican (no Henry Higgins, I) made some sense in that it emphasized their other-worldly-ness. So did assigning Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" to an actor with a distinct Scottish accent, but giving Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet" to the same actor was absurd. Then too there is that sudden sound effect of a train pulling out of a station in the middle of "All's Well That Ends Well"! Granted there was a production current then that did place the play in more modern times, but when one is hearing a recording with no clue as to setting, the result was jarring and should have been omitted.

    In the grander roles such as Hamlet, Othello and the like, the younger actors give modern readings which might strike some as slighting demands of the high poetry. And those who long for the grander readings can turn to the re-releases of the old Shakespeare Recording Society sets.

    One great disadvantage to the cassettes is that you could locate a specific scene only with much fast forwarding. With CDs, of course, you can jump to any scene by pressing the Skip button on your player. When a scene continues onto another disc, the tracking list tells you at which line the scene picks up.

    The price might be prohibitive to all but an institution--but I feel that every library should find its way to purchasing the complete set in much the same way that many purchased the complete set of BBC Shakespeare videos.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get it. Period.
    If you have to empty your penny jar, if you have to cash in your IRA, do so. Get this. These are absolutely superb recordings of some of the best English ever written and some of the most memorable characters ever created. So you don't recognize every word. Doesn't matter. The excellent actors carry you along and draw you intimately into the drama.

    You can follow the play in text if you choose to -- they follow the readily available Complete Pelikan Shakespeare. But you don't need to -- if you aren't familiar with a play the brief four or five line summaries of each scene in the small fold-out accompanying each play are quite sufficient to know which characters are involved. It's possible to listen to these while driving, but you can't concentrate fully unless you're totally stuck in traffic. My number one recommendation is to take a Walkman and a pair of headphones to a hammock under a tree and indulge yourself. Second best is a comfy easy chair.

    However you listen to these, do get them and listen to them. Or persuade your local library to get the set.

    The price -- ...-- seems high until you figure that this is 38 complete plays -- less than the cost of the same play in paperback -- and there are a total of 83 disks, so you're paying just $5 per disk. Cheap! And these aren't some pop music you'll listen to once; these are a lifetime investment for yourself and your family.

    Get it. Period.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Drama
    These performances will keep you spellbound. There is something profound and amazing about listening to this Shakespeare, probably owing to the combination of perfect sound; nuanced, captivating, stellar acting; and fully comprehending the magic of The Bard's words. The quality of the recording is impeccable - there are no glitches, and the volume-level is consistent. Listening on my CD player at home, and following along with the text (not included with the CDs), I feel like I'm "getting" Shakespeare, and being moved by his words, like never before. I even find this listening more satisfying than seeing a Shakespeare play because I can better grasp and appreciate every line. The acting is first-rate (most actors are well-recognized RSC alumns, many of whom have become respected British film stars - ahem - Joseph Fiennes, Ciaran Hinds, Simon Russell Beale, Amanda Root, to name a few), and the clarity of the production picks up the most delicate subtleties of each performance. The background music complements and enhances each play, but isn't obtrusive. I wholeheartedly recommend this set - it will take you to a new level with Shakespeare. ... Read more

    5. The Handmaid's Tale : A Novel
    by Margaret Atwood
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 038549081X
    Catlog: Book (1998-03-16)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 2672
    Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

    Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

    Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. ... Read more

    Reviews (365)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
    The Handmaid's Tale is the story of Offred, one of the few fertile women left in the Republic of Gilead, a dystopia at its worst. Toxic waste has left population levels dangerously low and religious leaders have taken control of the country, using desperate measures to repopulate the Earth. Offred is one of the many "handmaids" who are forced to live with a commander and trys to conceive a child with him once a month. The book chronicles Offred's life as she is living with Commander Fred (hence "Of Fred"). Atwood wrote this novel at a time when there was the possibility of religious leaders establishing a theocracy. She portrays the havoc that can come about when a democracy loses its control over the people. Atwood does this extremely effectively. Since the whole book is through Offred's eyes, the one-person limited view point makes you use your imagination to fill in the gaps left by her lack of knowledge. The book isn't so extreme that it's unbelievable and is so descriptively written that it almost feels as if it the events already happened in history. It was truly a great read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Harrowing
    Margaret Atwood has redefined speculative and social fiction and brought it to a new level with THE HANDMAID'S TALE. When I first read it, some 10 years ago, I was stunned by not only the story but by the voice of the narrator. Now that I've just re-read it, I found the story more terrifying and harrowing. I imagine that it's twice as frightening for a woman. But as it seems to me that some of our Constitutional rights are quickly being challenged (whether justified or not) there is a new, palpable fear that resonates in the pages of THE HANDMAID'S TALE that wasn't there in the early 90's.

    I'll get off my soapbox now.

    THE HANDMAID'S TALE is a gripping and compelling novel of a nation out of control, and of male-dominance. While it is set in the not-too-distant-future, the feel is reminiscent of Nazi workcamps, as the female characters are subject to brainwashing, imprisonment, and sexual predation. No one I know who has read the book, even those of my friends on the far right, felt this to be heavy-handed or didactic. And no one I know who has read the book, put it down without reflecting deeply on our sexual/social relations. THE HANDMAID'S TALE is an impossibly brilliant book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read!!! Even better than "1984" in my opinion. A+
    This was my 1st experience w/Atwood, and I absolutely loved it! She is a fabulous writer and I highly recommend this book. This was one of those books you just sit down and devour. :-)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, just wow
    I asked a friend of mine what I should read on my car trip back home (over 1000 miles) and he suggested this book. Fair enough. I bought it at a local bookstore, and that next day in the car, I read it. In one sitting.

    It was disturbing, yes, to think that this very well could be our future. But in a way, we all need to read this novel, so that we can see where our lifestyles are leading us, and to try to avoid a world such as what Offread lives in.

    In short, I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Handmaid's Tale
    The Handmaid's Tale was one of the scariest books that I have ever read in my life.

    Why, you may ask? It isn't a horror story. Far from it, in fact. And it isn't a story on the terrible atrocities of women that our society has faced in the past.

    This is a potential future that the world may have to face... a world that takes the Bible and absolutely runs with it... though not in the direction that I think it was meant to be run with.

    It is the story of a woman who is a Handmaid in a house. She has had everything taken away from her: her daughter, her mother, her boyfriend, her best friend, and, most importantly, her identity. She doesn't even have her own name anymore.

    She is given to a man that she doesn't love, in the hope that she will have a child that she won't be allowed to keep. If she doesn't have a baby after three different households, then she is to be sent to the Colonies, where women are put to work cleaning up nuclear waste from a current war and usually don't last for more than three years.

    This is exciting, unpredictable, and frightening. I was scared out of my mind and kept having to put it down to say 'Whoa.' ... Read more

    6. Delights and Shadows
    by Ted Kooser
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1556592019
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-15)
    Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
    Sales Rank: 2312
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    Book Description

    Ted Kooser is a master of metaphor, a poet who deftly connects disparate elements of the world and communicates with absolute precision. Critics call him a "haiku-like imagist" and his poems have been compared to Chekov's short stories. In Delights and Shadows, Kooser draws inspiration from the overlooked details of daily life. Quotidian objects like a pegboard, creamed corn and a forgotten salesman's trophy help reveal the remarkable in what before was a merely ordinary world.

    "Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance."-Poetry

    Ted Kooser is the author of eight collections of poems and a prose memoir. He lives on a small farm in rural Nebraska.

    ... Read more

    7. Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach
    by Parker J. Palmer, Tom Vander Ark
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0787969702
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-03)
    Publisher: Jossey-Bass
    Sales Rank: 8788
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Reclaim Your Fire

    "Teaching with Fire is a glorious collection of the poetry that has restored the faith of teachers in the highest, most transcendent values of their work with children....Those who want us to believe that teaching is a technocratic and robotic skill devoid of art or joy or beauty need to read this powerful collection. So, for that matter, do we all."
    –Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities

    "When reasoned argument fails, poetry helps us make sense of life. A few well-chosen images, the spinning together of words creates a way of seeing where we came from and lights up possibilities for where we might be going....Dip in, read, and ponder; share with others. It's inspiration in the very best sense."
    –Deborah Meier, co-principal of The Mission Hill School, Boston and founder of a network of schools in East Harlem, New York

    "In the Confucian tradition it is said that the mark of a golden era is that children are the most important members of the society and teaching is the most revered profession. Our jour ney to that ideal may be a long one, but it is books like this that will sustain us - for who are we all at our best save teachers, and who matters more to us than the children?"
    –Peter M. Senge, founding chair, SoL (Society for Organizational Learning) and author of The Fifth Discipline

    Those of us who care about the young and their education must find ways to remember what teaching and learning are really about. We must find ways to keep our hearts alive as we serve our students. Poetry has the power to keep us vital and focused on what really matters in life and in schooling. Teaching with Fire is a wonderful collection of eighty-eight poems from such well-loved poets as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda. Each of these evocative poems is accompanied by a brief story from a teacher explaining the significance of the poem in his or her life's work. This beautiful book also includes an essay that describes how poetry can be used to grow both personally and professionally.

    Teaching With Fire was written in partnership with the Center for Teacher Formation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Royalties from this book will be used to fund scholarship opportunities for teachers to grow and learn. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A companion for teachers
    I begin by acknowledging that I am both a fan of poetry and a fan of the work of Parker Palmer, whose writings spawned the Courage to Teach retreats for teachers that take place across the country. The poets included in this volume are among my favorite including Rumi, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Rilke, and many more. The book includes a section wtih ideas on how to use poetry in all kinds of settings, not just schools. I also know some of the teachers who contributed to this book. These are real people who do some of the most important work there is to do--teaching--and who are as a group underappreciated. When I read these poems and the moving words of the teachers who selected the poems, I feel like I am entering into sacred territory. There are many moments in this book illuminating the terrain of a teacher's work and a teacher's soul. Poetry speaks to the heart, and the use of poetry for our own renewal is what this collecton is about. I highly recommend it, and I know most teachers and parents of school age children would love this as a gift.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift That Keeps Giving
    This collection of poetry will keep on giving to anyone interested in the power of poetry to sustain and inspire or in the fragile and humane work of teaching. At first I read it cover to cover. Since I've been called back many times to certain poems or stories. Each poem is accompanied by a short story about what the particular poem has meant to the teacher who submitted it. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is more powerful--the poem or the teacher's story. In this little volume lie the seeds of true school reform! Read it and pass it on.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Words to Inspire Those Who Teach & Learn
    This fine collection of 88 poems introduced by the educators who submitted them gives readers a new appreciation for the power poetry can provide to those who teach as well as those who learn. Though all these poems may not be new to you, the deeply-felt reflections on the opposite pages will give you a new appreciation for them.

    Editors Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner weaved together these well-known poets with everyday educators so readers can take inspiration on any given page without a sequential read-through. Or, by choosing a section such as "Holding On," one can select Rubin Alves' poem "Tomorrow's Child" and take heart and courage from the commentary by Sarah Smith, academic director of Rainier Scholars in the state of Washington. "I met this poem with the heaviest of hearts, a depleted spirit, a feeling that I was failing myself and my own personal mission." And later, "I recommitted myself to the work. I reclaimed my hope and belief in the notion that education could truly be the great equalizer."

    Although I'm not a teacher, I am a life-long learner and encouraged that such a book is available to help support and restore the faith of the people we put in charge of our childrens' education. Nothing could be more important or more vital.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All my FAVORITE POEMS!!!!!
    I've long loved poetry, but have struggled to use it successfully in the classroom. This book is absolutely PERFECT for me! First of all, it has poems from my favorite poets like Rilke, Marge Piercy, Mary Oliver, Annie Dillard, Billy Collins, Anne Sexton, and a whole bunch of others. And then there's wonderful poetry by authors I didn't know until now. I'm always delighted to find a new poet!

    But the icing on the cake? The short introductions to each poem, each written by a different teacher. The one that really spoke to me was the teacher who taught "There But for the Grace" by Wislawa Szymborska on Sept. 12, 2001. It really shows the power of poetry in students' lives! ... Read more

    8. The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden
    by Stanley Kunitz, GENINE LENTINE
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393061418
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-16)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 1223
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    Book Description

    From his celebrated seaside garden, a beloved poet-in his one-hundredth year-speaks about life, poetry, and the kindred spirit in all living things.

    Throughout his life Stanley Kunitz has been creating poetry and tending gardens. This book is the distillation of conversations—none previously published—that took place between 2002 and 2004. Beginning with the garden, that "work of the imagination," the explorations journey through personal recollections, the creative process, and the harmony of the life cycle. A bouquet of poems and a total of twenty-six full-color photographs accompany the various sections.

    In the spring of 2003, Kunitz experienced a mysterious health crisis from which, miraculously, he emerged in what he called a "transformed state." During this period, his vision of the garden-constant source of solace and renewal-propelled him. The intimate, often witty conversations that followed this time are presented here in their entirety, as transcribed. Their central themes, circling mortality and regeneration, attest to Kunitz's ever-present sagacity and wit. "Immortality," he answers when asked. "It's not anything I'd lose sleep over." 26 color photographs. ... Read more

    9. The Rose That Grew From Concrete
    by Tupac Shakur
    list price: $21.00
    our price: $14.28
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671028448
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
    Publisher: MTV
    Sales Rank: 2483
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    His talent was unbounded, a raw force that commanded attention and respect.

    His death was tragic -- a violent homage to the power of his voice.

    His legacy is indomitable -- remaining vibrant and alive.

    Here now, newly discovered, are Tupac's most honest and intimate thoughts conveyed through the pure art of poetry -- a mirror into his enigmatic life and its many contradictions.

    Written in his own hand at the age of nineteen, they embrace his spirit, his energy...and his ultimate message of hope. ... Read more

    Reviews (137)

    5-0 out of 5 stars See The World Through The Eyes of a Great Man
    "The Rose That Grew From Concrete" is an amazing collection of poetry by Tupac Shukur. The poems let you go deep in his mind and see a side of Tupac that most people have never seen. As you read his poems you start to realize how he truly feels and what messages he wants to get across. You also see the pain and obstacles in his life that he had to overcome. Some people listen to Tupac's music and just hear the negative and the cussing. Not understanding that you have to know the negative to see and understand the positive. Some people see Tupac's music as a bad influence, because they don't listen to all the words to get the real message. This collection of poems is a great way to understand Tupac's life and to receive his true message, to end crime and to stop the hate. This collection of poems has had a great influence on my life and the way I look at the world. I think that everyone who reads this book can relate to Tupac in some way and I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of poetry about life and of course to anyone who loves Tupac.

    5-0 out of 5 stars His Legend Lives On
    Tupac Shakur's collection of poetry is as dynamic as his life and songs. Tupac has touched on many subjects that cross the racial barriers in his book. He seems a young man full of hope and promise. The gangster mentality is almost nonexistent in The Rose That Grew From Concrete. His thoughts on love and relationships are wonderul and moving. Even his poem about death is insightful. Some of the poetry really touched my soul. I have been a Tupac fan for many years and when I saw the book in the store, I immediately started reading. The poems are compelling and remind me of his life. I couldn't wait to share The Rose That Grew From Concrete with my family and friends. If you love poetry and the African American culture than this is a book to add to your collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful teaching tool!!!
    I am a middle school English teacher who uses this collection when teaching a poetry unit. While most of Tupac's writing is rough and unedited, it shows students that poetry is a beautiful way to express ideas and emotions. Young people are so full of passion and idealism. Someone as famous as Tupac started off similar to them... Small with bigs dreams and a hunger for growing up and changing the world. It's not so much about rap but about the art of lyrical poetry. My students find it fascinating and inspiring.

    1-0 out of 5 stars sorry to say this
    all the stuff from this book is from when he wasn't famous yet. he didn't have anything to say back then. he was a very profound person but i wasn't compelled with anything he said until he started looking at political issues and crimes and society in his raps. When he was in his late teens and early 20's and had to deal with the corruptions of society, that was when he had interesting, even brilliant things to say. But, not before. I'm a big Tupac fan, but this wasn't worth it. He just talks about love and it's cheesy and the rhymes aren't very well done. Get stuff from his more recent times to really understand his character.

    5-0 out of 5 stars tupac shakur in the hearts of his fans
    This book is full of feelings towards love and full of anger towards the government and against politics. His best poetry was written through his expressions and feelings. This book could relate to the way you feel about something during that period of time. The right words are put together to express what you feel within. Tupac was a great poet who was with respect by the society he wrote what he felt, not what people wanted to hear. ... Read more

    10. Slouching Toward Nirvana : New Poems
    by Charles Bukowski
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $18.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060577037
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: Ecco
    Sales Rank: 55657
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    Book Description

    Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother in 1920, and brought to the United States at the age of three. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944 when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp (1994).

    During his lifetime Bukowski published more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including the novels Post Office (1971), Factotum (1975), Women (1978), Ham on Rye (1982), and Hollywood (1989). Among his most recent books are the posthumous editions of What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through the Fire: New Poems (1999), Open All Night: New Poems (2000), The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps: New Poems (2001), Sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way: New Poems (2003), and The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain: New Poems (2004).

    All of his books have now been published in translation in more than a dozen languages, and his worldwide popularity remains undiminished. In the years to come Ecco will publish additional volumes of previously uncollected poetry and prose.

    ... Read more

    11. The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours : The Poetry of Jill Scott
    by Jill Scott
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 031232961X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 3195
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Writing poems and keeping journal since 1991, Jill Scott now shares her personal poetry collection in The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours.Praised for her earthy, honestly erotic, soulful and very real lyrics, Jill Scott explores all the flavors of life, love, and self.

    Of her music, Jill offers: "It's music.It's experiences. It's vulnerability.It's honesty.It's being a woman---an African American woman.Being a daughter, a sister, a grandchild and a Godmother.It's life.It's deeper than what I know.It's bigger than what I can see. I guess it's a dive into the human spirit."And the same will come forth in this never- before-seen collection of her poetry.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Honesty is Beautiful
    I first fell in love with Jill Scott as an artist when I heard her song, "Love", laden with DC's go-go rhythms from her first album "Who is Jill Scott?" I have to say I've fallen in love with her all over again with her debut book of poetry.

    Poetry is alot things, but what is poetry if it's not honest? Mrs. Scott is as real as they come. Her spirit jumps from the pages and permeates the reader's most intimate places. And whether that place is gray and blue or yellow and sunny, you always end up smiling anyway. She is "beautifully human" and makes you feel safe being human right along with her.

    I recommend this book to those of us who don't have it all figured out just yet. You're human. Let Jill's words hold you.

    I recommend this book to those of us who believe we've figured it all out. You'll learn life has so many more lessons to teach and is so much more than we could ever confine in a box.

    Life is in this lady from North Philly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So Nice Say It Twice
    The reflections of her mind are beautiful.I KNEW as soon as I got word of the book it would be a must read to hold and keep.Therefore I recommend that you take the time to read and re-read the pages, there's something for everyone.As with the motion of water her words will move you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clear expectations
    I bought this book probably hoping to read more poetry like what was shared in the spaces on her first album and her live album - knowing of course of Mrs. Scott's history as a spokenword artist. I was surprised to find alot of poetry spanning her entire history - works from when she was a young girl to current peices. people who say they found the work repetitive, I assume sat and read the book from to back, and in my personal opinion that is no way to read poetry books, especially when all the works are from one artist. Read specific pieces, things that draw you from the table of contents and be pulled by Mrs. Scott's ablility to paint with words. She has range and it is shown through the different sections of the book. She addresses life and it is not difficult to understand, not difficult to hold on to, not difficult to move with her poems - Much like her music. she is definately a poet and I pray she is not grouped into that lump of artists (t-boz, ashanti {I haven't read Alicia Keys work to say}) who release journal entries and unpracticed works because they can. Jill Scott's poetry asks to be read and I look forward to her next collection so I can do it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars No suprise, Jill Scott's poetry is beautifully lyrical.
    If you love the music of Jill Scott for its beautifully personal and uplifting content, you'll simply devour these nearly 150 pages of her poems.

    Jill has often said that she's kept written journals for years.As many of Jill's song lyrics read like poems to me (and I dearly love them), I was not surprised to find myself deeply engrossed in Jill's accounts of life and love in this compilation.

    Jill's writings unapologetically hold love up and examine, admire and venerate it. Her poems also touch on issues of friendship and family.

    I've known since I heard the first song from her very first album that Jill was not just another singer, but a poet who happens to possess and beautiful voice and undeniable music talent. Now she is not only an accomplished poet, but a published one.It speaks so highly of her talent and her very nature that the likes of Sonia Sanchez and Maya Angelou have recognized the power of her gift and her loving, intelligent spirit.

    Never a big fan of audio books, I'm dying for the audio version of this collection!!!

    2-0 out of 5 stars just Ok
    I think Jill scott is Talented but much like Her Music this Poetry book is so predictable. nothing ever changes with her.funny how most songwriters Poetry Books are just average&this is the latest in that Line to me. ... Read more

    12. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
    by Frank McCourt
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 068484267X
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-25)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 5116
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

    So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling -- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

    Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors -- yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

    Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic. ... Read more

    Reviews (1623)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Depressing but Excellent
    5 Stars- Depressing but excellent

    Frank Mc Court's memoirs "Angela's Ashes" takes us back to the 1940s where he tells us of his childhood and the poverty that his family lived though. This book can be very depressing at times which brought me to tears, but this is an excellent memoirs worthy of a 5 star rating.

    The book starts out in New York, the Mc Court family lives in one of the most impoverished areas of Brooklyn and father, Malachy Mc Court has a hard time keeping a job and a drinking problem. After the death of baby Margaret, the family moves back to Ireland where times are harder and life is poorer. The family relies on help from Saint Vincent, DE Paul Society and they are forced to go on relief. The father drinks whatever money he makes and has a hard time finding or keeping a job. Frank has a dream of returning to America, where he feels that he can make life better for himself.

    I watched the movie right after reading the book and was amazed at how many part were left out. I advise everyone to read the book to get the true story of the Mc Court Family and I look forward to reading the second part, Tis.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Deserved Pulitzer
    McCourt speaks to the reader through his childhood voice in this splendid, moving, and thought-provoking autobiography. McCourt begins the story as a four-year-old living in New York City with his parents and three younger brothers. The poverty stricken Irish family is unable to make ends meet in America and so they head back to Ireland in hopes of survival.

    They settle in Limerick where McCourt's mother Angela grew up. Malachy McCourt, the father in the story, claims that he will find work and support the family. However, Malachy's love of alcohol prevents him from finding or keeping any gainful employment. When he does work, he takes his wages and goes to the bars and drinks until all the money is gone. Meanwhile, the family is hungry, the children are wearing shoes with holes, and Angela sinks into a deep depression but remains obedient to her husband because of her Catholic faith. The family moves around Limerick frequently, renting dirty rooms with flea infested bedding, living on the floors in small houses owned by relatives, and even renting a house in which the bottom floor is constantly being flooded with neighborhood sewage. The family comes face to face with illness, death, starvation, and ridicule. The low point strikes when Angela must resort to begging on the streets to help her family survive.

    All the while, McCourt has the reader grow with him through the ages of four to nineteen. He shares the Irish tales he grew up with, the feelings he had toward his dyfunctional parents, his opinion of the Catholic Church, and the good and bad lessons he learned from his harsh schoolmasters. Never does McCourt wallow in self-pity, rather he presents the facts of his life in an honest, poignant manner. Despite the despair, it seems that McCourt has no regrets about his upbringing, for he was a child and had no control of the situation. As he grew, however, he came to the realization that he could begin to change things for the better. Unlike his father, he became eager to work. He struggled to support his mother and younger siblings in his teen years with after school jobs. He educated himself through reading and observation. He set goals and priorities and didn't give up until he reached them.

    McCourt takes what is tragic and presents it in a beautiful, descriptive language that leaves the reader spellbound. His story is obviously written unselfishly and is told to show that triumph can be the end result of tragedy. Each individual has the power to rise above and make his or her life meaningful. This is the essence of McCourt's message. A message you will not forget after reading Angela's Ashes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a memoir of myself?
    This book is simply incredible and the inclusion of the patriotic and doleful poems of the Irish make it simply the best and stand out from the rest. Frank Mc Court has retold the story in a perspective of a child and I wonder how could he retell each and everything so clearly and touchingly.... so hands up for him... Mc Court is one of the greatest Irish writer ever.... This book has broken my heart, made me laugh, brought tears in my eyes and has made me obsessed with Little Frankie and his sore eyes....I never wanted to finish Angela's Ashes and wish I could continue reading it forever and ever.... If you are keen about Frankie's life then Tis' is a must read book...

    I wish I could invite Frankie during Christmas so that he didnt have to eat the pig's head....

    5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELA'S ASHES

    1-0 out of 5 stars P.U.!!
    Stinkaroo! Thank god I borrowed this work of maudlin stereotypical crap from the library so I didn't actually fork over any cash for it. Jeez, if I was Irish I would be completely insulted by the authors' ludicrous, stereotypical portrayal of the anguished poor Irish Catholic family. "Aw no da's drunk agin! Aw no, ma's bein' shagged! Aw, I wish ere lived in Ameriki!" Blah blah blah! These characters aren't even as well developed as the guy on the Lucky Charms box. Has McCourt ever been to Ireland?

    I couldn't even finish it. It just plodded and sobbed and whined on and on and on. In fact, before I took it back to the library I inscribed in one of the early chapters, "WARNING: MORE CRAP AHEAD". I didn't consider that defacing library property, I considered it a public service. ... Read more

    13. The Sermon on the Mount - Reissue : The Key to Success in Life
    by Emmet Fox
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060628626
    Catlog: Book (1989-10-18)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 5343
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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    The Sermon on the Mount--now passing its 65th birthday--remains a vital and provocative introduction to the ideas at the heart of Christian Science. At heart it means to be entirely practical, as the "Science" of the name would indicate. Denying any interest in theology (there is no theology in the Bible, Fox argues), the author instead suggests that what Jesus was after was results: "Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is, and what our own nature is; tells us the meaning of life and of death; shows us why we make mistakes; why we yield to temptation; why we become sick, and impoverished, and old; and, most important of all, he tells us how all these evils may be overcome, and how we may bring health, happiness, and true prosperity into our lives."

    And the Spiritual Key? Fox puts it quite simply: "The Truth turns out to be nothing less than the amazing but undeniable fact that the whole outer world--whether it be the physical body, the common things of life, the winds and the rain, the clouds, the earth itself--is amenable to man's thought, and that he has dominion over it when he knows it." --Doug Thorpe ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Truth Works...
    The traditional interpretations of Jesus the Christ's teachings have turned thinking individuals into opponents of the Bible. Well, Mr. Fox's work (I read the original version published in the 1930's) provides some acceptable insights.

    While Mr. Fox's works are slightly skewed in his references to how the "European race" has civilized the rest of the world, brought order where there is chaos, etc., etc., there is a solid message here.

    His analysis the Sermon on the Mount (Mathew 5, 6 and 7 in the Bible), demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that the mind is the builder of all that is in the life of man and woman.

    If you are a Christian fundamentalist who has decided not to question literal, traditional interpretations of the Bible in any way, this book is not for you. However, if you find that traditional, mainstream Christianity doesn't fit into your views of life and yet you still believe in the fundamental usefulness of the core teachings of Christianity, I offer that you do the following:

    1) Read this book with an open mind

    2) Test some the principles in your own life, applying the principles to the resolution of problems that have heretofore not been solved using other methods

    3) See what happens.

    Every New Thought book I review I also mention the works of Dr. Joseph Murphy's ("The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" is his most famous) because they have had such an impact on my life as well the lives of countless others. If you are new to New Thought and are trying to decide which books to buy, I say read Joseph Murphy Book "Telepsychics" where he discusses Emmet Fox and this book as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A long trip back.
    I am a recovering alcoholic. A few months back I went on an 8 day cruise to Central America. When the ship left the dock I was seized by a panic, I would be stuck on this ship, away from my support group in no less than a floating bar. I was up most of the first night. The next day I found this book (a friend had loaned it to me) and in desperation I started reading. By the end of the day my panic had passed and I felt closer to God than I had in a long time. I thought I had given up on Jesus many many years ago and that was the attitude I had when I boarded the ship. After reading this book I stepped on to the shore in Miami a Christian again, something I thought was quite impossible. This is a very powerful book. Mr. Fox sweeps away centuries of religious dogma and brings us back to the spiritual principals Jesus actually taught. I have read it several times since my trip. It has done nothing less than revolutionize my whole outlook on life and recovery. The right book at exactly the right time in my life. I pray it will do the same for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life Changing
    I use this book as a daily meditation and study guide. It has dramatically changed my perspective on Christianity and life. This is a real spiritual study guide -- not for beginners or fundamentalists.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Beware
    I read this book and fell in love with it. Then, I started reading more books by Fox and doing research on his background and his fellow spiritual teachers. The strange part about his writing is he doesn't acknowledge Jesus Christ as being the true Son of God. He refers to him as Jesus and describes how other religion sects view him, but the writer himself doesn't acknowledge Jesus Christ as "the Son of God," in any of his books. His whole concept of spirituality is that each of us have the power through constructive thinking to physically change our environment and lives. Well this is true on certain levels, but as a Christian I am saved by grace and God's power, not my own. The way to salvation and God is through Jesus Christ, and not just changing our mindset only. If this was true Jesus would have died in vain. Don't just take my opinion, research his background for yourself and read more of his books and compare them to biblical scriptures. Pray for wisdom and insight while you do this. Satan sometimes comes to us as an angel of light. Be discerning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you could only have one book
    I can't count the number of times I have read this book over the last twenty years. And I have given copies of it to a great number of people over the years. I'm buying another copy today for a friend, and one to replace the one I gave away recently. It is truly an instruction manual for a successful spirital (and material) life. If I could have only one book to read it would be this one. And I read a lot. ... Read more

    14. The Odyssey
    by Robert Fagles, Homer, Bernard Knox
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $9.42
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140268863
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-29)
    Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper)
    Sales Rank: 4968
    Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    If The Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, then The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey though life. Odysseus's reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.

    Translated by Robert Fagles
    Introduction and Notes by Bernard Knox
    ... Read more

    Reviews (109)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Beggar-King of Ithaca
    O sing in me, muse...

    If only Athena would whisper in my ear the review she would write! That said, I feel it would take an Olympian god to adequately convey the richness and scope of Homer's epic poem.

    The story in "The Odyssey" is elegant and simple. A man trapped on an island far from country and kin finally gains a reprieve from the gods and is allowed to make for home (after an absence of almost twenty years). Odysseus bids farewell to his erstwhile captor, Calypso, and sets out on his homeward journey. Meanwhile, his coming-of-age son, Telemachus, begins his own Athena-led quest to find news of his dad. The home-fires back on Odysseus' native Ithaca are all but extinguished. His faithful wife Penelope continues to wage her battle against an insolent mob of greedy suitors. Not to worry, revenge is a key element in this story!

    Between Odysseus' struggle to return to sea-girt Ithaca and Telemachus' wanderings to find his dad, a fair amount of Greek mythology and history spills out onto the pages; this amidst athletic competitions, banquets and endless cups of well-mixed wine. At the same time the reader is getting an education in Greek hospitality and sport, a lexicon of gods and monsters is unfolded before us.

    No one really knows if Homer existed, or even if there was a Troy. None of this matters. "The Odyssey" is about heroes and scoundrels, courage and fear, life and death. It is about dedication and strength, respect and pride. "The Odyssey," one might also add, is about cunning and craftiness; he's not called "wily Odysseus" for naught.

    So read "The Odyssey." Discover for yourself why this story has been around for well over 2500 years, and why it is at the inertial point of Western civilization.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Romantic Adventure Story from Ancient Greece
    The Odyssey is a famous epic poem centering around the adventures of Odysseus, hero of the Trojan War. As the story begins there is a crisis in the royal palace at Ithaca. With Odysseus having been gone for nearly twenty years, his wife, Penelope, is besieged with suitors. They've moved into the palace and for three years have consumed much of the resources of the young prince, Telemachus. Unknown to all is that Odysseus is alive but being held prisoner by Calypso on the island of Ogygia.

    We do not hear what happened to Odysseus until Book 5 when he's released from Ogygia with the help of Athena, only to lose his craft from Poseidon's storm. Barely surviving the storm, he washed up on the island of Phaeacia. There we learn of his incredible adventure since leaving Troy.

    Battling monsters, giants, and angry gods and goddesses, Odysseus used courage, cunning, and guile to get out of one jam after another, but he was unable to save his crew. When he finally made it to Ithaca he would be faced with the biggest challenge of all-saving his kingdom.

    Such was Homer's tale which must have both thrilled and terrorized the young Greeks when they first heard it some 2500 years ago. While today's youth may be a bit desensitized to Odysseus' terrors we can be moved by his courage and devotion to his family. Penelope is also a heroine in this story. Her devotion to her lost husband and awareness that her son's inheritance must be protected tore her apart; and Telemachus, only a baby when his father left, had to grow up on his own and be prepared to give his life for the kingdom. I think you'll enjoy the story.

    5-0 out of 5 stars No omnipotent Gods
    Many students look back in disgust on the compulsory literature they had to swallow in school, mostly (partly) in the original language.
    For Homer's Odyssey (and the Iliad) this is an error.
    The epic contains everything a book needs to make it an everlasting bestseller: sex sorceresses, lascivous temptresses, one-eyed ogres, innocent young maidens, flattering suitors and a model wife.
    The story evolves with such eternal characters as the virtuous Penelope, the ingenious Odysseus, the innocent Nausikaa, Calypso's sex-appeaL, the man-eating Cyclops, Circe's sexual spells or the brash temptations of Scylla and Charybdis.
    As in the Iliad, the only 'ancient' ingredient is the presence of the Gods, who intervene every time a disaster is going to happen.
    But there is a big difference between the Iliad and the Odyssey. While in the Iliad the Gods are omnipotent, in the Odyssey 'they cannot prevent that those who are mortal die' and 'human catastrophies are man-made, not the faults of the Gods'.
    Compared with the Iliad, the Odyssey is more a story-telling than a poetic epic with few Homeric comparisons or lenghty enumerations. It is also a more optimistic human tale.
    A must read.

    2-0 out of 5 stars HOPE
    That you never give up and he fight with people to be with his girlfriend........

    4-0 out of 5 stars I dont remember nothing
    I liked this book because I think that this book has a lot of action and is contains some adventure too. And I recommend this because it make you think a lot about how wonderful life is. ... Read more

    15. The Iliad (Penguin Classics)
    by Homer, Robert Fagles, Bernard MacGregor Walker Knox
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140275363
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 3511
    Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This timeless poem-more than 2,700 year old-still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amid devastation and destruction as it moves inexorably to its wrenching, tragic conclusion. Readers of this epic poem will be gripped by the finely tuned translation and enlightening introduction.

    Translated by Robert Fagles
    Introduction and Notes by Bernard
    ... Read more

    Reviews (86)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fagles Does It Again
    I have read several versions of the Iliad (both poetic and prose) and this version translated by Robert Fagles is the best I've read. Fagles has such an ability to translate the classics (as he has done with the Odyssey and the Theban Plays of Sophocles) so that they are readable to the modern English reader while still maintaining the lyricism of poetry. I'm also a sucker for introductions, glossaries, and translation notes and this edition has excellent versions of all three. While I would have liked even more notes to explain some of the myth references within the Iliad, the ones that are there are very explanatory. Bernard Knox (who also wrote the Notes) delivers a very erudite introduction that puts the "rage of Achilles" into context and gives an enlightening view of the humanity of the Gods who appear within. Highly recommended to those who want to get in touch with their Ancient Greek side.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A readable Iliad in modern idiom
    Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted, and the set passages were like refrains in which listeners could, if they chose, join in as a chorus. In English, the repetitions sometimes become tedious, especially when the same speech is given three times in two pages, as in the relay of Zeus's orders in Book II. Especially noteworthy is Bernard Knox's long and fascinating Introduction, a masterpiece of literary criticism and scholarship which conveys Homer's grim attitude toward war, the interplay of divine and human will, and the ancient concepts of honor, courage, and virility in the face of the stark finality of death. Knox also includes a succinct explanation of the quantitative, rather than accentual, basis of Greek (and Latin) verse. For easy readability, Fagles's translation is without rival. For elegance and poetry, however, I recommend Richmond Lattimore's older but still gripping and fluent translation.

    1-0 out of 5 stars worthless
    this book leads to two things:

    a waste of time

    a waste of money

    3-0 out of 5 stars Something in excess.....
    Admittedly, the Fagles translation of The Iliad is not the version I am reviewing. Mine was a prose translation, by Samuel Butler, of 'The Way of All Flesh' fame.....and the words inscribed in the Temple of Apollo, 'Nothing in Excess' came to mind as I read, as there is something in excess, and not a good something...

    Having read the Odyssey in prose form, translated by E.V. Rieu, I had high hopes for what is described as the 'greatest war story ever told'....

    With a more than impressive cast of characters to work with; Achilles, Paris, Hector, Helen of Troy, etc, etc, etc,....this story (and perhaps it is the translation) is really lacking when compared to The Odyssey in story content. Much of the book is used to name soldier after soldier who dies, along with his patronimic lineage...and how he was killed; be it sword, spear, rock, etc.

    The story that inspires this book, the love of Paris and his affair with Helen, the 'face that launched a thousand ships' is a story ripe with potential...for both a good war story, a good love story, and a fascinating look at Ancient Greek war strategy, and the taking and sacking of a powerful city like Troy. In this incarnation, it doesn't live up to that potential, which was greatly disappointing.

    The story read, to me, as a Classical equivalent to the United States' Vietnam War Memorial, listing name after name of slain soldiers and M.I.A.' much so that the 'main characters' of the story are grievously overlooked, and it is near impossible to keep track of which side is winning, with name after name hurled at you.

    The saving grace, for me, of this book is really the last several chapters...where the grief of Achilles for his slain lover, Patroclus, is chronicled. While never blatant in its descriptiveness, the love, admiration, and longing that Achilles held for Patroclus is MORE than evident here, even if Brad Pitt couldn't muster the bravery to play it on screen in his ho-hum turn as Achilles. Also entertaining is the impish interference of the Gods from time to time to favor one side or another...which was also 'scrubbed' from the film version, as it, according to Pitt, would not 'play well' with an audience.

    I guess after reading the Odyssey, I anticipated a superior story here, and was disappointed with what I found. Though the subject matter is fascinating...and the recent Hollywood bastardization is appallingly NON-authentic, having read the story, I walked away from this book feeling let down.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Iliad of Homer in it's best Incarnation
    Have you ever wanted to go back in time, to an era where powerful gods mingled with humans and great wars were fought, to an era of mythology? Well, welcome to The Iliad, the classic tale of the Trojan War. This ancient story tells us of forty-one of the most brutal days of the great Trojan War, the great war fought to retrieve Helen, the former wife of the Spartan king. It tells us of the rage of Achilles, the champion fighter of the Greeks, when the all-powerful Agamemnon does him a wrong.

    All throughout this epic poem, the flowing verse creates a wonderful, musical experience that's a joy to read. There is wonderful depth of character and use of emotions everywhere in this exquisite book, allowing you to know the magnificent, rich characters inside and out. Descriptions are captivating and concise, resulting in extraordinarily clear mental images of what's happening. The story itself is so well crafted that it is almost believable.
    I would highly recommend this absolutely fantastic book to anyone and everyone. The reading is very easy, and very rhythmic, so nearly anyone will be able to read it. The Iliad is definitely one the best books I have ever read and it deserves to be so for you.

    Karl Griggs ... Read more

    16. American Government: Readings and Cases, 15th Edition
    by Peter Woll
    list price: $46.60
    our price: $46.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0321129776
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-02)
    Publisher: Longman
    Sales Rank: 100251
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, clear and concise
    Government text, and writings, and so on, can be very difficult to understand, but this book clearly explains what the text means, it also is organized greatly, I would recommend this book to anybody wanting a little extra knowledge about US Government ... Read more

    17. 2005 Poets Market (Poet's Market)
    by Nancy Breen, Erika Kruse
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582972753
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-07)
    Publisher: Writers Digest Books
    Sales Rank: 11537
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The "how, who, where, and when" resource for poets of all skill levels, 2005 Poet's Market is a poet's complete guide to getting published. This edition provides:

    *Publishing opportunities for aspiring and established poets alike, from magazines, small presses, and competitions, to state and provincial grants

    *Advice and inspiration from prominent poets, including Nikki Giovanni, Jared Carter, Marie Jordan, and more

    *Helpful indexes categorized by book and chapbook publishers, openness to submissions, geography, and subject

    *Ideas for self-promotion, information on publishing scams, and other valuable marketing advice

    For poets, this guide provides all the direction they need to get their poetry in print. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Poet's Bible
    This book is a MUST READ for poets interested in publishing their work. The interviews with seasoned poets, editors and publishers are very insightful, and the publication listings provide useful information for poets who want to know if their works would be a good match for a particular journal. I have had success getting published in several of the markets I found in this book.

    The one down side to Poet's Market is the same down side to any directory or reference book -- as soon as it goes to print, it's out of date. With the constant flux of journals launching and closing their mailboxes, it's impossible for any edition of the Poet's Market to be 100% perfect. However, it's the best guide out there, and definitely needs to be in the library of every poet.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pain-in-the-neck tome remains essential to writers, dreamers
    When the editors of this reference say to examine a copy of the periodical before submitting, they are not trying to pump up circulation -- they are trying to save everyone some time and energy. But now, instead of sending ten bucks here and ten bucks there and then waiting 1 - 6 months for an issue to arrive, you can use the listed web site to size up your target before you submit. Some periodicals sound good until you look closer and discover that the web site includes a photo of the editors drinking beer.
    More isn't always better. Apparently there are as many people who want to be poetry editors as there are people who want to be poets. This means plenty of periodicals fold, and you can avoid wasting postage by keeping the latest edition of this handy.
    This is a book best purchased by those unfortunate enough to write poetry out of desperate drive, as opposed to those who actually want to be a poet. Nobody wants to be a poet, it just happens. You don't see publishers hiring people right out of creative writing programs. Be able to name five poets you really like and why before you strut your dabbling by leaving this volume out on your coffee table.
    Sales should be restricted to people who have never donned a beret, even in jest.

    5-0 out of 5 stars She Killed Me
    If I arrive or not, that's not important
    I went in between all thy passion
    I went there waiting for your eyes
    They sow me, anyway
    They never to me arrived
    Thou choose the faces and
    Thou brake thy other skins
    That inside thy beauty
    Thy don't want to feel

    She killed myself
    She killed thy life that I had
    Very deep in my skin.
    She didn't choose my face
    She killed me with her indifference
    Thy city of lights, that thus call
    That you love for be proud
    She killed my lust
    And with it my strangers died too.

    Is for I lost already
    These power that I use to carry
    Like a cross
    Is maybe for I am not enough
    For a place that live in lights,
    She knew that I come from the darkness
    In thy city of lights I could never
    Go inside.

    " I am bleeding
    she is drinking it
    but without her company
    the dead would be worst"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exellence in Reference
    As a published writer, Poet's Market is a tremendous source of information -- from sample cover and query letters to interviews with editors, this book is essential for all poets and writers. I have found that it is important to purchase each new edition in order to remain current and that's what this book does. It lists every type of magazine that publishes poetry, chapbook and full-length book contests and publisher information, etc. It's the best writing reference book out there.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Needs better indexing
    This book needs to be indexed by:

    * lead time for response
    * months during which publisher reads
    * compensation
    * other standard bits that are included in each entry ... Read more

    18. Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
    by Homer, E. V. Rieu, D. C. H. Rieu
    list price: $10.00
    our price: $8.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140449116
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 61822
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    19. Essential Rumi
    by Coleman Barks
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0062509594
    Catlog: Book (1997-02-14)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 10206
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A comprehensive collection of ecstatic poetry that delights with its energy and passion, The Essential Rumi brings the vibrant, living words of famed thirteenth-century Sufi mystic Jelalludin Rumi to contemporary readers. ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An American Rumi
    This book may well become an American classic of poetry someday. It is by far the best English collection of Rumi's poetry, done by his most able translator.

    Although Rumi's poetry -- as with most poetry -- is at core untranslatable, Barks has done a fine job in rendering older technical translations of the Maulana into poetic English. What one encounters here is not just Rumi, but Rumi filtered through Barks. If you object to that go learn Persian because no translation will be able to capture the subtle nuances conveyed through the original language.

    Barks should be commended in showing us another face of Islam, and revealing, in the process, the timeless, universal and transreligious teachings of one of Islam's greatest saints.

    For fans of Rumi/Barks, I suggest Winkel's new book: Damascus Steel. Its a work of fiction exploring contemporary political themes through sufi lenses, and was written before (!) September 11th.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Poetic Enlightenment
    Rumi (as he is known in the West), was known as Jelaluddin Balkhi by the Persians and Afghanis, from where he was born in 1207. Rumi means 'from Roman Anatolia', which is where his family fled to avoid the threat of Mongol armies. Being raised in a theological family, Rumi studied extensively in religion and poetry, until encountering Shams of Tabriz, a wandering mystic, with whom he formed the first of his intense, mystical friendships, so intense that it inspired jealously among Rumi's students and family. Shams eventually disappeared (most likely murdered because of the jealousy); Rumi formed later more mystical friendships, each with a different quality, which seemed essential for Rumi's creative output. Rumi was involved with the mystical tradition that continues to this day of the dervish (whirling dervishes are best known), and used it as a personal practice and as a teaching tool.

    This book has a deliberate task: 'The design of this book is meant to confuse scholars who would divide Rumi's poetry into the accepted categories.' Barks and Moyne have endeavoured to put together a unified picture that playfully spans the breadth of Rumi's imagination, without resorting to scholarly pigeon-holes and categorisations.

    'All of which makes the point that these poems are not monumental in the Western sense of memorialising moments; they are not discrete entities but a fluid, continuously self-revising, self-interrupting medium.'

    Rumi created these poems as part of a constant, growing conversation with a dervish learning community. It flows from esoteric to mundane, from ecstatic to banal, incorporating music and movement at some points, and not at others, with the occasional batch of prose.

    'Some go first, and others come long afterward. God blesses both and all in the line, and replaces what has been consumed, and provides for those who work the soil of helpfulness, and blesses Muhammad and Jesus and every other messenger and prophet. Amen, and may the Lord of all created beings bless you.'

    From the lofty sentiments...

    'There's a strange frenzy in my head,
    of birds flying,
    each particle circulating on its own.
    Is the one I love everywhere?' the simple observations...

    'Drunks fear the police,
    but the police are drunks too.
    People in this town love them both
    like different chess pieces.'

    Some poems take very mystic frameworks, such as the Sohbet. There is no easy English translation of Sohbet, save that it comes close to meaning 'mystical conversation on mystical subjects'. These poems become mystically Socratic, by a series of questions and answers, very simple on the surface, yet leading down to the depths of meaning.

    In the middle of the night
    I cried out,
    "Who lives in this love
    I have?"
    You said, "I do, but I'm not here
    alone. Why are these other images
    with me?"

    Rumi also has an elegant series called the Solomon Poems, in which King Solomon is the embodiment of luminous divine wisdom, and the Queen of Sheba is the bodily soul. This sets up a dynamic tension that gets played out in the poetry (in extrapolation from the Biblical stories from which they were first derived)

    Rumi reminds us that, in the face of love and truth, even the wisdom of Plato and Solomon can go blind, but there is vision in this blindness.

    In the conclusion of this volume, Rumi's poetry of The Turn (the dervishes) is presented, as a place of emptiness, where the ego dissolves, and opens a doorway to the divine to enter. The night of Rumi's death in 1273 is considered 'Rumi's Wedding Night', the night he achieved full union with the divine that he had sought so often in poetry and mystical practice.

    There is much to be gained in the contemplation of this frequently overlooked poet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential part of the dilettante's library
    "Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing,
    There is a field.
    I will meet you there."

    I have bought no fewer than ten copies of this book, for friends and family. I was lucky to find them remainder at the local book megamart, but I would gladly pay full price.

    This book made Rumi my favorite poet. Rumi is habit forming, but this is by far the most accessible place to start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Keep going back
    This is one of those books I keep handy, and just open randomly whenever I need a quick reminder that the world runs deeper than we think. It never fails to pull me from the shallow waters... When I want to go.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful poetry, but not well arranged
    I do not understand how Barks organized these poems. They're amazing, every last one but the order that they're in is quite confusing. Nonetheless it should be read by everyone, whether a poetry lover or not. Also, check out the recipes in the back of the book! As the name states, it is ESSENTIAL! ... Read more

    20. Letters to a Young Poet
    by Rainer Maria Rilke
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393310396
    Catlog: Book (2004-08)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 6628
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    It would take a deeply cynical heart not to fall in love withRainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. At the end of this millennium,his slender book holds everything a student of the century could want: the unedited thoughts of (arguably) the most important European poet of the modern age. Rilke wrote these 10 sweepingly emotional letters in 1903, addressing a former student of one of his own teachers. The recipientwas wise enough to omit his own inquiries from the finished product, which means that we get a marvelously undiluted dose of Rilkean aestheticsand exhortation.

    The poet prefaced each letter with an evocative notation of the city in which he wrote, including Paris, Rome, and the outskirts of Pisa. Yethe spends most of the time encouraging the student in his own work,delivering a sublime, one-on-one equivalent of the modern writing workshop:

    Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; atits source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it.Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take thatdestiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside.
    Every page is stamped with Rilke's characteristic grace, and the bookis free of the breathless effect that occasionally mars his poetry. Hisideas on gender and the role of the artist are also surprisingly prescient.And even his retrograde comment on the "beauty of the virgin" (which thepoet derives from the fact that she "has not yet achieved anything") is counterbalanced by his perception that "the sexes are more related thanwe think." Those looking for an alluring image of the solitary artist--andfor an astonishing quotient of wisdom--will find both in Letters to aYoung Poet.--Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more

    Reviews (42)

    5-0 out of 5 stars eternal wisdom should be shared with everyone
    A very good friend gave this book to me as I was struggling to find myself during my early college years. I was instantly amazed at how a book written over ninety years ago could be so precisely helpful to the many questions I was suffering with at the time. Rilke introduced me to the concept of solitude as a blessing. This idea has truly changed my life for the better as I have taken the time to step away from life and look inside for the answers I seek. If I had one gift to give someone I truly cared about, it would be this masterpiece. Although the contents of this book can not be appreciated by everyone, I challenge all to read it and see if it sparks the fire in them that it has brought to me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars full of wisdom and insight
    I had already read this book a couple of months ago and was moved by Rilke's incredible wisdom. And just a few days ago, while I was preparing for a philosophy exam, I chanced upon this book once more and, seeing certain parallels between Rilke's words and other philosophers', truly understood and admired Rilke and his perspective on life. Rilke speaks of dragons in our lives... who could be princesses in disguise "...waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love..." This is one book that should be constantly reread and pondered on by anyone who wishes to move towards the true meaning of what it is to be human...

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important books I've ever read
    I have read, re-read and generally mutilated my copy of Rainier Maria Rilke's "Letters To A Young Poet". Rarely does a day go by without me thinking of Rilke's Nietzschean, no-holds-barred philosophy of the real poet. For him, a poet is no simply one who writes verses or rhymes words: it is a different kind of human being who embraces not only beauty and happinesss but suffering and misfortune. His thoughts on solitude are absolutely indispensable. Any artist or aspiring artist who has ever been in a fruitless relationship ("loss of the self" is a theme he explores almost obsessively) will realize that Rilke is writing through experience on the necessity of a good amount of solitude, both spiritual and physical, to create art. He is achingly honest to the poet with whom he is conversing, and passionately sincere. He knows that not every poet is a poet, and that some will find the Promethean task far too exhausting to actually go through with it: the real artist is the one who has no choice in the matter. His inner demons or angels will not ALLOW him to stop writing. Bukowski's thoughts on the matter are similar, as are most major writers and artist. This is a demanding, unforgiving collection of letters. Rilke has no patience for weakness or dilly dallying. But it is more inspiring than any self-help book on the shelf. This should be nationally distributed, not only for artists but for human beings as a whole.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "When a prince is going to speak silence must be made"
    "Letters to a Young Poet" is a very small book that allows us to enjoy the correspondence between a famous writer and an aspiring poet. This exchange of letters began in 1903 thanks to a missive that Franz Xaver Kappus sent to R. M. Rilke, and continued for many years, until 1908.

    Why is this little book important?. Because it allows us to read what Rilke thought about many subjects, for example life, poetry, and art. And because, as F. X. Kappus said, "when a prince is going to speak, silence must be made".

    Kappus wanted to share the insights that Rilke gave him, and thus compiled his missives in "Letters to a young poet". The letters are few, and not overly long, but in this case the knowledge offered is certainly greater than the number of pages.

    I especially appreciated the fact that Rilke tried to share his experiences with the striving writer, without pretending to impose his opinions on him. The result of this open-minded attitude is that he doesn't seem a distant teacher, but rather a friend that merely happens to know more than him. That can be easily seen, for example, when he advices Franz to: "Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist".

    On the whole, I highly recommend this book to everybody. It will probably be more useful to aspiring writers, but people who simply enjoy literature will delight in it too :)

    Belen Alcat

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poor translation of an even poorer book
    I've never understood the fascination with the "wisdom" of the 28 year old Rilke. To me, this is quite possibly the most condescending work in German literature. ... Read more

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