Winner of the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize
Winner of the 2011 Poetry Now Award
Seamus Heaney's new collection elicits continuities and solidarities, between husband and wife, child and parent, then and now, inside an intently remembered present—the stepping stones of the day, the weight and heft of what is passed from hand to hand, lifted and lowered. Human Chain also broaches larger questions of transmission, of lifelines to the inherited past. There are newly minted versions of anonymous early Irish lyrics, poems that stand at the crossroads of oral and written, and other "hermit songs" that weigh equally in their balance the craft of scribe and the poet's early calling as scholar. A remarkable sequence entitled "Route 101" plots the descent into the underworld in the Aeneid against single moments in the arc of a life, from a 1950s childhood to the birth of a first grandchild. Other poems display a Virgilian pietas for the dead—friends, neighbors, family—that is yet wholly and movingly vernacular.
Human Chain also includes a poetic "herbal" adapted from the Breton poet Guillevic—lyrics as delicate as ferns, which puzzle briefly over the world of things and landscapes that exclude human speech, while affirming the interconnectedness of phenomena, as of a self-sufficiency in which we too are included.
But District and Circle, which includes a number of prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district" – its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts – the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.
District and Circle is the winner of the 2007 Poetry Now award and the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.
Often considered to be "the greatest poet of our age" (The Guardian), Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past." He saw poetry as a vocation and credited it with "the power to persuade the vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it, the power to remind us that we are hunters and gatherers of values." Paul Muldoon wrote that Heaney was "the only poet I can think of who was recognized worldwide as having moral as well as literary authority."
Shortly before his death in 2013, Seamus Heaney began to compile Selected Poems 1988–2013, and although he was unable to complete the project, his choices have been followed here. This volume encapsulates the finest work from Seeing Things (1991) with its lines of loss and revelation; The Spirit Level (1996) where we experience "the poem as ploughshare that turns time / Up and over."; the landmark translation of Beowulf (1999); Electric Light (2001), a book of origins and oracles; and his final collections, District and Circle (2006) and Human Chain (2010), which limn the interconnectedness of being, our lifelines to our inherited past.
It is poetry's ability to convey the forces of the marvelous and the murderous together, Heaney writes, that gives it "at once a buoyancy and a holding," and persuades us of its "truth to life." Heaney's lecture not only finds a way of crediting poetry "without anxiety or apology," but it persuades us, eloquently and gracefully, of the "rightness" and "thereness" of our veritable human being.
In the finland of perch, the fenland of alder, on air
That is water, on carpets of Bann stream, on hold
In the everything flows and steady go of the world.
Seamus Heaney's new collection travels widely in time and space, visiting the sites of the classical world and revisiting the poet's childhood: rural electrification and the light of ancient evenings are reconciled within the orbit of a single lifetime. This is a book about origins (not least, the origins of words) and oracles: the places where things start from, the ground of understanding -- whether in Arcadia or Anahorish, the sanctuary at Epidaurus or the Bann valley in County Derry.
Electric Light ranges from short takes to conversation poems. The pre-Socratic wisdom that everything flows is held in tension with the elegizing of friends and fellow poets. These gifts of recollection renew the poet's calling to assign things their proper names; once again Heaney can be heard extending his word hoard and roll call in this, his eleventh collection.
'His is 'close-up' poetry - close up to thought, to the world, to the emotions. Few writers at work today, in verse or fiction, can give the sense of rich, fecund, lived life that Heaney does.' John Banville
'More than any other poet since Wordsworth he can make us understand that the outside world is not outside, but what we are made of.' John Carey
In a momentous publication, Seamus Heaney's translation of Book VI of the Aeneid, Virgil's epic poem composed sometime between 29 and 19 BC, follows the hero, Aeneas, on his descent into the underworld. In Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, Heaney acknowledged the significance of the poem to his writing, noting that "there's one Virgilian journey that has indeed been a constant presence, and that is Aeneas's venture into the underworld. The motifs in Book VI have been in my head for years--the golden bough, Charon's barge, the quest to meet the shade of the father."
In this new translation, Heaney employs the same deft handling of the original combined with the immediacy of language and sophisticated poetic voice as was on show in his translation of Beowulf, a reimagining which, in the words of James Wood, "created something imperishable and great that is stainless--stainless, because its force as poetry makes it untouchable by the claw of literalism: it lives singly, as an English language poem."
Heaney's version of Philoctetes is a fast-paced, brilliant work ideally suited to the stage. Heaney holds on to the majesty of the Greek original, but manages to give his verse the flavor of Irish speech and context.
'Keyed and pitched unlike any other significant poet at work in the language anywhere.' Harold Bloom, Times Literary Supplement
Along with a selection from the poet's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes Heaney's finest lectures and a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in volume form, ranging from short newspaper articles to radio commentaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets -- Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors and contemporaries -- Finders Keepers is, as its title indicates, "an announcement of both excitement and possession."
• Complete texts of both The Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895)
• All of the Mowgli stories, plus “Rikki-tikki-tavi,” “The White Seal,” and many more tales and poems
• 16 full-color illustrations by Maurice & Edward Detmold, plus more than 60 additional illustrations by William Drake and John Lockwood Kipling
• Author’s Preface and Note on the Names, and a detailed author bio
The Jungle Books collect some of the most beloved children’s stories ever written, since they were first published in magazines starting in 1893. The stories feature Mowgli, a foundling raised in the Seeonee hills of India by a pack of wolves, a wise black panther named Bagheera, and a gruff but lovable bear called Baloo. The books also include the beloved tale of the mongoose “Rikki-tikki-tavi,” “The White Seal,” and many more. These stories helped confirm Rudyard Kipling as one of the greatest children’s authors of any era, as well as one of the greatest writers and poets in the English language.
Revised and corrected, this edition includes Yeats's own notes on his poetry, complemented by explanatory notes from esteemed Yeats scholar Richard J. Finneran. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats is the most comprehensive edition of one of the world's most beloved poets available in paperback.
This ebook contains Shakespeare's complete plays and complete poems in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. This is the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' collects all thirty-seven of the immortal Bard's comedies, tragedies, and historical plays in a Collectible Edition. This volume also features Shakespeare's complete poetry, including the sonnets. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Shakespeare's enduring literary legacy again and again.
This collection features the following works:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
All’s Well that Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
King Henry the Eighth
King Henry the Fifth
King Henry the Fourth, the First Part
King Henry the Fourth, the Second Part
King Henry the Sixth, the First Part
King Henry the Sixth, the Second Part
King Henry the Sixth, the Third Part
King Richard the Second
King Richard the Third
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Much Ado About Nothing
Othello, the Moor of Venice
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
Timon of Athens
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night; or, What You Will
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale
SONNETS AND POEMS
A Lover’s Complaint
The Passionate Pilgrim
The Phoenix and the Turtle
The Rape of Lucrece
Venus and Adonis
(The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare, 9789380914831)
Scholars, students, and all who delight in Yeats's varied music and sheer quality will rejoice in this expanded edition. As the introduction observes, "Early and late he has the simple, indispensable gift of enchanting the ear....He was also the poet who, while very much of his own day in Ireland, spoke best to the people of all countries. And though he plunged deep into arcane studies, his themes are most clearly the general ones of life and death, love and hate, man's condition, and history's meanings. He began as a sometimes effete post-Romantic, heir to the pre-Raphaelites, and then, quite naturally, became a leading British Symbolist; but he grew at last into the boldest, most vigorous voice of this century." Selected Poems and Four Plays represents the essential achievement of the greatest twentieth-century poet to write in English.
All are present in this volume, which reproduces the 1933 edition of W. B. Yeats's Collected Poems and also contains an illuminating introduction by author and academic Dr Robert Mighall.
Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
In sublime poetry of extraordinary beauty, Milton's poem references tales from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Iliad and Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid. But one need not be a classical scholar to appreciate Paradise Lost. In addition to its imaginative use of language, the poem features a powerful and sympathetic portrait of Lucifer, the rebel angel who frequently outshines his moral superiors. With Milton's deft use of irony, the devil makes evil appear good, just as satanic practices may seem attractive at first glance.
Paradise Lost has exercised enormous influence on generations of artists and their works, ranging from the Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley to Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Since its initial publication in 1953, this book has become the definitive edition of the poet’s work. Thomas wrote “Prologue” addressed to “my readers, the strangers” — an introduction in verse that was the last poem he would ever write. Also included are classics such as “And Death Shall Have No Dominion,” “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,” and “Fern Hill” that have influenced generations of artists from Bob Dylan (who changed his last name from Zimmerman in honor of the poet), to John Lennon (The Beatles included Thomas’ portrait on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band); this collection even appears in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road when it is retrieved from the rubble of a bookshelf.
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and their clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again,
Though lovers be lost love shall not:
And death shall have no dominion.
(From “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”)
John Milton’s Paradise Lost, an epic poem on the clash between God and his fallen angel, Satan, is a profound meditation on fate, free will, and divinity, and one of the most beautiful works in world literature. Extracted from the Modern Library’s highly acclaimed The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this edition reflects up-to-date scholarship and includes a substantial Introduction, fresh commentary, and other features—annotations on Milton’s classical allusions, a chronology of the writer’s life, clean page layouts, and an index—that make it the definitive twenty-first-century presentation of John Milton’s timeless signature work.
This collection includes, of course, such famous poems as “The Lady of Shalott” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” There are extracts from all the major masterpieces—“Idylls of the King,” “The Princess,” “In Memoriam”—and several complete long poems, such as “Ulysses” and “Demeter and Persephone,” that demonstrate his narrative grace. Finally, there are many of the short lyrical poems, such as “Come into the Garden, Maud” and “Break, Break, Break,” for which he is justly celebrated.
Four Quartets is a rich composition that expands the spiritual vision introduced in “The Waste Land.” Here, in four linked poems (“Burnt Norton,” “East Coker,” “The Dry Salvages,” and “Little Gidding”), spiritual, philosophical, and personal themes emerge through symbolic allusions and literary and religious references from both Eastern and Western thought. It is the culminating achievement by a man considered the greatest poet of the twentieth century and one of the seminal figures in the evolution of modernism.
In these pages you will find all of Milton’s verse, from masterpieces such as Paradise Lost–widely viewed as the finest epic poem in the English language–to shorter works such as the Nativity Ode, Lycidas,, A Masque and Samson Agonistes. Milton’s non-English language sonnets, verses, and elegies are accompanied by fresh translations by Gordon Braden. Among the newly edited and authoritatively annotated prose selections are letters, pamphlets, political tracts, essays such as Of Education and Areopagitica, and a generous portion of his heretical Christian Doctrine. These works reveal Milton’s passionate advocacy of controversial positions during the English Civil War and the Commonwealth and Restoration periods.
With his deep learning and the sensual immediacy of his language, Milton creates for us a unique bridge to the cultures of classical antiquity and medieval and Renaissance Christianity. With this in mind, the editors give careful attention to preserving the vibrant energy of Milton’s verse and prose, while making the relatively unfamiliar aspects of his writing accessible to modern readers. Notes identify the old meanings and roots of English words, illuminate historical contexts–including classical and biblical allusions–and offer concise accounts of the author’s philosophical and political assumptions. This edition is a consummate work of modern literary scholarship.
This volume contains a rich selection of poems from that time by Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, and others known especially for their war poetry — as well as poems by such major poets as Robert Graves, Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, Robert Bridges, and Rudyard Kipling.
Included among a wealth of memorable verses are Rupert Brooke's "The Soldier," Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth," "In the Pink" by Siegfried Sassoon, "In Flanders Fields" by Lieut. Col. McCrae, Robert Bridges' "To the United States of America," Thomas Hardy's "In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations,'" as well as works by Walter de la Mare, May Wedderburn Cannan, Ivor Gurney, Alice Meynell, and Edward Thomas.
Moving and powerful, this carefully chosen collection offers today's readers an excellent overview of the brutal range of verse produced as poets responded to the carnage on the fields of Belgium and France.
Spanning the Elizabethan age to the Restoration and beyond, Metaphysical poetry sought to describe a time of startling progress, scientific discovery, unrivalled exploration and deep religious uncertainty. This compelling collection of the best and most enjoyable poems from the era includes tightly argued lyrics, erotic and libertine considerations of love, divine poems and elegies of lament by such great figures as John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell and John Milton, alongside pieces from many other less well known but equally fascinating poets of the age, such as Anne Bradstreet, Katherine Philips and Thomas Traherne. Widely varied in theme, all are characterized by their use of startling metaphors, imagery and language to express the uncertainty of an age, and a profound desire for originality that was to prove deeply influential on later poets and in particular poets of the Modernist movement such as T. S. Eliot.
In his introduction, Colin Burrow explores the nature of Metaphysical poetry, its development across the seventeenth century and its influence on later poets and includes A Very Short History of Metaphysical Poetry from Donne to Rochester. This edition also includes detailed notes, a chronology and further reading.
Colin Burrow is Reader in Renaissance and Comparative Literature at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He has edited Shakespeare's Sonnets for OUP and The Complete Works of Ben Jonson, and is working on the Elizabethan volume of the Oxford English Literary History.
If you enjoyed Metaphysical Poetry, you might like John Donne's Selected Poems, also available in Penguin Classics.
In his introduction, James Fenton dicusses the early publication and critical reception of Lawrence's poems, his develpoments as a poet and his use of free verse. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading and appendices, including Lawrence's comments on the work of Walt Whitman.
Poet, dramatist, critic, and editor, T. S. Eliot was one of the defining figures of twentieth-century poetry. This edition of Collected Poems 1909-1962 includes The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock along with Four Quartets, The Waste Land, and several other poems.
Picture the east Aegean sea by night,
And on a beach aslant its shimmering
Upwards of 50,000 men
Asleep like spoons beside their lethal Fleet.
“Your life at every instant up for— / Gone. / And, candidly, who gives a toss? / Your heart beats strong. Your spirit grips,” writes Christopher Logue in his original version of Homer’s Iliad, the uncanny “translation of translations” that won ecstatic and unparalleled acclaim as “the best translation of Homer since Pope’s” (The New York Review of Books).
Logue’s account of Homer’s Iliad is a radical reimagining and reconfiguration of Homer’s tale of warfare, human folly, and the power of the gods in language and verse that is emphatically modern and “possessed of a very terrible beauty” (Slate). Illness prevented him from bringing his version of the Iliad to completion, but enough survives in notebooks and letters to assemble a compilation that includes the previously published volumes War Music, Kings, The Husbands, All Day Permanent Red, and Cold Calls, along with previously unpublished material, in one final illuminating volume arranged by his friend and fellow poet Christopher Reid. The result, War Music, comes as near as possible to representing the poet’s complete vision and confirms what his admirers have long known: that “Logue’s Homer is likely to endure as one of the great long poems of the twentieth century” (The Times Literary Supplement).
Among them are Marlowe: "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"; Shakespeare: "Sonnet XVIII" ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"); Donne: "Holy Sonnet X" ("Death, be not proud"); Marvell: "To His Coy Mistress"; Wordsworth: "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"; Shelley: "Ode to the West Wind"; Longfellow: "The Children's Hour"; Poe: "The Raven"; Tennyson: "The Charge of the Light Brigade"; Whitman: "O Captain! My Captain!"; Dickinson: "This Is My Letter to the World"; Yeats: "When You Are Old"; Frost: "The Road Not Taken"; Millay: "First Fig."
Works by many other poets — Milton, Blake, Burns, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Emerson, the Brownings, Hardy, Housman, Kipling, Pound, and Auden among them — are included in this treasury, a perfect companion for quiet moments of reflection.
Michael Alexander has translated the best of the Old English poetry into modern English and into a verse form that retains the qualities of Anglo-Saxon metre and alliteration. Included in this selection are the ‘heroic poems’ such as Widsith, Deor, Brunanburh and Maldon, and passages from Beowulf; some of the famous ‘riddles’ from The Exeter Book; all the ‘elegies’, including The Ruin, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife’s Complaint and The Husband’s Message, in which the virtu of Old English is found in its purest and most concentrated form; together with the great Christian poem The Dream of the Rood.
The extensive appendices include reviews and criticism and material on factory reform and slavery, as well as religion and the Italian Question.