Among the 200 poems in this collection are some of the best-loved and most memorable in the English language, such as John Masefield’s Sea-Fever, Journey of the Magi by TS Eliot and Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy-cat; but there are also less well-known works to discover. The poems are arranged by theme, including Childhood and Youth, War and Peace, Poems to Read Aloud and Magic and Mystery, the pages of each section decorated by Isabelle Brent in different colours.
Ælfric's Lives of the Virgin Spouses
With Modern English Parallel-Text Translations
Written to bolster the faith of English Christians at the time of the Viking raids, Ælfric’s Lives of the Virgin Spouses tells the stories of Julian and Basilissa, Cecilia and Valerian and Chrysanthus and Daria, couples who married, but true to the ideal of marital celibacy, never consummated their union. Alongside the Old English originals, Upchurch provides modern English parallel-text translations and the closest Latin source texts (also with translations) for comparison. With introduction, notes, commentary and glossary.
Before his early death, Robert Fergusson (1750–74) created a substantial body of verse, and Burns acknowledged the influence of its humour, vigour and craft. This edition contains all his Scots poems and a selection of those in English, along with an introduction and notes.
The Meaning of Mecca
The Politics of Pilgrimage in Early Islam
The hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam, which offers the chance to begin life anew, but even in its formative period the pilgrimage acquired political as well as spiritual significance. In a ‘foundational’ study, McMillan analyses how the early caliphs used their leadership of the hajj as an opportunity to reinforce their political legitimacy. Slightly off-mint.
Chosen by the poet himself and described by Michael Hofmann as ‘a gift to old and new readers alike’, this selection comprises five poems from each of twelve published collections, from Muldoon’s first, New Weather, issued in 1973 while he was a student at Queens University, Belfast, to One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), which includes ‘Cuthbert and the Otters’, written in memory of his mentor, Seamus Heaney.
The Collected Poems and Drawings of Stevie Smith
From A Good Time Was Had By All (1937) to Scorpion and Other Poems (1972), this volume brings together all eight published collections of poems by Stevie Smith (1902–1971) along with the poet’s original drawings. It also contains uncollected and unpublished (in Smith’s lifetime) works, including poems issued in the posthumous Me Again (1981). Will May provides an introduction to the poet and the remarkable variety of her poetry.
1914: Poetry Remembers
To commemorate the First World War, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy asked modern poets to select a war poem and respond in verse. The resulting anthology contains familiar works by the great war poets as well as that of writers such as Akhmatova, Apollinaire and Trakl. Modern contributors include Seamus Heaney, Andrew Motion and Duffy herself.
199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die
Why visit a graveyard if you have no one to mourn? For Lorna Rhoads cemeteries can be repositories of stories, outdoor sculpture parks, habitats for birds and wildlife, gardens and oases of tranquillity. Her worldwide, illustrated directory includes burial grounds of all faiths, famous graveyards such Père Lachaise, Boothill and the Taj Mahal, war graves and memorial parks, catacombs, dolmens and even an underwater cemetery – the Neptune Memorial Reef for those lost at sea.
Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law
With contributions from distinguished theologians, historians, a Lord Chief Justice and a Chief Rabbi, this volume of 19 conference papers and commissioned essays focuses on the enduring power of Magna Carta, the influence of Stephen Langton in its formulation, and its narratives of faith and governance – in the 13th century and through changing concepts of civil society to the present day.
How Religion Deprives Us of Happiness
In this appeal for us to reject religion’s ‘chimeras’, the businessman and philanthropist Vitaly Malkin argues that the adoption of monotheistic doctrines slowed down the progress of human civilization and has failed to make people happier. Examining the big questions of evil, death, suffering and ‘the great battle against pleasure’, he encourages the reader to question what benefit religious practices offer and to live in the present rather than wait for life after death. Slightly off-mint.
On the Nature of Poetry
An Appraisal and Investigation of the Art which for 4000 Years has Distilled the Spoken Thoughts of Mankind
To understand the nature of poetry and the power it exerts over heart and mind, Verity surveys the work of poets and the impact of their work, discussing and quoting lines by over 200 poets, from the anonymous author of Epic of Gilgamesh in around 2000 BCE to TS Eliot in the 20th century. Off-mint.
Open to God
Open to the World
In these conversations, recorded by Antonio Spadaro, Pope Francis shares his thoughts on some of the issues facing the church, his Papacy and the world. In informal dialogue with people from all walks of life, he confronts the tension between faith and fundamentalism, ecumenism, social justice, and the struggle for human rights in Myanmar and Latin America.
The Great Poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins
In the Great Poets series, actors read substantial selections from the work of Britain and America’s most celebrated poets, including less familiar pieces as well as their most famous poems. Each audio book is a single CD with around 70 minutes running time. Jeremy Northam reads 38 poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889), including ‘Pied Beauty’, ‘God’s Grandeur’, ’The Windhover’ and an excerpt from ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’.
John Betjeman Collected Poems
With his boundless energy and capacity to delight and inspire, John Betjeman (1906–1984) was one of the best-loved poets of the late 20th century and, in the words of Andrew Motion, 'a television celebrity before the term was invented'. The Collected Poems first appeared in 1958 and through several editions has sold over two million copies. This expanded edition, published on the poet's centenary, includes Betjeman's verse autobiography, Summoned by Bells, and a new introduction by Andrew Motion.
The Minister and the Murderer
A Book of Aftermaths
Should a self-confessed murderer be allowed to become a priest? In 1984 the Church of Scotland wrestled with this question when James Nelson, who had served a prison sentence for killing his mother, applied for ordination as a minister. Kelly uses this case as the starting-point for a history of the Church in Scotland, which also combines personal memoir, true-crime narrative and an exegesis of biblical and literary accounts of sin and forgiveness.
Faith Finding a Voice
The Archbishop of Westminster explores how Christians can listen with greater attention to the voice of God and how they can better convey its message in their words and actions. In particular, he invites the reader to respond to an altarpiece by Pietro Orioli, reflects on the place of religious literacy in education and encourages us to build a more peaceful world through inter-faith dialogue.
The Iliad and the Odyssey
Introducing this edition of Homer’s two epic poems, Michael Dirda writes that ‘few other works ... have so deeply entered our cultural bloodstream’. Here, in their entirely, are Samuel Butler’s prose translations of the exploits of Achilles, Agamemnon and Odysseus and their mortal and immortal adversaries.
The Divine Comedy
Inferno Purgatorio Paradiso
All three books of Dante’s Divine Comedy, narrating the poet’s journey through the circles of ‘Inferno’ and climbing the mountain of ‘Purgatorio’ to the earthly ‘Paradiso’, are presented here in the classic 1867 verse translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with illustrations by Gustave Doré.
The Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett
A Critical Edition
It was as a poet that Samuel Beckett launched himself in the little reviews of 1930s Paris, and as a poet that he ended his career. This volume is the most complete edition to date of his poetry and verse translations, and the first critical edition. The contents establish a definitive text and canon for the poetry, including previously unpublished material, with extensive commentary and notes placing each poem in context and identifying resonances across Beckett's work as a whole.
Songs of Holy Mary of Alfonso X, the Wise
A Translation of the Cantigas de Santa Maria
This is the first English translation of the 420 poems and songs written in Galician-Portuguese by King Alfonso X (1221–1284). Recounting the miracles performed by the Virgin Mary, they combine sincerity and devotion with witty, light-hearted passages that create a colourful panorama of medieval life.
Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
Collected Verse 2008–2011
Clive James describes this collection of short poems as combining ‘American cultural information with a British range of tones’. The ‘information’ covers intriguing topics, including the fate of Nefertiti’s statue in Nazi Germany, being hospitalized for leukaemia and the Iliad Hollywood-style.
The Commonplace Book of Sir John Strangways
A Royalist MP, Sir John Strangways (1585–1666) was imprisoned in the Tower on charges of high treason between 1645 and 1648 and during that time began compiling his commonplace book of reflections and poems. This full critical edition is Volume 275 of the Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies series. No jacket.
Stories and Poems
Jerome K Jerome’s account of Montmorency’s appalling behaviour; the coming of the Pekinese to England; a heartfelt epitaph to a Newfoundland dog by Lord Byron: Mark Bryant’s anthology is an engrossing collection of poetry and prose, arranged by themes including clever dogs, the hounds of hell, and in memoriam.
A Personal Anthology of Scottish Poems
Alexander McCall Smith’s anthology of Scottish poems is arranged in eight parts, on themes including love and marriage, islands, and war, conflict and loss, with poets spanning the centuries, from William Dunbar in the 15th, to Hugh MacDiarmid and Kathleen Raine in the 20th.
In his instinctive understanding of nature and man’s relation to it, Edward Thomas wrote poetry that is, in the words of Matthew Hollis, ‘eerily attuned to our own ecological age’. This volume presents Thomas’s poetry, along with prose pieces and his diary entries from England and France in 1917.
New Selected Poems
Published after the poet’s death in 2013, this companion volume to New Selected Poems 1966–1987 covers the second half of Heaney’s career and the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. Presenting selections made by the poet, the book begins with Seeing Things (1991), followed by The Spirit Level (1996), Beowulf (1999), Electric Light (2001), District and Circle (2006) and Human Chain (2012), and concludes with his final poem, In Time.
Key Words of Pope Francis
‘Words,’ writes the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in the foreword to this book, ‘are much more than conventional utterances.’ They are ‘our most intimate reflection of divinity.’ In this collection of more than 50 essays, writers from around the world examine the meaning of words that feature prominently in the utterances of Pope Francis – capitalism, conscience, family, immigrant, money, reform, women – and discuss what they reveal about him and his ministry.
Though best known as a novelist, John Updike was also an accomplished poet. The 129 observations on life, love, art and science collected here are arranged chronologically to form a verse diary spanning his entire career and include such favourites as ‘Seagulls’ and 'Dog’s Death’. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Unknown Poems
Country music legend Johnny Cash left a large collection of unrecorded lyrics and poems when he died in 2003. Revealing his thoughts on subjects from family and love to modern life and religion, these verses have been selected by the poetry editor of the New Yorker. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript
in Modern English Prose Translation
Based on the authors’ 2007 edition of the Pearl manuscript, this volume provides close, accurate translations of the ‘superb, but linguistically difficult’ medieval English poems Pearl, Cleanness Patience and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. No jacket.
An Anthology of Stories and Poems
‘Cat: a pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs and patronizes human beings’, wrote Oliver Herford (1863–1935); but far from taking offence, we have sung the praises of cats in poetry and prose since the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead asked, ‘Who is this Cat?’ This anthology is arranged by theme, from the ‘Fireside Phoenix’ to ‘Requiescat’, and includes writers and poets from Aesop to Jerome K Jerome – and many famous literary cats.
Poets on Composers from Thomas Tallis to Arvo Pärt
This anthology brings together poetic responses to 80 great composers, from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The texts include John Dryden’s ode on the death of Purcell, Elizabeth Jennings’ poem on Mozart’s Horn Concertos and Michael Longley on Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder.
The Hunting of the Snark
The Bellman, with his crew of Barrister, Beaver and Butcher, Baker and Banker, sets off in search of the Snark again, but this time his strange quest is recorded in drawings by the Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomin. The pictures, originally drawn for a Swedish-language edition in 1959, breathe new life into the English text of this wonderful adventure. Slightly off-mint. Felt tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Octavia, Daughter of God
The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers
In the aftermath of the First World War, a group of Englishwomen came up with a solution to the world’s grief: a new religion. Led by Mabel Barthrop, whom they called Octavia and believed to be the daughter of God, they set about building a new Jerusalem in Bedford. Drawing on the group’s painstakingly preserved archive, this book charts the forgotten history of a utopian community that once had thousands of members and ministered to 10,000 people around the globe.
The Great Poets: Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was considered disreputable when it was published in 1855; now he is seen as ‘America’s poet’. This selection of ten poems includes ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ from Leaves of Grass and Whitman’s Civil War rallying cry to the North, ‘Beat! Beat! Drums!’.
The Finest Nonsense of Edward Lear
Read by one of Britain’s best-loved actors, these 29 verses include ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and ‘The Jumblies’, with less well-known rhymes such as ‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’ and ‘The New Vestments’. The sleeve notes offer a fascinating insight into Lear’s life. Age 8+
Beneath Troubled Skies
Poems of Scotland at War, 1914–1918
Some of the finest First World War verses were written by Scottish poets. This collection of work by Charles Hamilton Sorley, EA Mackintosh, Margaret Sackville and others powerfully evokes the terror of the trenches and the anguish of bereavement.
The Poetry of a People
Over many centuries, from Caedmon to Carol Ann Duffy, Britons have recorded their joys and sorrows, their loves and losses, in verse. In this anthology, which accompanied Radio 4's celebration of National Poetry Day in 2015, Andrew Marr tells the story of the country through the words of its poets. Alongside the work of such acclaimed writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Wordsworth are many lesser-known gems, offering us a glimpse of people's lives and experiences in every era.
Islam and the West: Wars of the Gods
The Geopolitics of Faith
Ardavan Amir-Aslani was born in Tehran and now works as an international lawyer in Paris. Here he offers his perspective on contemporary geopolitics, arguing that simplistic thinking in terms of a ‘clash of civilizations’ between Muslim nations and the West obscures the complexity of Islam’s religious turmoil and the causes of the Arab Spring: ‘As long as Iran has not returned to secularism the Middle East will continue to burn with religious sectarianism.’
Classic English Love Poems
From lines by the 14th-century Lincolnshire poet Robert Mannyng (1288–1338), to ‘Is My Team Ploughing?’ from AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad (1896), this romantic anthology spans six centuries and includes, among its 87 poems, works by many of the greatest poets in English literature.
The Poems & Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty
Satirized as ‘stately Buck Mulligan’ in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Oliver St John Gogarty (1878–1957) was a leading figure in the Irish literary Renaissance, whose elegant lyric verse was greatly admired by his friend WB Yeats. This complete edition brings together his 15 volumes of poetry, together with more than 200 unpublished poems and the three plays he wrote for Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, allowing modern readers to appreciate the full range of his lively, evocative writing.
Reading Chaucer's Poems
A Guided Selection By
Chaucer is justly regarded as the father of English poetry for his wit, vivid characterization and narrative verve. This approachable selection includes The Parliament of Fowls, Troilus and Criseyde, The Legend of Good Women and generous extracts from The Canterbury Tales. A general introduction outlines what we know of his life and work, while each poem is preceded by an illuminating commentary and accompanied by a glossary explaining unfamiliar words.
The English Martyr
From Reformation to Revolution
This study of early modern martyrology takes an innovative approach, starting from the premise that ‘martyrdom is not a death but a story that gets written about a death’. Through close analysis of English texts ranging from medieval drama, through Foxe’s famous Acts and Monuments, to John Milton’s Eikonoklastes, the author traces how narrative forms and rhetoric shaped the meanings of human lives during the theological and political upheavals of the Reformation.
Poetry and Film
Artistic Kinship Between Arsenii and Andrei Tarkovsky
Arsenii Tarkovsky’s first collection of poems was published in 1962; the same year, his son’s first feature film won the Golden Lion at Cannes. This collection of Arsenii’s poems, with introductory essays, explores the relation between poet and filmmaker.
The Last Days of Troy
Dramatizing ‘a mystery that has come to us in echoes and whispers from over three thousand years ago’, Armitage’s play follows on from the account of the Greeks’ wooden horse in Homer’s Odyssey to tell the story of the Trojan War to its bitter end. Set in present-day Hisarlik, the site of ancient Troy, with a cast of gods and mortals, the play explores an ancient conflict that rages to this day.
Ovid: Metamorphoses X (Latin Texts)
The tenth book of Ovid’s vast compendium of myth focuses on Orpheus and Eurydice, Venus and Adonis, Myrrha’s incestuous passion for her father and Pygmalion’s love for the statue he created. Ideal for first-time readers of Ovid, this edition contains the Latin text, line-by-line commentary on linguistic and literary matters and a concise introduction addressing the poet’s context and the themes of Book X.
Elegies on Parish Churches
‘To the agnostic as well as the devout,’ writes Kevin Gardner, ‘the need to remember what is almost forgotten has remained a powerful poetic urge.’ His anthology comprises more than 90 poems on English churches, written by post-war poets including Sir John Betjeman, Philip Larkin, Fleur Adcock and Simon Armitage, and sharing an elegiac mood inspired by the architecture of church buildings, their place in a changing landscape and their significance as sites of collective memory.