Tag Archives: the penguin book of English verse

In Praise of the Poetry Anthology

I have long been a fan of the poetry anthology. Indeed it was through such anthologies as Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s “The Oxford Book of English Verse”, and Francis Turner Palgrave’s “Golden Treasury”, that I first began to explore poetry for myself. (I had already had a love of the art form implanted in me by my grandfather and my school teacher Mr Delacruz).

I own a number of poetry anthologies, including Helen Gardner’s “The New Oxford Book of English Verse” (which replaced Quiller-Couch’s “Oxford Book of English Verse), and ”The Penguin Book of English Verse”, edited by John Hayward”.

The joy of leafing through an anthology for me resides in the fact that it introduces the reader to new poets and reminds him/her of old favourites. If one likes the work of a particular poet, it is easy to purchase their individual works or find their poetry online. My copy of Gardner’s “The New Oxford Book of English Verse” is so well thumbed that the braille has become rather faint in places!

This post on the Interesting Literature website contains recommendations for 5 poetry anthologies, https://interestingliterature.com/2016/08/best-poetry-anthologies/.

I was interested to read in the above post, that an updated edition of “The Oxford Book of English Verse”, edited by Sir Christopher Ricks, is available. Where it to be available in braille, I would certainly buy a copy. Unfortunately it is not, so I shall console myself with Gardner’s excellent “New Oxford”.

(A number of my own poems appear in “Croydon Poetry Anthology 2019/2020”, which can be found here, https://www.lulu.com/en/gb/shop/croydon-poets/croydon-poetry-hour-anthology-201920/paperback/product-rjpqzd.html).