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Read More Poetry

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to read more poetry?

If not, it’s not too late to do so. 

“For me, poetry is a practice that is helping me begin to slow down and become more attentive. Learning to read a poem carefully trains us to pay extraordinary attention to the sounds and images of language that we might easily overlook in our haste. … Poems offer us an invitation to abide with their words.”

– ERB Editor, Chris Smith, In Defense of Poetry

To help you read more poetry, we will be publishing two lists of recommended poets.

This first list will feature classic poets, whose work is freely available in the public domain.  These poems are good because they have withstood the test of time, and because they are easily and freely accessible. Their drawbacks are that they are dated (Many of them, for instance, write in verse, a form that is widely rejected among poets today), and that although we have tried to make our list as diverse as possible, there tends to be less diversity (A hundred years ago or more, the vast majority of poets being published were white males).

Our second list, which will be posted next week, will feature the work of contemporary poets.

It will be beneficial to develop habits of reading poems from both of these lists. The classics help us understand the tradition of poetry, and contemporary poets wrestle with contemporary concerns in the forms of today.

Classic Poets:

All the poems in these books are in the public domain. Read them on your device, print them out, post them on your blog, slice them, dice them and remix them into your own poems. Most of all, have fun!

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Fox-George-LOC

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the death of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers.

George Fox (September 1624 – 13 January 1691) was an English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends.

The son of a Leicestershire weaver, Fox lived in a time of great social upheaval and war. He rebelled against the religious and political authorities by proposing an unusual and uncompromising approach to the Christian faith. He travelled throughout Britain as a dissenting preacher, for which he was often persecuted by the authorities who disapproved of his beliefs.

Fox married Margaret Fell, the widow of one of his wealthier supporters; she was a leading Friend. His ministry expanded and he undertook tours of North America and the Low Countries. Between these tours, he was imprisoned for more than a year. He spent the final decade of his life working in London to organize the expanding Quaker movement.
(via Wikipedia)

In remembrance of Fox, we are delighted to share three ebook editions of his work that is available for FREE download!

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François_Fénelon

Today marks the anniversary of the death of François Fénelon, a noted French theologian of the 17th century.

I first encountered Fenelon’s work through Richard Foster’s praise of it in Celebration of Discipline and Freedom of Simplicity.

Two of his books are available as FREE ebooks:

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Evelyn UnderhillSunday Dec. 6 marks the birthday of Evelyn Underhill…

Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism.

In the English-speaking world, she was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the 20th century. No other book of its type—until the appearance in 1946 of Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy—met with success to match that of her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911. (via Wikipedia)

Mysticism was a central focus of Underhill’s work. She defines it:

Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in greater or less degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment.

Her book Practical Mysticism is available for FREE…

[ Kindle Edition – Via Amazon ]

A Variety of Formats for Almost any E-reader ]

 
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Walter_R

Sunday (Oct. 4) is the birthday of renowned Theologian Walter Rauschenbusch…

Rauschenbusch’s view of Christianity was that its purpose was to spread a Kingdom of God, not through a fire and brimstone style of preaching but by leading a Christlike life. Rauschenbusch did not view Jesus’ death as an act of substitutionary atonement but in his words, he died “to substitute love for selfishness as the basis of human society.” He wrote that “Christianity is in its nature revolutionary” and tried to remind society of that. He explained that the Kingdom of God “is not a matter of getting individuals to heaven, but of transforming the life on earth into the harmony of heaven.” (via Wikipedia)

In honor of the occasion we offer 7 of his books that can be read in full here, or downloaded as FREE PDF ebooks via Google Books.

1) A Theology for the Social Gospel

 

FREE PDF ebook edition!
via Google Books

 



NEXT BOOK >>>>>>

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Thomas_Stearns_Eliot

 

Tomorrow (Sept. 26) marks the birthday of poet and critic T.S. Eliot.

In honor of the occasion, we offer four classic books of his that are available for FREE download in a variety of formats for almost any e-reader…

[ LISTEN to Eliot reading his poem The Waste Land ]

 

FREE Book #1:

The Waste Land

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WBlake

Today marks the anniversary of William Blake’s death…

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. (via Wikipedia)

Blake’s poetry is easily accessible for your e-reader, but it’s harder to come by samples of his art online. With the exception of Songs of Innocence and Experience (perhaps his most significant poetical work), the following ebooks were selected for the insight that they give into Blake’s life and the samples of his art they contain.

Here are seven illustrated books by or about William Blake that can be read in full here, or downloaded as FREE PDF ebooks via Google Books.

1) Songs of Innocence and Experience

 

FREE PDF ebook edition!
via Google Books

 




 

NEXT BOOK >>>>>>

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Today marks the anniversary of the death of Jane Austen…

Have you read all of her novels?

They are all available as FREE ebooks
(for Kindle, iPad, Nook, and pretty much any ereader)

 

Pride and Prejudice

 

FREE ebook edition for a variety of devices!
via Project Gutenberg

 

 

NEXT NOVEL >>>>>>

 
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NPG P1318; G.K. Chesterton
 
This is the latest post in a series that will, in effect, create a library of classics that are available as free ebooks.

Check out the full library to date here….

As last week marked the anniversary of the death of G.K. Chesterton, we focus here on the best of his works. We have selected the following books as recommended reading.

 

We are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books.

 

Five FREE Audiobooks by Chesterton!

 
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G._K._Chesterton_at_work

Sunday June 14 marks the anniversary of the death of G.K. Chesterton…

Here are five classics by him that are available for download as FREE audiobooks from Librivox:
(These are great for taking with you on your travels this summer!)

*** Also, check out Three of our favorite Chesterton poems

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