The 100 Best Poems of All Time

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This poetry companion puts favourite poetry and poets from around the world at your fingertips, enabling you to revisit the classics, encounter unfamiliar masterworks and rediscover old favourites.

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This poetry companion puts favourite poetry and poets from around the world at your fingertips, enabling you to revisit the classics, encounter unfamiliar masterworks and rediscover old favourites.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The cover of The Best 100 Poems of All Time promises "[v]erses to move you, lines you'll love, from old favorites to modern classics...," and while they may not live up to the title's hyperbole, they do satisfy the teaser's terms. Though the collection, including poems by Homer, Sappho, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Villon, Shakespeare, Schiller, Issa, Whitman, Baudelaire, Millay, Cullen, Neruda, Plath and Angelou, was edited by Leslie Pockell, the unsigned introduction was written by an editorial "we," who proclaim that "this present collection has as much credibility as many other lists of the best and the greatest that have circulated during the recent turn of the century." One hopes that the actual poems contained herein have more credibility than any list. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This reference book is an entertaining mix of useful and silly lists, from "The Order the 50 States Joined the Union" to "7 Strange American Car Names." There are 72 topics in all, which are helpfully indexed; sources of information are sometimes but not always provided. Some of the most interesting topics for research purposes include "The Vietnam War by the Numbers," with lists of causes of death, deaths by year, and more; "The 10 Greatest American Speeches," with excerpts, and "Presidential Libraries, Museums, and National Archives," with phone numbers, Web sites, addresses and e-mail addresses as well as descriptions. Of course, YAs will probably also want to check out "65 Ridiculous American Sex Laws" and "12 Strange Patented American Inventions." The author is a writer who "specializes in popular culture topics," according to the blurb on the back cover. Handy for reference purposes in public libraries and fun for browsing. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Career Press, 240p, illus, index, 26cm, 00-034856, $15.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
Library Journal
These two productions seem the literary equivalent of elevator music. On the first tape, very short poems by Tu Fu, Basho, or Li Po, with no mention of their nationality or that these are even translations, appear beside the single, most familiar quatrain from Omar Khayyam's "The Rubaiyat." Of what use are these (often overly dramatic) fragments? Yet room is made for the 23rd Psalm, "Amazing Grace," and "`T'was the Night Before Christmas." Stefan Rudnicki, reading from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, does a good job of conveying the sound of the original, while poems by Fran ois Villon, Friedrich Von Schiller, or Gerard de Nerval would seem to have been written in modern English. The second tape is even more frustrating, if only because the poets, if not the poems, will be more familiar. It's good to have grade-school favorites such as "Casey at the Bat" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee" in easy listening range, but "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land"? And then only an eight-line poem by William Carlos Williams. The balance seems terribly wrong here. Since nothing on these tapes enhances a listener's appreciation of poetry, it's impossible to recommend them. Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Pockell compiled this collection "to provide a small, easily portable volume that would contain the essential works that most readers would expect to find in a book of the best poems." While this elliptical pronouncement seems to suggest that a readers' poll determined the selections, the editor makes no secret of his criteria. While one may disagree with some of the choices, this has considerable breadth for such a slim volume. A good deal of space is reserved for the classics (beginning with Homer and Sappho and including the 23rd Psalm and Shakespeare's 18th Sonnet), but, of necessity, few works of any length are presented in their entirety. A large proportion of the poems tend to be lyrical, owing to the editor's predilection for poetry that, according to Auden's definition of verse, qualifies as "memorable speech." Perhaps he has gone a little too far in this direction by offering Friedrich von Schiller's "Ode to Joy"-a work that was ennobled by Beethoven's choral setting but sounds somewhat clunky when read straight. Nevertheless, the editor strives to earn the volume wide appeal, presenting poetry of interest to younger readers as well, such as Clement Clarke Moore's famous Christmas poem and Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat." Stephen Spender said that great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do. Occasionally, an editor attempts to do the same, and succeeds.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446676816
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2001
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 315,126
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xi
From The Iliad 1
He Is More Than a Hero 2
Psalm 23 3
From The Song of Songs [Chapter One] 4
Song 5 to Lesbia 6
From The Aeneid 7
From Metamorphoses 8
Drinking Alone in the Moonlight 9
Moonlit Night 10
Madly Singing in the Mountains 11
Rubaiyat 51 12
From Inferno 13
Remembrance 17
From The General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales 18
The Ballad of Ladies of the Past 19
Sonnet 18 20
Go and Catch a Falling Star 21
Song to Celia II 23
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time 24
Jordan 25
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent 26
From The Prologue 27
To Althea, from Prison 28
To His Coy Mistress 30
An Old Pond 32
Epigram: Engraved on the Collar of a Dog Which I Gave to His Royal Highness 33
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard 34
To Jeoffry His Cat 39
Amazing Grace 41
Tyger! Tyger! 42
To a Mouse 44
Ode to Joy 46
Don't Kill That Fly! 48
The World Is Too Much with Us 49
From The Lay of the Last Minstrel 50
Kubla Khan 51
A Visit from St. Nicholas 53
Abou Ben Adhem 55
She Walks in Beauty 56
Ozymandias 57
Thanatopsis 58
Ode on a Grecian Urn 61
Concord Hymn 63
How Do I Love Thee? 64
Paul Revere's Ride 65
Barbara Frietchie 70
El Desdichado [The Disinherited] 73
The Raven 74
Ulysses 80
Old Ironsides 83
The Owl and the Pussycat 84
Memorabilia 86
Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning 87
From Song of Myself 88
Battle Hymn of the Republic 90
Invitation to the Voyage 92
Dover Beach 94
Because I Could Not Stop for Death 96
The Jabberwocky 98
Convergence of the Twain 100
Spring and Fall [Margaret, Are You Grieving?] 102
Tears Fall in My Heart 103
The New Colossus 104
Requiem 105
The Drunken Boat 106
The Ballad of Reading Gaol 108
When I Was One-and-Twenty 112
The Gardener 113
Waiting for the Barbarians 114
Casey at the Bat 116
Gunga Din 119
Lake Isle of Innisfree 122
Richard Cory 123
We Wear the Mask 124
The Cremation of Sam McGee 125
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Eveing 129
The Panther 130
Sea Fever 131
Fog 132
General William Booth Enters into Heaven 133
Peter Quince at the Clavier 136
The Highwayman 139
The Red Wheelbarrow 144
Ancient Music 145
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 146
First Fig 151
Dulce Et Decorum Est 152
Buffalo Bill's 154
From Lament for lgnacio Sanchez Mejias [Absence of the Soul 4] 155
Harlem [Dream Deferred] 157
Incident 158
Poetry 159
Funeral Blues 161
Visits to St. Elizabeth's 162
This Land Is Your Land 165
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night 167
A Supermarket in California 168
Wanting to Die 170
Daddy 172
Still I Rise 175
Index to Titles and Authors 177
Index to First Lines 183
Acknowledgments 187
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2001

    Truly the best

    Highly recommended book. All the great poems and poets in one edition. Nicely selected. An absolute must for readers who are new to poetry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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