Since 1609, when they were first published, Shakespeare’s sonnets have fascinated readers, both with the depth of the poet’s insight into the variety of love and the passage time and with the mysteries of the beautiful Young Man, the Rival Poet and the Dark Lady. This volume presents all 154 sonnets, with a brief introduction.
The Poetry of Lewis Carroll
As well as the famous ‘Hunting of the Snark’ and verses such as ‘The Mock Turtle’s Song’ from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this little volume brings together less familiar poems from the master of nonsense and wordplay, including ‘Hiawatha’s Photographing’, ‘The Crocodile’ and ‘Phantasmagoria’.
The Poetry of Charles Baudelaire
Les Fleurs du mal was the first and most influential book of poems by Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867). Its themes of sex, death and the corruption of the city were considered scandalous when it was first published in 1857; only later was Baudelaire recognized as one of the greatest French poets of the 19th century. This volume presents all his published poetry, including the innovative poems in prose, in translations from classic editions.
The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe
Although famous now for his Gothic horror tales, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was, first and foremost, a poet: The Raven and Other Poems brought him fame – but not fortune – when it was published in 1845. This collection covers the full range of Poe’s poetry, and includes a selection of prose poems.
In this collaboration between poet and painter, Derek Walcott, born and living in St Lucia, responds to each of 50 paintings by Peter Doig, the Scottish-born figurative artist now resident in Trinidad. Together, their works enter a dialogue on the Caribbean’s colonial legacy, home and the boundaries of art.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 his first, New Weather, released in 1973 when Muldoon was a student at Queens University, Belfast, to One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), which includes ‘Cuthbert and the Otters’, in memory of his mentor, Seamus Heaney.
Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
Collected Verse 2008–2011
Clive James describes these poems as combining ‘American cultural information with a British range of tones’, and they deal with intriguing subjects, including the fate of Nefertiti’s statue in Nazi Germany, Whitman’s final moments and the Iliad, Hollywood-style. 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.
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'.
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.
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.
John Betjeman Collected Poems
The best-loved British poet of the late 20th century, John Betjeman (1906–1984) was, in the words of Andrew Motion, 'a television celebrity before the term was invented'. This expanded edition of the Collected Works includes Betjeman's verse autobiography, Summoned by Bells, and a new Introduction by Andrew Motion.
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'.
The Great Poets: Walt Whitman
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. 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’, and Whitman’s rallying cry to the North in the Civil War, ‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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 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 is known 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.
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.
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.
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
John 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. John Carey’s edition presents substantial extracts, including the work’s finest poetry, with linking passages that preserve its epic sweep while explaining the narrative, the ideas, and the protagonists’ motivations.
In this volume from Faber’s Poet-to-Poet series, Paul Muldoon presents a personal selection of over 70 poems by John Donne and provides an introduction to the life and work of the ‘metaphysical’ poet, countering the derogatory pronouncements of Coleridge and Dr Johnson with his own critical appreciation of Donne’s 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.
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.
Early Islamic Poetry and Poetics
In a collection of 14 essays, this volume deals with classical Arabic poetry, defined here as covering a period from as early as c.500 CE to the consolidation of the High Ἁbbāsid court poetry in the late fourth/tenth century. Beginning with a study of oral composition in pre-Islamic poetry, the topics discussed include the uses of the form quaṣīda, animal nomenclature, and Ibn al-Rūmī’s singing slave-girl. No jacket.
Among the 200 poems in this collection are many of the most memorable in English, such as John Masefield’s Sea-Fever, TS Eliot’s Journey of the Magi and Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy-cat; but there are also many less well-known works to discover. The poems are arranged by theme, including Childhood and Youth, Poems to Read Aloud and Magic and Mystery, the pages of each section decorated by Isabelle Brent in different colours.
Sound the Deep Waters
Women's Romantic Poetry in the Victorian Age
This collection of verses by poets including Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot and Emily Brontë shows how the breadth of their interests defies the stereotype of the Victorian woman. The poems are paired with paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites, among them female artists such as Evelyn de Morgan and Kate Bunce, while the introduction explores the poets’ responses to love, the realities of life, and growing old.
Tell Me the Truth About Life
A National Poetry Day Anthology
‘Truth’ was the theme of the 25th National Poetry Day in 2019, and for this celebratory anthology a great range of people – writers, footballers, teachers and even an astronaut – were asked to nominate poems that spoke truth to them. The result was this volume of 100 ‘poems that matter’, whether dreaming of pleasure-domes with Coleridge in ‘Kubla Khan’ (1816) or facing the real and ‘half terrible’ world in Maggie Smith’s ‘Good Bones’ (2015).
Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart
Written mainly in 2015–16, which Alice Walker describes as ‘a time of great sadness and feelings of loss and despair’, this volume comprises around 70 poems addressed to people around the world who have used their voice on behalf of the more vulnerable, starting with ‘The Long Road Home’, a poem for Muhammad Ali.