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Image: Walt Whitman holding a butterfly
Walt Whitman holding a butterfly on his finger. [Detail] Walt Whitman. ca. 1877-1883.

Poetry Recordings Available from the Library of Congress

Note: Before placing an order contact the Public Services Office to check on availability. Public Services Office: (202) 707-0917 or [email protected]. Currently CD-R copies and downloads are options.
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PL. 1 Katherine Garrison Chapin, Mark Van Doren, Wystan Hugh Auden and Richard Eberhart

Katharine Garrison Chapin

  • The Great Rose
  • Autumn Song
  • Provence
  • This Lonely Light
  • Girl in the Sund
  • Sky Over Taos: a. Invocation; b. Dusk; c. Morning Song
  • Too Soon the Shadow

Mark Van Doren

  • Civil War
  • Return to Ritual
  • The Single Hero
  • Invincible
  • The Unknown Army

Wystan Hugh Auden

  • Alonso to Ferdinand
  • Mus e des Beaux Arts
  • Refugee Blues

Richard Eberhart

  • Now Is the Air Made of Chiming Balls
  • Dam Neck, Virginia
  • The Fury of Aerial Bombardment
  • The Groundhog

PL 2 Louise Bogan, Paul Engle, Marianne Moore, and Allen Tate

Louise Bogan

  • The Sleeping Fury
  • The Alchemist
  • Henceforth, From the Mind
  • The Daemon
  • Last Hill in a Vista
  • The Mark

Paul Engle

  • West of Midnight
  • Pair
  • Fisherman
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Corn [conclusion]

Marianne Moore

  • Rigorists
  • Spenser’s Ireland
  • Virginia Britannia [selection]

Allen Tate

  • Ode to the Confederate Dead
  • Sonnets at Christmas 1934
  • Records: 1. A Dream; II. A Vision

PL 3 T.S. Eliot

  • The Waste Land: I. The Burial of the Dead; II. A Game of Chess; III. The Fire Sermon; IV. Death by Water; V. What the Thunder Said.
  • Ash-Wednesday (in five parts)
  • Landscapes: I. New Hampshire; II. Virginia Sweeney among the Nightingales.

PL 4 John Gould Fletcher, John Malcolm Brinnin, William Carlos Williams, and Robert Penn Warren

John Gould Fletcher

  • Clipper Ships

John Malcolm Brinnin

  • Second Sight
  • Love in Particular
  • Views of the Favorite Colleges

William Carlos Williams

  • Peace on Earth
  • Light Hearted William
  • Spring and All
  • It Is a Living Coral
  • Queen-Ann’s-Lace
  • The Yachts

Robert Penn Warren

  • Terror
  • Pursuit

PL 5 e.e. cummings, Robinson Jeffers, Theodore Spence, and John Crowe Ransom

e.e. cummings

  • “ plato told him”
  • “ my father moved through dooms of love”

Robinson Jeffers

  • Oh, Lovely Rock
  • The Beaks of Eagles
  • Ossian’s Grave

Theodore Spencer

  • The Day
  • The Inflatable Globe
  • A Narrative
  • Problem of Immortality
  • The Phoenix

John Crowe Ransom

  • Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter
  • Janet Waking
  • Here Lies a Lady
  • Captain Carpenter

PL 6 Robert Frost The Witch of Cos

  • The Mountain
  • Come In
  • Mowing
  • The Pasture
  • Reluctance
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • The Most of It
  • An Old Man’s Winter Night
  • Provide, Provide
  • The Runaway
  • Acquainted with the Night
  • Choose Something Like a Star
  • A Drumlin Woodchuck
  • Why Wait for Science
  • Departmental
  • A Considerable Speck
  • One Step Backward Taken
  • On Looking Up by Chance at the Constellation
  • A Soldier
  • The Gift Outright
  • Directive

PL 7 William Meredith, Yvor Winters, Randall Jarrell, and Karl Shapiro

William Meredith

  • String Quartet
  • Carrier
  • Battlewagon
    • Transport

Yvor Winters

  • Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight
  • John Suter
  • Time and the Garden
  • The California Oaks

Randall Jarrell

  • Lady Bates
  • Stalag Luft

Karl Shapiro

  • Elegy for a Dead Soldier

PL 8 Herbert Read, Phelps Putnam, John Berryman, and Horace Gregory

Herbert Read

  • A World Within a War

Phelps Putnam

  • Ballad of a Strange Thing

John Berryman

  • Winter Landscape
  • The Ball Poem
  • The Lightning
  • Canto Amor

Horace Gregory

  • Opera, Opera
  • Chorus for Survival: Poem 14
  • Fortune for Mirabel

PL 9 Delmore Schwarts, Richard Blackmur, Stephen Spender, and Elizabeth Bishop

Delmore Schwartz

  • The Repetitive Heart, Part IX
  • From Genesis: Manic-depressive Lincoln, National Hero
  • Starlight Like Intuition Pierced the Twelve

Richard Blackmur

  • Three Poems from a Text–Isaiah LXI: 1-3:1. Beauty for Ashes; II. The Oil of Joy for Mourning; III. A Garment of Praise for the Spirit of Heaviness

Stephen Spender

  • An Elementary School Class Room in a Slum
  • The Landscape Near an Aerodrome
  • The Pylons
  • “An ‘I’ can never be a great man’
  • “I think continually of those who were truly great”
  • A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map

Elizabeth Bishop

  • Faustina or, Rock Roses
  • Jeronimo’s House
  • At the Fishhouses

PL 10 Theodore Roethke, Witter Bynner, Robert Fitzgerald, and Mary Zaturenska

Theodore Roethke

  • The Lost Son

Witter Bynner

  • A Thrush in the Moonlight
  • Against the Cold [Sonnets 14, 18, and 20]
  • A Dance for Rain

Robert Fitzgerald

  • De Orbe Novo
  • Celestine\
  • The Messenger Scene from Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, translated by Robert Fitzgerald

Marya Zaturenska

  • Water and Shadow
  • For the Seasons
  • Snowstorm in January
  • After St. Theresa
  • The Castaways
  • Falling Tears, Awakening Heavens

PL 11 Robert Lowell, Conrad Aiken, William Empson and Archibald MacLeish

Robert Lowell

  • Christmas Eve Under Hooker’s Statue
  • Death of the Sheriff [Part I]
  • Between the Porch and the Altar: I. Mother and Son; II. Adam and Eve. III. Katherine’s Dream: IV. At the Altar

Conrad Aiken

  • Preludes for Memnon XIV, XIX, LXIII, III, XXIX

William Empson

  • To an Old Lady
  • Just a Smack at Auden
  • Missing Dates
  • Bacchus

Archibald MacLeish

  • Epistle to Be Left in the Earth
  • The Shape of Flesh and Bond, from Actfive
  • Conquistador: Bern l Di z’ Preface to his book The Too-Late Born
  • Once Sang, from Actfive

PL 12 Muriel Rukeyser, Howard Baker, L onie Adams and Janet Lewis

Muriel Rukeyser

  • Ajanta

Howard Baker

  • Ode to the Sea

Lonie Adams

  • The Runner with the Lots
  • The Mount
  • Grapes Making
  • Sundown
  • Country Summer
  • Lullaby

Janet Lewis

  • Girl Help
  • Baby Goat
  • A Lullaby
  • Remembered Morning
  • Going Home from the Party
  • On an Old Woman Dying
  • Country Burial
  • Winter Garden
  • Old Love


PL 13 Whitman the Man, a lecture by Gay Wilson Allen

PL 14 Whitman the Poet, a lecture by Mark Van Doren

PL 15 Whitman the Philosopher, a lecture by David Daiches

PL 16 Walt Whitman Speaks for Himself, a reading by Arnold Moss

Selections from Song of Myself

  • Salut Au Monde!
  • Drum Taps
  • Memories of President Lincoln
  • Song of the Exposition

PL 17 Walt Whitman Speaks for Himself, a reading by Arnold Moss

Selections from Autumn Rivulets

  • Sea Drift
  • Calamus Sands at Seventy
  • Good-bye MY Fancy
  • Song of the Broad-Axe
  • Song of the Exposition
  • Inscriptions
  • My Blue Ontario’s Shores

PL 18/19 Interview with H.L. Mencken (Two recordings)

Henry L. Mencken, interviewd by Donald Howe Kirkeley, Sr.

  • This interview with the world-famous author and critic was completely unrehearsed. Mr. Mencken reminisces about his youth in Baltimore, his journalistic and publishing experiences, and give his observation on the American scene in general.

PL 20/21/22 An Album of Modern Poetry: An Anthology Read by the Poets (2 recordings)

Edited by Oscar Williams. An Anthology of Modern Poetry brings together 46 poets reading a total of 78 poems. The poets represented are:


Robert Frost
Wallace Stevens
John Crowe Ransom
Marianne Moore
T.S. Eliot
Ediwn Muir
William Carlos Williams
Robinson Jeffers
Edna St. Vincent Millary
Robert Graves
Conrad Aiken
Archibaled MacLeish
Henry Reed
Muriel Rukeyster
Allen Tate
Oscar Williams

W.H. Auden
Theodore Spencer
Richard Eberthart
Stephen Spender
Ogden Nash
Merill Moore
William Empson
Gene Derwood
George Barker
Vernon Watkins
Roy Fuller
Edgar Lee Masters
Louise Bogan
Stanley Kunitz
Lonie Adams
Robert Lowell

Theodore Roethke
Delmore Schwartz
Jean Garrigue
Richard Wilbur
e.e. cummings
W.R. Rodgers
Edwin Denby
Edwin Honig
Howard Nemerov
Ruth Herschberger
Joseph Bennett
Ted Hughes
John Thompson, Jr.
W.S. Merwin

PL 23 Stephen Vincent Benet and Edwin Muir

Stephen Vincent Benet

  • The Ballad of William Sycamore
  • The Death of Stonewall Jackson
  • The Opening of the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Litany for Dictatorships

Edwin Muir

  • The Animals
  • Horses
  • Toy Horse
  • Adam’s Dream
  • One Foot in Edan
  • In Love for Long
  • Telemachos Remembers
  • To Ann Scott-Moncrieff
  • The Late Wasp
  • The Confirmation

PL 24 John Peale Bishop and Maxwell Bodenheim

John Peale Bishop

  • Return to Connecticutt
  • Moving Landscape with Falling Rain
  • Winter Print
  • Beyond Connecticutt, Beyond the Sea
  • That Summer’s End
  • Encounter
  • The Return
  • Perspectives are Precipices

Maxwell Bodenheim

  • Poem to a Rose
  • Insanity
  • Finalities [Part VI]
  • Small Town
  • Soldier’s Stand
  • Fantasy
  • Poem to Negroes and Whites
  • Dead Lad
  • Sonnet
  • A Sister Writes
  • Chinese Gifts

PL 25 Robert Hillyer and John Hall Wheelock

Robert Hillyer

  • The Ruined Castle of Manorbier
  • In the Tidal Marshes
  • Familiar Faces, Long Departed
  • The Cardinal Flower
  • Barcarolle
  • The Relic
  • Overture
  • Home Port
  • Folk Song

John Hall Wheelock

  • The Fish-Hawk
  • Dialectics of Flight
  • Bonac
  • Meditation
  • The Gardener
  • Wood-Thrush
  • It Is Finished
  • The Herring-Gull
  • Afternoon: Amagansett Beach

PL 26 I.A. Richards and Oscar Williams

I.A. Richards

  • Lighting Fires in Snow
  • The Solitary Daffodil
  • Forfeits
  • But Still Desire and Will...
  • To Be
  • Harvard Yard in April: April in Harvard Yard
  • To Dumb Forgetfulness
  • Birthday Thoughts IV
  • Reflections II, Content
  • Seafaring I, Comb and Glass
  • Court of Appeal
  • The Yearling Swift

Oscar Williams

  • The Man Toward You
  • Tent
  • The Leg in the Subway
  • The Man in That Airplane
  • Shopping for Meat in Winter
  • By Fiat of Adoration
  • The Mirage
  • Judas
  • The Last Supper
  • The Borrower of Salt

PL 27 John Ciardi and W.D. Snodgrass

John Ciardi

  • Poems from Italy
  • On Looking East to the Sea with a Sunset Behind Me
  • Temptation
  • Flowering Quince
  • Elegy
  • Three Views of a Mother
  • Elegy for G.B. Shaw

W.D. Snodgrass

  • September in the Park
  • The Operation
  • Returned to Frisco, 1946
  • These Trees Stand...
  • Hearts Needle
  • April Inventory
  • Seeing You Have a Woman
  • Lying Awake

PL 28 Daniel G. Hoffman and Ned O’Gorman

Daniel G. Hoffman

  • In the Beginning
  • An Armada of Thirty Whales
  • The Seals in Penobscot Bay
  • Lobsterpot Labyrinths
  • An Antelope of Canteloupe
  • I Dream My Love a D-Dying Lay
  • The Voice of the Woodthrush, Played at Half Speed
  • That the Pear Delights Me Now
  • The Everlasting
  • Islands
  • Exploration
  • A Rainride
  • Scholiast/Iconoclast
  • The Hermit of Cape Rosier

Ned O’Gorman

  • On Saint Theresa’s Difficulty in Keeping Her Feet on the Ground
  • I Am a Falcon, Hooded...
  • The Virgin’s House
  • Webbed, Yellow-Billed and Aquamarine
  • Epithalamion
  • Two Poems on the Creation of a Statue of a Maenad
  • A Rectification of the Lyric
  • The Rose and the Body of the Rose
  • Toward a Language of the Ineffable
  • On Silence
  • The Tent, the song, the sign, the Element
  • The Burning Bush
  • The Tree House

PL 29 Nine Pulitzer Prize Poets Reading Their Own Poems

Archibald MacLeish

  • Poem in Prose
  • You, Andrew Marvell
  • Ars Poetica
  • L’an trentiesme de mon eage

Peter Vierect

  • Obsessed by Her Beauty
  • Which of us Two?

Theodore Roethke

  • Interlude
  • Venal Sentiment
  • The Cycle
  • My Papa’s Waltz

Richard Wilbur

  • Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
  • Francis Jammes: A Prayer to Go to Paradise with the Donkeys

Robert Penn Warren

  • Bearded Oaks
  • From To a Little Girl, One Year Old in a Ruined Fortress
  • Gull’s Cry
  • The Child Next Door

Stanley Kunitz

  • The Thief
  • End of Summer

W.D. Snodgrass

  • From Heart’s Needle
  • Child of My Winter
  • Late April and you are three
  • The vicious winger finally yields
  • Song “Sweet Beast, I have gone prowling”

Phyllis McGinley

  • The Day after Sunday
  • The Temptations of Saint Anthony
  • Simeon Stylites
  • Portrait of Girl with Comic Book

Alan Dugan

  • Love Song: I and Thou
  • Philodendron
  • Morning Song
  • Notes Toward a Spring Offensive

PL 30 William Jay Smith Reading His Poems for Children

  • “Mr. Smith and Other Nonsense”
  • “Puptents and Pebbles: A Nonsense ABC”
  • “If I Had a Boat”
  • “Boy Blue’s Book of Beats”
  • “What Did I See?”
  • “Ho for a Hat!”

PL 31 William Jay Smith Reading His Poems for Children

PL 32/33 Robert Lowell Reading His Own Poems

  • The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket from Lord Weary’s Castle
  • The Slough of Despond from Lord Weary’s Castle
  • Falling Asleep Over the Aeneid from The Mills of Kavanaughs
  • The Fat Man in the Mirror from The Mills of Kavanaughs
  • Eugene Montale’s Dora Markus from Imitations
  • Boris Pasternak’s In the Woods from Imitations
  • For George Santayana from Life Studies
  • Grandparents from Life Studies
  • For the Union Dead from For the Union Dead
  • Where the Rainbow Ends from Lord Weary’s Castle
  • Ford Madox Ford from Life Studies
  • Skunk Hour from Life Studies
  • The Mouth of the Hudson from For the Union Dead
  • July in Washington from For the Union Dead
  • Stalin from Notebook
  • These Winds from Notebook
  • The River God from Notebook

An Anthology Read by the Poets

HPL 1 El Contemplado: Tema con Variaciones by Pedro Salinas

  • Read by its author, the famed Spanish poet Pedro Salina (1891-1951), this poem was originally recorded in the Library of Congress on December 24, 1946, for the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape.

HPL 2 Gabriela Mistral

  • Poems read by the author at the Library of Congress, December 12, 1950, for the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape. Included are Mercediendo; Apegado a mi; Domrida; La casa, Una palabra and others.

HPL 3 Two Colombian Poets: Eduard Carranza and Germain Pardo Garcia

  • Eduardo Carranza, reading poetry in Bogot , Colombia, November 9, 1961. Included are Hacia la soledad; Los angeles; Es el tiempo; El extranjero; and others.

HPL 4 Readings by Julio Cortazar

  • Recorded at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Oklahoma, November 20, 1975, for the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape. Included are selections from Historia de cronopios y de famas.

Recordings are issued for public sale through Gift Funds.

Ordering Procedures

Poetry Recordings selected from the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature are currently available in digital download ($10) or CD-R ($20 + shipping) formats, which may be ordered through the Public Services Office of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.

1. Orders can be placed either in email to [email protected], or by phone to (202) 707-5623, and must include the following information:
  • Album title(s)
  • Catalog number(s)
  • Total cost
  • Shipping address (street address only; no P.O. Boxes)
  • Telephone number that corresponds with shipping address

2. When instructed by the Public Services Office, make payment at, the only option of making payments for Public Services Office orders. allows you to pay by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express), debit card or direct debit from your bank account. We do not accept money order or check payments. Pre-payment is required in every instance.

3. Your order will be shipped via U.S. mail. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery from the date that your payment and request areis received in the Public Services Office.

If you have any questions specifically regarding costs and ordering procedures, please contact the Public Services Office at [email protected] or (202) 707-5623.

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  March 11, 2022
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