A wonderfully readable anthology of our greatest poetry, chosen by the author of A Little History of Poetry
“Does anyone know more about poetry than John Carey? Almost certainly not.”—The Times
A poem seems a fragile thing. Change a word and it is broken. But poems outlive empires and survive the devastation of conquests. Celebrated author John Carey here presents a uniquely valuable anthology of verse based on a simple principle: select the one-hundred greatest poets from across the centuries, and then choose their finest poems.
Ranging from Homer and Sappho to Donne and Milton, Plath and Angelou, this is a delightful and accessible introduction to the very best that poetry can offer. Familiar favorites are nestled alongside marvelous new discoveries—all woven together with Carey’s expert commentary. Particular attention is given to the works of female poets, like Christina Rossetti and Charlotte Mew. This is a personal guide to the poetry that shines brightest through the ages. Within its pages, readers will find treasured poems that remain with you for life.
About the Author
John Carey is emeritus professor at the University of Oxford. His books include A Little History of Poetry, The Essential Paradise Lost, What Good Are the Arts?, studies of Donne and Dickens, and a prizewinning biography of William Golding.
“Enthusiasm for the underdog is infectious. . . . It reveals a sensitivity in Carey’s aesthetic, a rejection of the sentimental and the highbrow in favour of the lyrical, the melancholy and the divine. It’s what ultimately ties the book together, and lends a profound emotional weight to the intellectual rigour.”—Andrew Male, Sunday Times
“Reading poetry is a perfect commuter pastime, but can feel intimidating. Where to start? Perhaps with this gentle, welcoming anthology by this paper’s chief literary critic, which offers one emblematic poem, and a brief introduction, for 100 poets.”—Sunday Times
“This would be a good introduction for literature students as well as laypeople wanting to brush up on their poetry.”—Rebecca Foster, Bookish Beck
“[T]his book is an excellent introduction to a variety of poets and these morsels will whet the appetite for more. 100 Poets makes an excellent gift for students because schools today are utterly failing to introduce young minds to the important poets.”—The Interim