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The Columbia History of British Poetry
     

The Columbia History of British Poetry

by Carl R. Woodring (Editor), James Shapiro (Editor)
 

The Columbia Anthology of British Poetry brings together the most remarkable verse written in the British Isles over the course of the past twelve centuries, offering the greatest diversity of poetic voices in any anthology of its kind.

From Shakespeare's memorable sonnets to Keats's haunting odes to T.S. Eliot's mediations on the conditions of modern life

Overview

The Columbia Anthology of British Poetry brings together the most remarkable verse written in the British Isles over the course of the past twelve centuries, offering the greatest diversity of poetic voices in any anthology of its kind.

From Shakespeare's memorable sonnets to Keats's haunting odes to T.S. Eliot's mediations on the conditions of modern life, the collection contains many of the best-loved treasures of British poetry. Longer and much-celebrated poems that rarely find their way into anthologies-including Pope's "Rape of the Lock" and Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"-claim a place in this collection.

Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Killigrew, Aphra Behn, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Felicia Hemans are among dozens of women writers renowned in their own day and now restored to their rightful prominence. Scottish, Welsh, and Irish poets often excluded from anthologies of British poetry are here as well, including such extraordinary voices as Lady Grisell Baillie, Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid, and Seamus Heaney. The finest contemporary poets are fully represented also, from Thom Gunn to Eavan Boland. The result is an amazingly rich and wide-ranging conversation among British poets that transcends the boundaries of time and place.

Carl Woodring and James Shapiro, the team scholars who edited The Columbia History of British Poetry, have written incisive introductions to the careers of the poets, making this the most accessible and comprehensive anthology of British verse in print. Covering the new and the ancient, the classic and the rediscovered, this generous volume reimagines the horizons of British poetry.

Editorial Reviews

Mark Strand
Superb.... The ideal introduction to British poetry.

James Dickey
Among the countless anthologies of poetry, one always looks for a book in which both scholarship and taste contribute at the highest levels. For anyone who writes or reads poetry, or has the sensibility to be drawn to it, this is the book.

Library Journal
The editors of this volume, both Columbia University scholars of English literature, construct a sweeping overview of British poetry. The 26 essays succeed in placing the rich poetry of the British Isles in a historical perspective that takes into account the theological, economical, cultural, and aesthetic influences of each major period. The editors' aim is to reveal the ``accomplishments of British poets over the course of 12 centuries.'' The opening essay, ``Old English Poetry,'' is a manifestation of the deftness engineered throughout the book. Other highlights are the essays ``Byron, Shelley, Keats,'' and ``Printing and Distribution of Poetry,'' which examines the transition of poetry from an oral to a written art form. Women poets are discussed alongside men within the context of each historical period, thus giving them equal recognition. This is not a history of dead, white males but a ``collective history'' of influential British poets, past and present. Highly recommended.-- Tim Gavin, The Episcopal Acad., Merion, Pa.
Booknews
A continually interesting history of the development of British poetry, from Beowulf to Seamus Heaney, in 26 substantial and highly readable essays that map out the poetical landscape of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales over some 13 centuries. Rethinking the boundaries of British poetry, the authors reexamine the individual achievements of poets as well as the movements in genre and politics that shaped their world. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231078382
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/16/1993
Pages:
732
Product dimensions:
6.55(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile:
1420L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

James Dickey
Among the countless anthologies of poetry, one always looks for a book in which both scholarship and taste contribute at the highest levels. For anyone who writes or reads poetry, or has the sensibility to be drawn to it, this is the book.

Mark Strand
Superb.... The ideal introduction to British poetry.

Meet the Author

Carl Woodring is George Edward Woodberry Professor of Literature Emeritus at Columbia University. He is the author of such works as Nature Into Art and Politics in English Romantic Poetry, which won the Gauss Award.

James Shapiro is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare and Shakespeare and the Jews (Columbia, 1995).

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