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This book has poems of six centuries- from great poets like Tennyson, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelly, Keats, Milton and many more others up to Chaucer. The book gives nice explanation after each poem in the form of notes. In addition I thoroughly enjoyed the biographies of each poet. The book is a treat for lovers of poetry and literature, teachers and students. I was delighted to revisit some of the poems I learned during my school days, like “The Solitary Reaper” and “The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington".
Six Centuries of English Poetry: Tennyson to Chaucer (1892) by James Baldwin is a wonderful collection of poetry by many poets of the past.
This collection includes many poets including William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Robbie Burns, John Keats, Alexander Pope, John Skelton, William Shakespeare, William Cowper, Percy Shelly, Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred, Lord Tennyson among others. The book has poems and parts of poems and goes in a backwards order starting at the 19th century. There is notes to explain words and parts accompanying many poems which is very helpful and interesting biographical information about each poet who is included in the book. There is also a section on ballads which was very interesting and entertaining. It is a wonderful overview of many amazing poets, the times they wrote in and their work. The book certainly encouraged me to read more work in the future by a lot of these poets. I loved reading about the biographies and seeing the different perspectives the poets wrote from. That was really interesting.
There is downsides to the book. It isn’t very diverse in the choice of poets and therefore doesn’t show ideas or the times from a lot of different perspectives. There is also a certain amount of classism in this book and is present in Robbie Burns’ biography with some of the language used.
A really great read but definitely has problematic elements.
This book was clearly a primer for students . It was probably used in schools and aptly illustrates how far literary standards in education have fallen since then .As for the poems themselves there are some established classics along with lesser known works illustrating various styles through the centuries .There is very little Shakespeare and no Byron the latter perhaps being regarded as somewhat unsuitable for Victorian age students ..The historical reverse ordering of the poems to lead the reader more easily back to Chaucer's english is an interesting concept which generally works . Being a public domain book it is free and the selection is a good starting point for anyone wanting to explore the story of British poetry .
This is a great primer for anyone interested in English Poetry up to the 19th Century. Arranged in reverse chronological order, each poem is accompanied by notes, and each poet by a short biography. I've found old favourites and new friends among the selection, and generally enjoyed it. BUT, the poems are difficult to read as they are aligned half-way across the page, so the lines break. And there are no active links to get from the contents to the poems and no chapter markings to skip to the next, and looking up the footnotes is quite awkward. All in all, it looks a mess. It may be worth paying a little more for another version.
I know I'm new to poetry (this was my second purchase after "The Giant Book of Poetry"), but this book was yet another joyous and serendipitous journey. 600 years of poetry by top poets, wow. If you are an aficionado this review isn't for you, but if you too are in your honeymoon period it just may help you choose this book. Yet again I've highlighted newly discovered favourites and other noteworthy author's comments (nearly 300 in fact) that instantly and navigably list when "View Notes and Highlights" is pressed, as I find this very helpful when later referring back or searching this sizeable reference book. I found the lack of an index to be not a problem, the navigable list of poems by century via "Go to" is sufficient coupled with the above highlighting list (which instantly links to the particular poems highlighted). Maybe it's my age (retired) but I don't mind doing a bit of work (I have the time of course) like this because the REWARD IS SO HUGELY GRATIFYING. I accept that the wide LH page margin can be a slight annoyance, but at least the lines are left aligned, it's far from fatal. Also superb was the guide to studying poetry, the summary of poetical history and development, and the explanatory and biographical notes after each poem/ poet.
A helpful and learned intro/study guide that is also of interest to the casual reader more interested in an overview of English verse from Chaucer to Tennyson;covering some six centuries with representitive examples from twenty-four notable poets in sixty or so of their poems.Each poem/poet is accompanied by a short informative bio and helpful study notes designed for those who wish to delve deeper.Well worth the space on the poetry lover's kindle.The wrap around problem mentioned in some other earlier reviews here, is largely eliminated in this ebook (as with most poetry ebook downloads)by using the kindle landscape option.
This book is a kind of journey into poetry, bringing you back from Tennyson to Chaucer, poets are in reverse chronological order. Formatting is from some printed edition, so there are wrapped lines, but reducing font size or rotating the kindle in landscape mode this problem is solved. About poets and poems they must be searched since there is no table of contents but anyway it is free and there is no weight to carry it on the kindle...