[App Review] Poems By Heart

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

poetry app
Fill in the blanks to learn classic poetry.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? If you thought “that sounds like William Shakespeare” then you just might be ready for the Poems By Heart app, created by Penguin Classics. In this simple and beautifully designed fill-in-the-blanks game, you’ll learn to recite some of the most famous poems ever written, but all the 99 cent bundles for extra poems may leave your wallet blank!

Brought to you by Penguin Books, the mega publisher you’ve probably seen stamped across paperbacks in your English class, Poems By Heart comes with a couple free poems – like Edgar Allan Poe’s “Eldorado”. You’ll be presented with colorful and stylish menus that definitely strike the right balance between easy-to-use and highly informative, guiding you through poetry that’s sliced up into manageable chunks alongside insightful mini-biographies on the poets.

As you master classics from the likes of Walt Whitman and William Blake, you can enjoy their illustrated portraits, drawn with shadowy silhouettes set against bright pastel colors. Each poem also includes similarly styled artwork, like a ship on stormy seas for Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” After the program reads you a poem in your choice of a male or female voice, you can then click and drag words to fill in the blanks, testing your knowledge.

Unfortunately, you’ll soon run out of free content, leaving you to purchase 99 cent bundles like “Gothic Tales”, “Romantic”, and “Adventures” that come with a handful of poems. While each poem has five levels of increasing difficulty with more blanks, there isn’t that much replay value after breezing through the content. Plus, it gets kind of old playing fill-in-the-blank, and there should have been more interactive variety to make it more game-like. Our final verdict? B-.

Images courtesy of Penguin Classics.