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Poems and Ballads & Atalanta in Calydon

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  107 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
This volume brings together Swinburne's major poetic works, ATALANTA IN CALYDON (1865) and POEMS AND BALLADS (1866). ATALANTA IN CALYDON is a drama in classical Greek form, which revealed Swinburne's metrical skills and brought him celebrity. POEMS AND BALLADS brought him notoriety and demonstrates his preoccupation with de Sade, masochism, and femmes fatales. Also reprodu ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 31st 2000 by Penguin Classics
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Bryn Hammond
Mar 10, 2013 Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing
As the lost white feverish limbs
Of the Lesbian Sappho, adrift
In foam where the sea-weed swims,
Swam loose for the seas to lift...

This is typical: it has Sappho, it has death, it has the sea. He was as much fixated on Sappho because she threw herself into the sea, as because in her he has a spokeswoman for himself and his explorations. Sappho's perfect for him, it's not just that he's a perv.

Swinburne writes endlessly about the sea. I tried his novels and remember a few pages on a drowning man, th
Dec 18, 2014 Eadweard rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Beautiful, sensual, pre-raphaelite-esque.

(some I liked)

I wish we were dead together to-day,
Lost sight of, hidden away out of sight,
Clasped and clothed in the cloven clay,
Out of the world’s way, out of the light,
Out of the ages of worldly weather,
Forgotten of all men altogether,
As the world’s first dead, taken wholly away,
Made one with death, filled full of the night.
How we should slumber, how we should sleep.

My life is bitter with thy love; thine eyes
Blind me, thy tresses burn me, th
Jonathan Dickstein
Oct 03, 2008 Jonathan Dickstein rated it it was amazing
An exceptional, less-known, romantic poet.
William Masero
Feb 27, 2012 William Masero rated it it was amazing
Charles Swinburne is one of the most underrated poets ever.
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it liked it
This contains two works, with introduction and notes:

Poems and Ballads [1st series] [1866]

This was a re-read, from the beginning of 2009. It didn't seem at all familiar, apart from one or two poems. I remember being very impressed the first time; this time not so much. I think Swinburne is a poet one has to be in the right mood (a very pessimistic or depressed mood, I guess) to appreciate; if one is, he reverberates, if not, he seems cold and formal. That was the case this time. His most freque
Feb 11, 2013 Rebecka rated it it was ok
I had to return this before I finished it, but poetry is usually not my favorite, so I was grateful to make it as far as I did. I really liked some of the imagery, but was disappointed that so many of the poems seemed to echo each other. I think I just needed more variety than what this book offered.
Katherine Hunnicutt
May 22, 2013 Katherine Hunnicutt rated it really liked it
Shelves: unfinished
Had to return it to the library. It's much better to own poetry books since you can't really appreciate them if you zip through. I would like to have this one.
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Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, controversial in his own day. He invented the roundel form, wrote some novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
More about Algernon Charles Swinburne...

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“Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance, fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And Life, the shadow of death.”
“O all fair lovers about the world,
There is none of you, none, that shall comfort me.
My thoughts are as dead things, wrecked and whirled
Round and round in a gulf of the sea;
And still, through the sound and the straining stream,
Through the coil and chafe, they gleam in a dream,
The bright fine lips so cruelly curled,
And strange swift eyes where the soul sits free.”
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