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The Top 500 Poemsby William Harmon
Synopses & Reviews
Here, for the first time, is our generations' definitive view of the greatest poetry in the English language. This is the story of poetry in English, a collection of the best 500 poems, based not on one critic's choice, not on one poet's choice, but on the collective choice of 550 critics, editors, and poets.
Here are the 500 poems that speak to us across the centuries, beginning with Chaucer's words, moving to Shakespeare's masterpieces, through Donne's wonderful witticisms and Pope's elegant satires, through the perennial favorites of Blake, Wordsworth, and Keats, on through Dickinson's jewels of profundity to the ironies of Eliot and to the passion of Plath and Ginsberg in out own time. These are the 500 poems we know or want to know, arranged as an unfolding story of great literature, with comments on each by William Harmon and with a general introduction on the entire collection.
"All types of libraries will be interested in this volume as a basic anthology of poetry in English. It will be welcome in elementary and secondary school library media centers, public library poetry and reference collections, home libraries, and as a gift. If your library can only buy one volume of poetry, let this be it." Booklist
Book News Annotation:
The pop title is right out of Billboard (the publisher must think poetry needs all the crossover it can get), but the collection is quite terrific--not necessarily the greatest poems (best to avoid that can of worms), but the 500 English-language poems that have appealed most often to 400 contemporary editors, critics, and poets for inclusion in their own widely disparate anthologies, which were indexed in the Ninth Edition of The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. From the famous pre-Chaucerian, Anonymous (c.1250-c.1350), author of "Cuckoo Song", to Plath and Ginsberg, the only problem with this anthology will be putting it down.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
For the first time, here is our generation's definitive view of the greatest poetry in the English language. This collection of 500 poems is based on the collective choice of 550 critics, editors, and poets whose anthologies are indexed in The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. If you've wondered which collection of poetry to buy for yourself or as a special gift--this is it!
About the Author
William Harmon is the James Gordon Hanes Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the editor of The Top 500 Poems, The Oxford Book of American Light Verse , and recent editions of A Handbook to Literature , and the author of several volumes of poetry, including winners of the Lamont Award and the William Carlos Williams Award.
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