Shelley: Selected Poems and Prose


Read by Leonard Wilson

(4.6 stars; 13 reviews)

The English Romantic Period in literature featured a towering group of excellent poets: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats. If we add in forerunners Burns and Blake, we have perhaps an unmatchable collection of writers for any era. Of these, Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the brightest and best, coupling a giant intellect with a highly emotional and impetuous nature. He was always a champion of liberty, but was largely ignored when he tried to promote political and social reform. He was wise enough, however, to realize that his efforts were ineffective, and he chose instead, not to attempt to reshape society, but to transform the individual, to inspire his readers to a greater love of beauty, of nature, and especially of each other. To this end, he poured forth a profusion of gorgeous verse overflowing with brilliant imagery, all aimed at uplifting the good and the beautiful, the free and the loving, while denouncing the social forces that tended to suppress them.

Unfortunately, it was Shelley’s fate to be misunderstood by the people of his own time. He was vilified as an evil influence, a free thinker and free lover whose ideas should be abhorred. He pictured himself in his poetic tribute to Keats, “Adonais,” as an outcast or a martyr, a “phantom among men, companionless,” bearing a brand upon his brow like that of Cain or of Christ. His life was unorthodox, but his nature was highly sympathetic and filled with devotion to those who were ground down by life and the pressures of a callous society. Perhaps the greatest testimonial was paid to him in letters written by Lord Byron (who, incidentally, disagreed with his political ideas): “...he is, to my knowledge, the least selfish and the mildest of men--a man who has made more sacrifices of his fortune and feelings for others than any I ever heard of.” “Shelley...was, without exception, the best and least selfish man I ever knew. I never knew one who was not a beast in comparison.” (Introduction by Leonard Wilson) (6 hr 59 min)

Chapters

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty 6:07 Read by Leonard Wilson
Sonnet: Lift not the painted veil 1:35 Read by Leonard Wilson
Ode to the West Wind 5:00 Read by Leonard Wilson
Excerpt from Preface to Prometheus Unbound 5:09 Read by Leonard Wilson
Conclusion of Prometheus Unbound, Act IV, ll. 554-578 2:29 Read by Leonard Wilson
The Cloud 4:57 Read by Leonard Wilson
Sonnet: England in 1819 1:31 Read by Leonard Wilson
Song to the Men of England 2:18 Read by Leonard Wilson
A Summer Evening Churchyard, Lechlade, Gloucestershire 2:43 Read by Leonard Wilson
Mutability, 2 poems 2:54 Read by Leonard Wilson
Lines Written in the Bay of Lerici 3:09 Read by Leonard Wilson
Love's Philosophy 1:20 Read by Leonard Wilson
Mont Blanc 10:14 Read by Leonard Wilson
To Night 2:12 Read by Leonard Wilson
Letter to Maria Gisborne 19:22 Read by Leonard Wilson
Time Long Past 1:29 Read by Leonard Wilson
When the Lamp Is Shattered 2:09 Read by Leonard Wilson
Dedication of The Revolt of Islam 9:21 Read by Leonard Wilson
With a Guitar, to Jane 4:56 Read by Leonard Wilson
To-- One word is too often profaned 1:25 Read by Leonard Wilson
Lines Written Among the Euganean Hills 16:53 Read by Leonard Wilson
Ozymandias 1:34 Read by Leonard Wilson
Stanzas--April, 1814 2:51 Read by Leonard Wilson
Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte 1:38 Read by Leonard Wilson
On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery 3:04 Read by Leonard Wilson
The Indian Serenade 1:37 Read by Leonard Wilson
A Dirge 0:56 Read by Leonard Wilson
The Sensitive Plant 18:32 Read by Leonard Wilson
To Constantia, Singing 3:11 Read by Leonard Wilson
A Lament 1:09 Read by Leonard Wilson
To a Skylark 5:00 Read by Leonard Wilson
The Mask of Anarchy 17:28 Read by Leonard Wilson
To Wordsworth 1:33 Read by Leonard Wilson
Stanzas Written in Dejection Near Naples 3:15 Read by Leonard Wilson
An Exhortation 1:50 Read by Leonard Wilson
Excerpts from A Defence of Poetry 16:34 Read by Leonard Wilson
To-- When passion's trance is overpast 1:29 Read by Leonard Wilson
Ode to Liberty 18:47 Read by Leonard Wilson
To-- Music when soft voices die 1:04 Read by Leonard Wilson
Dirge for the Year 1:46 Read by Leonard Wilson
The Triumph of Life 34:13 Read by Leonard Wilson
The World's Wanderers 1:10 Read by Leonard Wilson
Hymn of Pan 2:21 Read by Leonard Wilson
To-- Oh! there are spirits of the air 2:47 Read by Leonard Wilson
Epipsychidion 39:55 Read by Leonard Wilson
Rarely, rarely, comest thou 2:49 Read by Leonard Wilson
Alastor 48:50 Read by Leonard Wilson
The Witch of Atlas 38:47 Read by Leonard Wilson
Preface to Adonais 6:11 Read by Leonard Wilson
Adonais 32:17 Read by Leonard Wilson

Reviews

Not the righe voce forse me


(2 stars)

I'm sorry I don't mean to be rude, but I would've preferred a younger voice, less theatrical reading and more passionate. Moreover Shelly is my favourite poet and I know some of his poems by heart, so I can tell for sure that a couple of lines were incorrect in Love's Philosophy. I can't say about the other poems cause I was disappointed and I gave up listening pretty soon.

Leonard Wilson Did A Good Job!


(4 stars)

A prejudiced reviewer is as unsightly as a large boil on a fair face. I heard 3-4 poems of Shelley and I can say that Leonard Wilson did a good job! Librivox should reprimand such untruthful and unfair reviewers like Valentina. Just as I would like Librivox to take immediate action to suspend that bungling maniac who ruined 5 chapters of Nicholas Nickleby with his distorted pronunciation.