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.
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.
Warriors of Love
Rumi's Odes to Shams of Tabriz
The great Persian poet Rumi (1207–73) was inspired by his eccentric spiritual guide Shams to compose these lyrical odes as metaphors for his love of God. Cowan’s translation presents 49 poems, with an introduction on the men’s deep friendship and their contribution to Islamic spirituality.
Dante, with Virgil as his guide, descends through the circles of Hell, from the limbo of the unbaptized to Lucifer and Judas Iscariot in the deepest chasm. This is the first part of The Divine Comedy, translated by Longfellow in 1867, and now presented in Canterbury Classics’ Word Cloud series. Flexibound in mock leather with foil embossed quotations. Off-mint.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since receiving a terminal diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, Clive James has produced an extraordinary late harvest of poetry and prose. In this collection of essays, he looks back with characteristic wit, humour and perception on a lifetime’s reading, offering his unique insights into writers from Conrad, Hemingway and Larkin to VS Naipaul and WG Sebald. Woven throughout these literary ruminations, moreover, is a thoughtful and moving reflection on life and death.
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.
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'.
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.
The RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poetry
With famous poems such as Shelley’s ‘To a Skylark’, or Robert Browning’s conjuring of the English countryside in ‘Home-Thoughts, from Abroad’, works by contemporary poets such as Liz Brownlee’s ‘Mole’ and ‘Nuffin’ Like a Puffin’ by John Rice, and with drawings, watercolours and woodcuts by some of today’s finest illustrators accompanying every poem, this anthology is a colourful tribute to the beauty and diversity of Britain’s wildlife. With a foreword by Andrew Motion. Age 6+
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.
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.
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 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!’.
White Leaping Flame
Collected Poems in Gaelic with English Translations
Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain, 1911–1996) is widely recognized as the most significant writer in Scots Gaelic of the 20th century, who brought this ancient poetic tradition into the modern world. This definitive edition includes everything MacLean published in his lifetime, restoring suppressed passages from his love sequence Dain do Eimhir and his political epic about the Highland clearances An Cuilithionn. The Gaelic originals are presented opposite their English translations, many by the poet himself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two Centuries of Roman Poetry
Extracts From Lucretius, Catullus, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Martial and Juvenal
This anthology, which was first published in 1964, is designed as an introduction to a cross-section of poetry, in the original Latin, from the late Republic and early Empire. It presents 36 passages, in different genres and styles, by such authors as Catullus, Virgil and Juvenal. There are short introductions to each extract, detailed notes on language and content and a full vocabulary. Off-mint.
Reflections on the Intensity of Language
Both a critic and an acclaimed practitioner, Clive James (1939-2019) devoted a lifetime to poetry. In this collection of essays he distils all he has learnt about the art form to explain the formal structures and choice of words that give poetry its unique power. Blending erudition, insight and wit, he ranges across the panorama of 20th-century poetry, from Hart Crane to Ezra Pound and Anne Sexton to Ted Hughes, paying close attention to his favourites: Yeats, Frost, Auden, Wilbur and Larkin.
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.
Everything to Nothing
The Poetry of the Great War, Revolution and the Transformation of Europe
In this cultural history of the First World War, the conflict and the tremendous changes it wrought are seen from the perspective of poets and writers from all over Britain and Europe, including those who wrote propaganda or embraced the new violence, as well as more familiar 'war poets'.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Romantic Poets and their Circle
The popular ideal of the 'inspired' artist - beautiful, brooding and damned - owes its origins to the poets, writers and artists of the Romantic period. In this volume from the National Portrait Gallery's Insight series, Richard Holmes explores the portraits and the lives of the Romantics in a series of more than 28 subtly interwoven biographies, ranging from William Blake to JMW Turner, and including Byron, Shelley, Keats and the circle that formed around Coleridge and Wordsworth.
Let's Have A Bite!
A Banquet of Beastly Rhymes
Here are the culinary adventures of an extraordinary menagerie – Hugh the blue emu, Theodor the lemur (who 'Goes door to door/ Selling boar bristle brushes'), Iggy the guinea piggy and the zoo VIP (Very Idle Panda), to name just a fraction – told in rhymes and hilarious pictures. Ronald Searle obviously relished drawing creatures such as William the billy goat cooking 'spaghetti of sweater yarn', but he didn't forget to hide a little mouse for young readers to find in every picture. Age 5+
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.
Selected Prose & Poetry
Beginning with Wings (1906), Russia’s first gay-themed novel, this selection of works by Mikhail Kuzmin (1872–1936) includes 13 short stories, two collections of poetry (The Trout Breaks the Ice and Alexandrian Songs) and a play. Translated, edited and introduced by Michael Green.
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.
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 Sunday Sessions
Philip Larkin Reading his Poetry
Recorded in February 1980, in the garage of Larkin’s friend John Weeks, the two Sunday Sessions tapes contain 26 poems from four collections: The North Ship, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows. The tapes were found in the garage in 2006 and are released on a vinyl LP recording, as befits Larkin’s love of records.
Early Modern Sonneteers: From Wyatt to Milton
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous study of early modern sonneteers, including Dante, Spenser, Drayton, Shakespeare and Donne. The book begins with a chapter on the invention of the sonnet, then discusses the work of 15 poets and concludes with a short appraisal of criticism of the sonnet form. With a select bibliography and index.
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.
The Works of Walter Quin
An Irishman at the Stuart Courts
Born in Dublin, Walter Quin (d. 1640) was poet to the Stuart court and his poetry and prose (in English, Latin, French and Italian) includes works in support of James VI, along with historical and philosophical writing. This first edition of Quin’s work includes a biographical introduction and translations of his non-English texts.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
The Essential Paradise Lost
Milton’s Paradise Lost is considered one of the greatest works of English literature, yet is little read today, largely on account of its complexity. These extracts preserve its epic sweep and the accompanying commentary explains the narrative, the ideas, and the protagonists’ motivations.
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.
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.
Winnie-the-Pooh: Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace
'Once upon a time there were three little foxes Who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear sockses, But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses, And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.' The sheer fun of AA Milne’s poems, with their child’s view of the world and irresistible wordplay, has easily survived the century since they first appeared, while remaining evocative of British life in the 1920s. This book presents a selection from the two volumes of poetry on which Milne and his illustrator, EH Shepard collaborated: Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young.
Barb of Fire
Twenty Poems of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
First published shortly after her death, these poems by French Carmelite nun Elizabeth Catez (1880–1906) address themes including the Indwelling of the Trinity and the acceptance of suffering. Bancroft’s verse translation sets her poetry alongside prose passages by her contemporary, the celebrated Benedictine Abbot Marmion.
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.