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This authoritative, handsomely designed anthology of poetry from the Anglo-Saxon to the contemporary stresses major figures without neglecting minor ones of quality. Meant for survey and genre courses (and for all interested readers), it offers responsible scholarly texts for study in themselves and for seeing both the continuities and the changes in dominant modes over the centuries. The larger aim is to enhance the appreciation of poetic art generally.
Selection is based on excellence, along with certain necessary considerations: how well poems reflect their periods, show the development of a form or genre, illustrate a poet's range, and speak to modern sensibilities. Whenever feasible, complete poems are used.
In addition to headnotes, annotations, and known dates of composition and publication, Poetry in English includes M.L. Rosenthal's introduction, Sally M. Gall's comprehensive essay on versification, and an author/title/first line index. It is the ideal text for students and teachers alike.