Six Centuries of English Poetry: Tennyson to Chaucer (1892) by James Baldwin is a wonderful collection of poetry by many poets of the past.
This collection includes many poets including William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Robbie Burns, John Keats, Alexander Pope, John Skelton, William Shakespeare, William Cowper, Percy Shelly, Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred, Lord Tennyson among others. The book has poems and parts of poems and goes in a backwards order starting at the 19th century. There is notes to explain words and parts accompanying many poems which is very helpful and interesting biographical information about each poet who is included in the book. There is also a section on ballads which was very interesting and entertaining. It is a wonderful overview of many amazing poets, the times they wrote in and their work. The book certainly encouraged me to read more work in the future by a lot of these poets. I loved reading about the biographies and seeing the different perspectives the poets wrote from. That was really interesting.
There is downsides to the book. It isn’t very diverse in the choice of poets and therefore doesn’t show ideas or the times from a lot of different perspectives. There is also a certain amount of classism in this book and is present in Robbie Burns’ biography with some of the language used.
A really great read but definitely has problematic elements.
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My new book Lockdown Poetry is now available. It is basically me writing poems and rambling during Lockdown and trying to keep sane! There is 30 poems in total and I have a lot of memories jotted down here, mostly about family life but a bit of everything.
I enjoyed writing it. It helped me through a lot and I hope you all like reading it if you give it a chance.
Words From An Unlikely Poet (2017) by Charlie Hasler is the poet’s debut collection of poems.
Hasler’s poetic style is very accessible and is spoken from the heart. The poems have a lot of depth and are very authentic to life’s ups and downs. They are at times dark but that’s true of life sometimes. It is a perfectly paced and put together collection which delves into themes such as depression, self discovery, love, religion and life. The tone is very matter-of-fact but heartfelt. A very touching collection of poetry.
This is a powerful and thought-provoking collection. As the poet goes through questions about himself and life in general, the reader is swept into thinking about their own thoughts on the issues presented. It is a sensitively written collection which explores many important themes with honesty and care. The poems deal with life in an honest portrayal where there are good times, bad times, mundane times and always a ray of hope and survival even against the harshest storms.
Hasler’s openness creates a gorgeous collection. It is raw and has real personality and humanness flowing through the entire collection. The order in which the poems appear is organized well too and make the journey of the poems feel like a short story in poems that are very relatable and beautiful. The language throughout suits the tone of each poem and is well thought out. The repetition technique works very well to create atmosphere and mood and the images are vividly painted.
It is a stunning collection.
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