Thematic Guide to British Poetry

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This thematic guide offers interpretations of 415 poems, representing the work of over 110 poets spanning seven centuries of British poetry. Educators teaching thematic units will find relevant essays appropriate for background presentation, discussion ideas, or student assignments. This book is clearly organized for easy access to information, whatever the users' individual purposes.

The main section of the guide contains narrative essays on 29 alphabetically arranged themes that recur throughout the history of British poetry. Explications of individual poems are arranged chronologically to trace the evolution of a particular theme over time. Following each entry, the poems are listed with information about the anthologies where the works can be found. Additional suggested readings make this the perfect resource for research and classroom use, and as an indispensable tool for librarians assisting readers to identify poets, access their works, and better understand the thematic meanings of poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Well-organized, easy-to-navigate, authoritative volumes. Each book discusses more than 20 themes including "Life and Death," "Obligations and Choices," "War," "Duty," "Marriage," and "Nature." These topics are explored in detail in lengthy essays with references to specific poems. Historical context and biographical sketches offer insight into the poets' lives as well as the time periods in which they lived. Works included range from the 1700s to the present and, depending on the scope of the book, include authors such as Henry David Thoreau, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, William Wordsworth, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Philip Larkin. The selections are discussed in chronological order so that, according to Glancy, "-readers can trace the development and decline of interest in themes over the centuries." Works are referenced at the end of each chapter. Author, title, and subject indexes make access easy. Also included in each volume is a list of anthologies in which the referenced poems can be found. Because of the length of some chapters, the complex discussions of some subjects, and the many literary references, these titles would be most useful to advanced students and their teachers.-Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313313790
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/2002
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

RUTH GLANCY is Associate Professor of English at Concordia University College of Alberta, where she teaches courses in British literature and poetry. She is the author of several books on Dickens including The Student Companion to Charles Dickens (Greenwood, 1999). She has also edited his Christmas writings.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Anthologies of British Poetry and Abbreviations Used xi
Active and Contemplative Lives 1
Art, Imagination, and Inspiration 15
Beauty 31
Carpe Diem 43
Christmas Poems 47
Death 53
Death of the Young 65
Duty 77
Fame and Ambition 81
Family Relations 85
Freedom and Captivity 89
The Golden Mean 93
Immortality 97
Industrialism and the City 105
Innocence and Experience 111
Love 119
Marriage 141
Music 153
Nature and Country Life 159
Old Age 187
Patriotism 193
Politics and Human Rights 197
Pride and Vanity 205
Rebellion and Conformity 215
Regret, Consolation, and Melancholy 221
Religion 229
Sleep 243
Time and Change 251
War 257
Biographical Sketches 269
Further Reading 293
Index 295
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