James's Reviews > The Norton Anthology of Poetry

The Norton Anthology of Poetry by Margaret Ferguson
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's review
Jan 23, 11

bookshelves: poetry, romanticism, modernism

An absolutely tremendous collection of English language poetry. It covers everything from Chaucer and Milton to Larkin and Plath. One of the greatest assets of this collection is that it contains several lengthy poems in their entirety, among them The Rape of the Lock and The Waste Land (both of which are among my personal favorites). Although it seems to gloss over a few major figures (Poe for example) this collection remains the best single volume of English poetry I've ever seen. It is both an excellent introduction and sampler, as well as a good selection for a desert island. The reason I refrain from giving a full five stars is that the running together of these various poems (in their small print) produces a fatigue of the eye. It makes reading exhausting at times. That is why it is a good resource, but not the best read. It would be preferable to have a collection of, say, Tennyson poems in a collection of that poet's works, where each poem has a page to breathe and doesn't run together with a poem by Swinburne or whomever.
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