The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family

From listening to his grandmother recite epic poems from memory to curling up in bed while his father read funny verses, award-winning actor John Lithgow grew up with poetry. Ever since, John has been an enthusiastic seeker of poetic experience, whether reading, reciting, or listening to great poems.


The wide variety of carefully selected poems in this book provides the perfect introduction to appeal to readers new to poetry, and for poetry lovers to experience beloved verses in a fresh, vivid way. William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters. His essential criterion is that "each poem's light shines more brightly when read aloud." This unique package provides a multimedia poetry experience with a bonus MP3 CD of revelatory poetry readings by John and the familiar voices of such notable performers as Eileen Atkins, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, Billy Connolly, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Lynn Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Gary Sinise, and Sam Waterston.


Every reader will enjoy reciting or listening to these poems with the entire family, appreciating how each one comes to life through the spoken word in this superlative poetry collection.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By Tommy (Decatur, GA) · ★★★★★ · September 07, 2014
I'm not sure there are adequate superlatives to describe this treasure. John Lithgow talks us through the lives and works of fifty of history's greatest poets. From Shakespeare to Yeats, Dylan Thomas to Edna St. Vincent Millay. Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsburg, Whitman, Dorothy Par... ...more
By Joe (New Rochelle, NY) · ★★★★☆ · April 23, 2010
This was a very good read—a romp in the amusement park, as it were. It rekindled the love of poetry (and the writing thereof) that I had as a kid. The best thing about this book is that I got a chance to hear some brilliant poetry brilliantly read by brilliant interpreters.

I read the book as wel... ...more
By Anne (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · November 17, 2009
I was curious to see Lithgow's take on classic poetry. He has included a good selection of the usual English language poets (mostly white, all dead, but not all men) with 1-2 poems from each. Lithgow uses a folksy, personal experience-with-each-poet narrative that would especially appeal to his f... ...more
By Wes (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · January 13, 2015
The forwards and afterwords provided by John Lithgow were very enjoyable. It was a lot of fun to get background on the authors before hearing their poems. Whoever read the Elizabeth Bishop poem Filling Station was incredible; her reading of that poem I feel has made me a better out-loud reader. T... ...more
By Hope · ★★★★☆ · January 16, 2015
I suppose the word “family” is in the title because there is some nonsense poetry included and because of Lithgow’s grandfatherly tone. But if I were trying to introduce my children to poetry, this is not the selection I would choose because of the inclusion of modern poetry with its clunky rythm... ...more
By Jim (France) · ★★★★★ · March 19, 2014
I'm not a big fan of poetry but decided to check out this book anyway. It is a great book for poetry novices as Lithgow includes brief backgroinds on the poets before the poem and then a short analysis of it afterward. Great stuff. If you get the audio book, Lithgow narrates it himself with a hug... ...more
By Mike Kirsch (The United States) · ★★★★★ · May 23, 2014
A great introduction to a wide variety of poetry. I bought the Kindle book and the Audible audio book. They aren't linked, but I enjoyed listening to the poetry read by a variety of actors and I felt I understood it better reading along. ...more