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Poems and Ballads and Atalanta in Calydon

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Republican, pagan, a sensualist alive to pleasure and to pain, Swinburne flouted the rules of Victorian decorum and morality in his life and work He created a unique means of expression through what Tennyson called his 'wonderful rhythmic invention', and yet his verse was influenced by poets from numerous periods and countries. Many of his poems are opulent hymns to sensua...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Penguin Classics
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Bryn Hammond
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...more
William Masero
Charles Swinburne is one of the most underrated poets ever.
Jonathan Dickstein
An exceptional, less-known, romantic poet.
Rebecka
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
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...
The Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne Major Poems and Selected Prose Poems and Ballads Songs Before Sunrise Selected Poems

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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.”
13 likes
“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.”
3 likes
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