The Sea! The Sea!: An Anthology of Poems

ISBN 13: 9780856463792

The Sea! The Sea!: An Anthology of Poems

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9780856463792: The Sea! The Sea!: An Anthology of Poems
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Published in association with the National Maritime Museum This anthology celebrates the sea as an elemental force with deep resonances for people everywhere. As such, it has always had a place of honour in poetry. Poets from time immemorial have written of sea adventures, voyages, explorations, battles, drownings, storms, shipwrecks, fishing and trade, to name just some of the human interactions with the sea which have been described, praised or lamented in poetry. The Sea! The Sea! entertainingly blends poems ancient and modern, well-known and familiar, solemn and light-hearted. As well as English-language poets from the anonymous author of The Seafarer to the present, the book includes a light seasoning of Spanish and French poems to commemorate their countrymen's part in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, whose anniversary this book commemorates. Peter Jay is the editorial director of Anvil Press, which he founded in 1968. Among his books are a collection of poems Shifting Frontiers, the Penguin Classic edition of The Greek Anthology, and several translations including Gérard de Nerval's Chimeras, János Pilinszky's Crater and Nichita Stanescu's The Still Unborn About the Dead. He lives in Greenwich.

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This anthology features English, French and Spanish poems to commemorate the involvement of the respective countries in the Battle of Trafalgar. 

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Published to mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Trafalgar, which put paid to Napoleon's navy, this splendidly readable anthology begins and ends with poems of unknown authorship: a riddle and "The Seafarer" from the Old English, and a sonnet attributed only to a "merchant seaman," circa 1970. Those three are popular poems in that they were meant to entertain and instruct ordinary people, not "literary" readers. Many poems that appear in between them, such as the hymn "Eternal father, strong to save" and the sea shanty "The Song of the Fishes," are similarly popular, even if some of them are also highly wrought literary performances, such as the three Tennyson selections, the Masefield perennials "Sea-Fever" and "Cargoes," and Lear's "Owl and the Pussycat." Obviously, there are some chestnuts in these pages, but editor Jay generally prefers unobvious choices: Hopkins' "Heaven-Haven," say, rather than his "Wreck of the Deutschland." Non-English poets are idiomatically translated, the twentieth-century selections are direct, and only the Donne and Valery offerings demand exceptional care in the reading. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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