Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Great Poems"

Great Poems offers a wide selection of favorite poems to suit everyone. In this lavishly illustrated book there are over 300 poems to be found in sections such as Love, Children's Poems, Wit and Humor, Food and Drink and Animals. 

Some great poets are represented here, like William Shakespeare and John Donne, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti and John Keats. 

Each poem has an information box with biographical details about the poet providing historical and literary context. I especially liked this feature, because I really didn't know much about these poets, so it enlightened me about their life, health, etc. Example: Elizabeth Barrett Browning picked up what education she could from her brother's tutor and became an accomplished scholar. She spent much of her life as an invalid, writing poetry for amusement. Poems (1844) was so successful that many suggested she should follow Wordsworth as Poet Laureate. Forbidden by her father to marry, in 1845 Elizabeth secretly corresponded with Robert Browning and eloped with him to Italy in 1846, where she lived happily until her death 15 years later. 

This is the first time I have read a book of poetry from cover to cover, and even though I didn't understand some of them, I read them anyway, I'm sure the people who read them 200-300 years ago understood them. However, many of them I found quite enjoyable, even though it was the first time I read them they were new to me, even like I said, they were 200-300 years old. 

I bought this book of poems 5 or 6 years ago while meandering through Barnes and Nobles. Most of the time I  would only page through it and read a poem here and there, this month I decided since April 2017 is National Poetry Month I would read it from cover to cover. I am so glad I did, I found it a delight to read....

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