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 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 It also contains uncollected and unpublished (in Smith’s lifetime) works, including poems issued in the posthumous Me Again (1981).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.
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.
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 the best-loved poet 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Poetry, Politics, and Cultural Change in Jacobean Scotland
In this study of the Scottish courtier-poet Alexander Montgomerie (c.1550–1598), Lyall combines biographical investigation with a careful reading of the verse, revealing the effect of Montgomerie’s difficulties as a Catholic on his development of a new poetic.
A Collection of Epigrams and Epitaphs Serious and Comic
Originally published in 1933, this little book of witty epigrams and epitaphs by the English writer and poet Martin Armstrong (1882–1974) is illustrated with wood-engravings by Eric Ravilious (1903–1942). The subjects of the verses are 54 professionals or types, ranging from a judge to a snuff-taker and a ‘boarding-house lift man’; and each one is accompanied by its own woodcut.
Poetry of the First World War
Edited and with a substantial introduction by Marcus Clapham, this anthology is arranged alphabetically by poet and includes both obscure soldier-poets and the great writers of the war years such as Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen. A final section provides brief biographical notes on the poets.
The Journals of Susanna Moodie
Born in Suffolk in 1803, Susanna Moodie was already a successful creative writer when her family emigrated to Canada in 1832 and adjusting to life in the backwoods was hard. Susanna’s book Roughing It in the Bush (1852) was Margaret Atwood’s inspiration for this illustrated book, a collaboration between poet and artist. The book was originally published in a limited edition in 1980; this facsimile edition includes a memoir by the artist, Charles Pachter. Slipcased. Off-mint.
We Are the Dead
Poems and Paintings from the Great War, 1914–1918
'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest/ To children ardent for some desperate glory,/ The old lie; Dulce et Decorum est/ Pro patria mori.' The response of Wilfred Owen to the war around him is just one of the many poems by British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, French and German writers in this evocative anthology. The poems' themes are echoed in paintings by artists including Paul Nash, John Singer Sargent, Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. With an introduction and biographical notes on the poets and artists.
Ride a Cock Horse
And Other Nursery Rhymes
Although best remembered today as the author of the Gormenghast trilogy, Mervyn Peake (1911–1968) was also a brilliant and prolific illustrator. This collection of nursery rhymes, first published in 1940, brings his dark magic to such perennial favourites as 'Rub-a-Dub-Dub', 'Sing a Song of Sixpence' and 'Little Jack Horner'.
Beyond the Enchanted Forest: A Literary Anthology
In its many historical incarnations, Germany has long attracted literary visitors. The Romantics were drawn to its forests and mountains, Isherwood and Spender to the edgy glamour of the Weimar Republic, and the espionage novelists Len Deighton and John le Carré to its Cold War frontier. In addition to these, this anthology assembles evocative descriptions by more than 80 British and American writers, including Boswell, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Mark Twain, Henry James, DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.
Ode to Childhood
Poetry to Celebrate the Child
From ‘A Medieval Schoolboy’s Complaint’ to Gillian Clarke’s ‘Catrin’, this collection of poems celebrates children, childhood and being a parent. The poems are arranged by ages, from infancy to schooldays – not forgetting childhood ailments in Robert Louis Stevenson's ‘Land of Counterpane’.
The Illustrated Book of Shakespeare's Verse
This collection of Shakespeare's poetry on the theme of love includes sonnets and extracts from the plays and long poems and is divided into four chapters: on first love; expressions of adoration and commitment; on sorrow and yearning; and reflections on the nature of love. The poems are accompanied by art works that echo their sentiment or mood, including paintings by artists such as Alma-Tadema, Frederick Leighton and John William Waterhouse.
Words That Burn
How to Read Poetry and Why: Poems From Eight Great Poets
Inspired by the series of poetry evenings organized by Josephine Hart at the British Library, Words That Burn presents more than 50 poems, both on the page and in audio format on a CD of live readings by great actors. Hart's brief introductions outline the lives of the poets, who range from Milton to Robert Lowell, drawing attention to the themes and techniques which are prominent in the selected texts.
The Private Prayers
Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) was best known for his work on the translation of the Authorized Version of the Bible. It was only after his death that his 'Private Prayers', written in Greek and Latin, began to be circulated. The powerful quality of his sermons and prayers has influenced the work of many others, most notably TS Eliot. Here, David Scott introduces and translates a new selection from the Preces Privatae. From The Golden Age of Spiritual Writing series.
Poets of the Italian Diaspora
A Bilingual Anthology
In the century between 1870 and 1970, some 27 million migrants left Italy to live and work abroad, a worldwide diaspora now exceeding 60 million. This heavyweight volume is the first international selection of works by more than 70 Italian-language poets writing in countries from Australia to Venezuela. The poems are grouped geographically, with a critical overview and brief biography of each poet, and the English translations are given en face.
Wordsworth and the Poetry of Human Suffering
Murderers, crazed widows, beggars and betrayed women - these are the pitiful figures who appear throughout Wordsworth's early narrative poetry. Analysing Wordsworth's use of pathos, from the two volumes of Lyrical Ballads to the completion of The Prelude, Averill explores questions of sentimental morality, the literary uses of human misery and the pleasures of tragedy, and argues that the poetry of human life is for Wordsworth inevitably the poetry of anguish and loss. Scruffy jackets.
Tyger Tyger, Burning Bright
Much-Loved Poems You Half-Remember
Following her bestselling I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, Ana Sampson’s second anthology of half-remembered poems includes ‘unforgivable omissions’ pointed out by readers of the earlier book, along with some of Sampson’s own favourites, arranged by themes including the natural world, childhood, battle and talking to gods. The book ends with biographical notes on the 80 poets represented and an index of titles, first lines and the famous bits.
White Leaping Flame
Collected Poems in Gaelic with English Translations
Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain, 1911–1996) is widely regarded as the most significant 20th-century writer in Scottish Gaelic. This complete edition highlights the breadth and ambition of his radical vision, and its relevance beyond his native land.
The Poems of Jesus Christ
'Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.' Jesus Christ is the great invisible poet of the world. Embedded in the Gospels are sayings and parables of lyric intensity: austere, vivid and poignant, and rich in garden, nature and animal imagery. Barnstone's translations, excerpted from his Restored New Testament (2009), strip away the trappings of prose to reveal the consummate poetic drama of the Gospel of Jesus in all its wonder and majesty. American-cut pages.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud...
And Other Poems You Half-Remember from School
Our language is full of well-worn phrases from much-loved poems, but how often can we recall the rest of the poem, or the first line, or even the poet's name? This anthology presents the complete poems that gave us such immortal lines as 'Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink', 'not waving but drowning' and 'They also serve who only stand and waite'. The poems are arranged chronologically, from Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, and indexed by title and the famous bits.
Edited, with an introduction, by the poet Michael Longley, this selection of war poetry by Robert Graves (1895–1985) includes the poems written at the Front and some, such as 'A Letter from Wales', written in retrospect during the 1920s. The book is part of Faber's Poets of the Great War series.
Oranges and Lemons
Rhymes from Past Times
In the earliest recorded version of the rhyme London Bridge, from 1744, the first line is 'London Bridge is broken down', no doubt referring directly to the decrepit state of the 12th-century crossing at that date. This diverting volume investigates the origins of nursery rhymes, playground songs and children's ditties from the mists of medieval folklore to the inventions of more modern authors.
WH Auden Prose
Volume Three: 1949-1955
The poet WH Auden was also a prolific and accomplished writer of prose. This volume includes every piece he wrote between 1949 and 1955 - more than 100 essays, reviews, introductions and lectures. Their variety of style and subject is almost inexhaustible, covering opera, ballet, cinema, poetry, cartoons, religion and politics, and writers as diverse as Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene and JRR Tolkien. Mendelson's introduction and notes place the pieces in their biographical and historical context.