Tag Archives: poetry class

Poetry Class: Blue-Ringed Octopi!

My acquaintances among you will have glanced at the Table of Contents for the 22 July TLS, seen a poem titled “Elegy” and guessed right away that I would love it – but in this one isolated instance, you’d be wrong! No, my poetry pick of the issue – in fact, my favorite poem of […]

Thinkers and Stinkers in the Penny Press!

Those two Old Standbys of the Penny Press, New York magazine and The New Yorker, almost always deliver the goods. I remember well the dreadful week when there was nothing in either of them – it was the week George W. Bush was elected in a populist landslide/called in favors from his father’s apparatchiks on […]

Poetry and the Age!

Our book today is Randall Jarrell’s magnificent 1953 classic Poetry and the Age – after all, just because we’ve stopped reading poetry now that National Poetry Month is over doesn’t mean we have to stop reading about poetry! The problem with that goal, however, is that truly good poetry criticism is really tough to find […]

Poetry Anthologies!

I could hardly let National Poetry Month come to a close without paying some kind of tribute to the main venue where most readers encounter poetry, now could I? Once, ages ago, that venue would have been the bard in the hall, the singer on the portico, but for most readers since Gutenberg, the main […]

The Collected Poetry of Thom Gunn!

Our book today is 1994′s The Collected Poems of Thom Gunn, who was born in England and followed his lover to California at the height of the drug-soaked ‘counter-culture’ movement then cresting there. He dove into that movement with the same studied abandon he released on all the things that interested him, becoming at once […]

The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick!

Our book today is the 1968 Norton printing of J. Max Patrick’s 1963 edition of the complete poetry of Robert Herrick, if that isn’t too derivational for you. Patrick’s volume is a no-nonsense scholarly affair, the kind of thing that features very few concessions to the educated layman who has always been Norton’s key audience. […]

Penguins on Parade: Wordsworth!

Some Penguin Classics might almost fairly be said to overdo things, and if ever there were such a case, it’s the two-volume edition of the poems of William Wordsworth that came out in the Penguin Classics line in 1990. These two volumes, called The Poems: Volume One and The Poems: Volume Two, are edited by […]

The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse!

Our book today is 1990′s  The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse edited by Christopher Hicks, in keeping both with April being National Poetry Month and also with my own ongoing fascination with all things Victorian, which has been true since that little slip of a thing came to the throne and made all the […]

The New Oxford Book of 17th Century Verse!

Our book today is Alastair Fowler’s 1991 New Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse, and it’s as volatile and tremendous a tribute to National Poetry Month as could be imagined. Opinion among those I’ve quizzed is decidedly mixed as to the merit of even having a National Poetry Month (one poet of my acquaintance summed […]

Poetry Class!

Well, our Nine Lives (of the Poets) is over for now, and so many of you have emailed me that I thought a brief coda was in order. This series got three times the emails most Stevereads posts do – just as the Nine Lives (of the Composers) did last summer, so it’s safe to […]


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