Thursday, May 3, 2012
Poetry: A Guide on Where to Start
1. G.K. Chesterton--start with the "Ballad of the White Horse" and "Lepanto" but don't miss his short, humorous verse and his Christmas poems.
2. Hilaire Belloc--almost all of his poetry is worth reading, but especially his traveling verses.
3. Sir Walter Scott--nothing beats his great epics like "The Lady of the Lake."
4. Arthur Quiller-Couch--again, almost everything from Q is worth careful reading, but especially his local sea town tales and his verse parodies.
5. Alfred Noyes--you'll especially want to read his epics like "The Highwayman."
6. Q's edition of the "Oxford Book of English Verse" must not be missed (but make sure it's Q's and not one of the wretched modern updates).
7. And of course, Francis Palgrave's "Golden Treasury" is a classic collection.
8. Louis Untermeyer's wonderful anthology, "This Singing World," was my favorite for years and years.
9. "The Collected Poetry" of T.S. Eliot is not to be missed.
10. All of J.R.R. Tolkien's poetry is not available in a single volume, but whenever you can find collected anthologies, grab them--works like "Tom Bombadil" and "The Lays of Beleriand" are stunningly beautiful.
11. The various collections of verse from C.S. Lewis are also delightful--but, be sure to get an edition with some of his longer, more complex Medieval reflections.