Friday, April 5, 2013

{App Review} Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics

Happy National Poetry Month everybody!!!

In celebration of this month, Penguin has released a new FREE app called Poems by Heart. It's only available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. There are five levels of difficulty, 23 achievements, and 20 ranks of mastery. The app comes with a free William Blake poem, and 22 more classic poems are available for purchase from authors including Dickinson, Keats, Poe, Shakespeare, Shelley, Tennyson, and Whitman.

Take a moment to watch the video about this app:

Mandy's Review:

I downloaded this app yesterday and I love it. Of course, I'm a huge nerd when it comes to books and poetry. I've only tried out the free William Blake poem so far, which is only four lines of text. I'm wondering if it was only four lines because it was free. I'm hoping that the poems you purchase will have the full poem.

When you first log into the app, you're taken to your library where you'll see the free William Blake poem. When you tap it, the app will bring up the full poem for you to read. Then it begins reading it to you. Once that's finished, you can click on the "Learn This" button in the bottom right corner of the screen. It will then take you through the five levels of learning and memorizing the poem. You're able to go back and redo any level that you feel you could have done better. After you finish the five levels, you can record yourself saying the poem and play it back!!! I thought that was wicked cool. I'll admit that I tried to stay in time to the bar that was running across each line but, when I played it back, found it made me sound like an automated robot. So, if you record yourself, say it normally (or with some dramatic Shakespearean flair!) and tap the "Stop" button when you've finished with that line.

I also love that you can share your recital on Facebook, Twitter, via Email, or on SoundCloud. This is definitely an app that poetry enthusiasts will love to play around with. Download it today!!!

P.S. - I logged back into the app this morning while writing this review and found a new free poem in my library!!! It's definitely the entire "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" stanza (Shakespeare) and I cannot wait to begin memorizing this when I get home this afternoon.

P.P.S. - I forgot to mention: The poems that you purchase come 4 in a pack and are only $0.99 per pack. Very affordable!!!!

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