The Norton Anthology of Poetry 5e (Anglais) Broché – 25 février 2005
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
This text is improved over the fourth edition with the addition of an excellent essay on poetic syntax in addition to the essay on versification. The short biographies of each poet are welcome also.
It is the sheer volume of glorious poety that sets this book apart, however. There is something for everyone and every poetical taste. From Milton to Marianne Moore and even more contemporary authors, this book is a compendium like no other. It is not just a grouping of the "best" or "prettiest" poems, but rather a voluminous selection of what is most worthy of praise in our English literary heritage. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Norton anthologies are great. As is the case with the ones I used in college, this book includes both footnotes and glossing in the margins, both of which help immensely when the reader is inexperienced or new to a certain period of literature (Norton is particularly helpful to students new to Spenser). The huge number of poets represented here makes the book indispensable to lovers of poetry.
There are two quarrels I do have over style. Though the anthology has biographical sketches of the authors, those do not appear with the authors' work but rather at the end. The other thing I would change would be the index. The index is one combined index rather than a spearate index of first lines and authors.
All in all, a great find and great buy.
Including short poet biographies at the back of the book is a brilliant idea, and so is the essay on versification (which attractively incorporates specimens of verse from the anthology, rather than lines newly made up for the purpose). It's just a pity that this wasn't allocated an extra ten pages (maximum), since it could then have been rounded out into a complete stand-alone reference - a few areas are missing or too briefly discussed. There are many separate guides to versification available - all excellent, but recent ones are more personal and informal (and less typographically clear) than the presentation here.
As for the selection itself, everyone will have favorites that are missing, or will prefer a slightly different emphasis to the selection. I would certainly cut some of the contemporary poems to make room for more from all other periods. (The last fifty years takes up a quarter of the book!). A number of poems, and even whole poets, show up on comparison with earlier editions and other anthologies. But, however regrettable some of these omissions are, in almost every area the selection at least manages to be (broadly) representative, and that's the main thing.
There is one area, though, where (trying to look at it objectively) I would INSIST that there is a clear failure in the selection, and that is in THE BALLADS. It seems way out of proportion in such a large book to include only twelve, especially when that means giving both 'The Twa Corbies' and 'The Three Ravens' (a beautiful and illuminating pairing though they are), but not also AT LEAST 'Thomas the Rhymer' - the greatest of all ballads - AND 'Chevy Chase'. Both feature story types and motifs otherwise unrepresented, and without which the world of the ballads cannot be fully understood: 'Thomas the Rhymer' even has something to say about POETRY itself.
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