Worlds: Seven Modern Poets

edited by Geoffrey Summerfield
Copyright 1974
Checked out 2 times in 23 years
Last checked out 19 years ago

This is an anthology featuring seven British poets. All this time, it has belonged on the 821 shelves. The poets are actually more post-Modern than Modern (which in now associated roughly with the time between 1900 and 1950). They include Charles Causley, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Norman MacCaig, Adrian Mitchell and Edwin Morgan. Of these, three are well known in the U.S. and two are international superstars in the world of poetry. This book needs to stay on the shelves for two reasons. First, upon checking the catalog, the Albertville Public Library doesn’t appear to have any volumes by those two superstars (Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes). In fact, the library doesn’t appear to have British poets more recent than W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot (arguably an American poet, though he became a British citizen). This also is the only volume representing the poetry of Ted Hughes, who was married to Sylvia Plath. The library has books about their relationship and the journals and prose of Plath, but no books of poetry by either of these major poets, except this bit by Hughes. Both Collected and Selected compilations of Hughes’ poetry are available. Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, has a book of Selected Poems available as well as his latest volume, Human Chain.  My suggestion is that you get books by each of these gentlemen (and Plath, as I mentioned in another review) and only then, let this book, Worlds, go. Even with these omissions in the British literature section of the library amended, there’s a case for keeping this seemingly outdated anthology. It’s a wonderful project, including statements by the poets themselves about influences in their work and photo essays with pictures of the poets and the places that have been important to them. Avid fans of Heaney or Hughes would probably be excited to get this glimpse into the histories of these poets.

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About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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