First Lines: Poems Written in Youth from Herbert to Heaney

First Lines: Poems Written in Youth from Herbert to Heaney


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First Lines: Poems Written in Youth from Herbert to Heaney by Jon Stallworthy

Edgar Allan Poe composed his famous lines about "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome" at the age of fifteen. Yet not only Poe demonstrated early signs of lyrical talent: Christopher Smart began writing verse when he was only five; Dylan Thomas produced creditable verse at the age of eleven; Alexander Pope wrote what many regard as his prettiest poem at the age of twelve. The list goes on to include the likes of Thomas Chatterton, John Milton, Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, and many more.
In First Lines, Jon Stallworthy, a distinguished poet, anthologist, and critic, has collected verses written in youth—often the very first preserved poems—from George Herbert to Seamus Heaney. Responding to the questions of when, why, and how does a poet begin to write poems, Stallworthy reveals many interesting common characteristics among these poems of childhood and adolescence. Chosen for their notable imagery, form or wit, this collection of poems—written by 58 poets who later wrote many of the finest poems in the English language—proves the truth of Auden's statement that if an immature poet has any real talent he or she will display a distinctive style quite early. This anthology reveals the durability and excellence of what young writers have produced, and calls attention to the future delights these early poems would yield.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780856354762
Publisher: Carcanet Press, Limited
Publication date: 05/01/1987
Series: Fyfield Books
Pages: 119
Product dimensions: 5.67(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

About the Editor:
Jon Stallworthy is a poet and critic, presently lecturing at Oxford University. He is the author of Wilfred Owen and editor of A Book of Love Poetry and The Oxford Book of War Poetry.

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