Today I'm sharing an anthology of poetry edited by poet and critic Selden Rodman. First published in 1974, 100 British Poets covers poetry in England from Chaucer (translated into modern English), through to Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, the Beatles, and most poets of note in between.
In the introduction, Rodman states
I included nothing that failed to pass the test of gut reaction. 'The sound of the axe when it enters living wood.'And this is evident in the choice of poems chosen. I have been reading this collection for years and every time I pick it up I find either a beautiful piece of work to lose myself in, something challenging or even vengeful, but always superbly crafted and engaging.
I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy good poetry, and whose tastes range over a number of styles and eras. This book is inexpensive to purchase, and easy to find online.
I will leave you with a poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) from The House of Life:
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,-Cynthia Marston
Your finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
'Tis visibile silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growth the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky:-
So this wing'd hour is dropped to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When two-fold silence was the song of love.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti