Dive Into Poetry With Helena Bonham Carter And An Appload Of Poems [Review]

If Poems for iOS

This is iF Poems, a new educational app aimed at children, but with much to offer to grown-ups too.

It brings together 230 classic poems, sorted into age groups and categories such as “Growing up” and “Lessons for life”.

But better still, some of them come with audio readings by none other than British actors Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy – and beautiful readings they are, too.

As well as explaining poetry to youngsters, the app encourages participation. You can record your own reading of a classic poem (and then share it with friends), or write a fresh poem when you feel inspired. Your work is presented just like the famous poems, making you feel like you’re right up there with Edward Lear or Lord Tennyson.

This is a charming app, and an excellent introduction to the world of poetry. Not just for kids, either.

It’s only let down by not being a universal app – rather, there are separate iPhone (three dollars) and iPad (five dollars) versions. Also, some of the text fields (such as the poet biographies at the top of each poem) are scrollable, but that’s not always obvious. With a long bio, the text here feels very cramped.

That’s a minor problem though, and doesn’t detract from the charm. Recommended.

Rating: ★★★★½

  • balagilles

    I’ll buy it but the icon is ugly, though.

  • Courtney Lewis

    The only problem I can see is that the poem displayed is actually entitled “The Bugle Song” and is a well-known excerpt from his longer work, “The Princess.”  What’s up with changing the title?

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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