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Poetry Book Recommendations

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Sorry, I don't know an anthology of English and American poetry for that period,


For something really comprehensive you could try 'The Norton Anthology of Poetry'.

I think it is probably more for students of Eng. Lit. than the average 'poetry for pleasure' reader, but it is an American publication, and goes from medieval poetry (Beowulf) to the present. That should include all that you want!


There was a new edition published earlier this year, but it costs an arm and a leg!!

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On a more serious note, I don't think I could suggest better than the Norton for what you want, but you may not want to limit yourself to the familiar canon of the 'best'. One of the most rewarding poetry anthologies around is The Rattle Bag. This was put together by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney and they have produced the most amazingly diverse collection of poems, including many gems which you certainly will not have come across before, even if you've read quite a lot of poetry. It has examples from around the world and is incredibly varied in tone.


It was originally recommended to me at university as a source of material upon which to practise the skills of practical criticism, but that doesn't mean it's at all intimidating - it's simply testament to the fact it's crammed full of quality work. I find it the ultimate 'dip in 'n' wet your toes' anthology.


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Amazon will do it for just an arm, but you may have to order something else as well to qualify for Super Saver Delivery.



Definitely more than just an arm! Have looked on Amazon, and it qualifies for Super Saver Delivery all on its own, and then some :eek:


Really, the only way to choose a poetry anthology is to go to a well stocked library or bookshop and browse. Even then, the one that has all your favourite poets is sure to have left out your very favourite poem! :rolleyes:

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I'd agree with David and go for The Rattle Bag. It's the sort of anthology that you want to keep returning to and there is something pleasing about poetry chosen by poets (and that was one of the anthology's main selling points when it was first published). I remember buying it with great fondness when it first came out and, although my shelves are stuffed with learned tomes, this one undoubtedly gives me the greatest satisfaction.

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