Seashell Anthology of Great Poetry, The

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9780517200117: Seashell Anthology of Great Poetry, The
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"Great poetry is personal" writes Christopher Burns in his introduction to this extraordinary collection. "Like a seashell held to your ear, a poem resonates to the beating of your heart. The poet brings the words, you bring your life, and together you make the song."

Burns has created an anthology of great English and American poems that emphasizes the personal aspect of poetry. He has gathered poems that are relevant today and organized them by subject in a meaningful and provocative way. Poets as diverse as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Sara Teasdale, and Gary Snyder, for example, echo the themes and images of "Western Wind" hundreds of years apart. Lucille Clifton, Maya Angelou, and Janet Flanders describe their mothers. Separated by more than a century, Robert Browning and Richard Wilbur talk about the way men look at women. Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg describe the America each has found.

Included here are fine poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, and William Butler Yeats. There are haunting works by Anne Sexton, Denise Levertov, Langston Hughes, and Robert Lowell. Some of the poems are funny, others are sad. Many are familiar, others, less celebrated, are powerful and will not soon be forgotten. Half the poems were written by Americans and half by English, Welsh and Scottish poets. And this anthology is modern: A third of the poems were written in the last fifty years and a third were written between 1900 and 1945.

The poems follow the contours of life; the loneliness of the artist, the uses of war, the role of nature, the constancy of love, and the approach of death. Like all great poems they are personal. As you read them be prepared to hear your own heart roaring in your ear.

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About the Author:

Christopher Burns is a news executive and information industry consultant with a lifelong love of poetry. His latest book is Deadly Decisions: How False Knowledge Sank the Titanic, Blew Up the Shuttle, and Led America into War.

Review:

The absolutely best new collection of poetry is Christopher Burns' The Seashell Anthology of Great Poetry and you should not miss the opportunity to add it to your permanent library. With more than 360 poems, Burns has demoinstrated an uncanny ability to put together the classics with the works of modern poets in a way that makes every page a delight. It just doesn't get much better than this. -- Bookviews, May 3, 1996

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