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The Oxford Anthology of English Poetry, Vol 2: Blake to Heaney

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This two-volume anthology celebrates four centuries of English poetry, from the Elizabethan era to the present day. This, the second of the two volumes, covers poets from Blake to Heaney, and provides an excellent portrayal of a wide variety of eighteenth to twentieth century poets. The richness and variety of this tradition are represented in this collection by all the gre This two-volume anthology celebrates four centuries of English poetry, from the Elizabethan era to the present day. This, the second of the two volumes, covers poets from Blake to Heaney, and provides an excellent portrayal of a wide variety of eighteenth to twentieth century poets. The richness and variety of this tradition are represented in this collection by all the great and familiar names, but also some of the less well-known poets who have often provided startling exceptions to the poetry of their age. The result is a rich and multi-coloured tapestry of the depth, diversity, and energy of poetry written in Britain and Ireland. Beginning with William Blake, this second volume, covers many of the Romantic poets (Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats). It gives a generous survey of nineteenth century verse, including that of Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins, and Lewis Carroll, with poets from the twentieth-century being represented by poets such as Graves, Betjeman, Larking, Hughes, and Heaney.


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This two-volume anthology celebrates four centuries of English poetry, from the Elizabethan era to the present day. This, the second of the two volumes, covers poets from Blake to Heaney, and provides an excellent portrayal of a wide variety of eighteenth to twentieth century poets. The richness and variety of this tradition are represented in this collection by all the gre This two-volume anthology celebrates four centuries of English poetry, from the Elizabethan era to the present day. This, the second of the two volumes, covers poets from Blake to Heaney, and provides an excellent portrayal of a wide variety of eighteenth to twentieth century poets. The richness and variety of this tradition are represented in this collection by all the great and familiar names, but also some of the less well-known poets who have often provided startling exceptions to the poetry of their age. The result is a rich and multi-coloured tapestry of the depth, diversity, and energy of poetry written in Britain and Ireland. Beginning with William Blake, this second volume, covers many of the Romantic poets (Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats). It gives a generous survey of nineteenth century verse, including that of Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins, and Lewis Carroll, with poets from the twentieth-century being represented by poets such as Graves, Betjeman, Larking, Hughes, and Heaney.

30 review for The Oxford Anthology of English Poetry, Vol 2: Blake to Heaney

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gille Liath

    It’s odd* that the second volume of this 2-volume set omits the Introduction, because it’s much more relevant here than in the first: specifically, in explaining why John Wain did not include any American poets (‘The hell I will!’). Now, if I were to collect all the American poems I love it would not make a long volume – in fact, there wouldn’t even be one page. But whether Wain is sincere in his professed affection for them or not, I definitely think it was the right decision and gives a greate It’s odd* that the second volume of this 2-volume set omits the Introduction, because it’s much more relevant here than in the first: specifically, in explaining why John Wain did not include any American poets (‘The hell I will!’). Now, if I were to collect all the American poems I love it would not make a long volume – in fact, there wouldn’t even be one page. But whether Wain is sincere in his professed affection for them or not, I definitely think it was the right decision and gives a greater unity of tone. At least – it would, if Wain had not included a sprinkling of (not only Scottish, but) Scots and Irish poems. These belong to a tradition at least as different from the English as America’s, the Scots in particular being much closer to traditional ballad idiom. But then, having included them, it seems almost wilful not to find room for Tam o’ Shanter, probably the most enjoyable long poem (even if not the finest or most visionary) in the language. Another glaring omission is Yeats' Dream of Wandering Aengus, which should be in any general anthology of great poetry Of course, any selection is going to provoke some argument. This one is otherwise solid, including all the poets and all the poems you would expect, with no nasty surprises; yet comprehensive enough to find room for the unknown, and not too po-faced to include Lear and Lewis Carroll. If you wanted one volume to show you what English poetry is about, this is it. In a word: proper poetry. *It doesn't especially bother me, but it's also a little odd that the livery does not match vol.1.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    Just think what you could do if you had this book...amaze friends and family at family gatherings by reciting stanzas of Oscar Wilde's "...Reading Gaol" interspersed with Lewis Carroll's: "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings." and Wilde replies: I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky, A Just think what you could do if you had this book...amaze friends and family at family gatherings by reciting stanzas of Oscar Wilde's "...Reading Gaol" interspersed with Lewis Carroll's: "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings." and Wilde replies: I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky, And at every wandering cloud that trailed Its ravelled fleeces by. This will jazz up your Thanksgiving!--Shawn

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    Some wonderful works

  4. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Garman

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zoë

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Zavotsky

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  10. 5 out of 5

    booksofallkinds

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paul Curd

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Rocha

  13. 4 out of 5

    How Han

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bobby

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  17. 5 out of 5

    somethingness

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark West

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Sorrell

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michele Carolla

  21. 4 out of 5

    Oksana

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick H

  25. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Dull

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Löh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jude Brigley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Roberts

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nick Rowley

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