But I am a sucker for a vintage book. When I discovered A Little Treasury of Great Poetry on the Friends of the Library sale table, I snatched it up quicker than you could say "Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright..."
This anthology, which boldly promises to hold The Best Poems of Seven Centuries, was published in 1947. Its editor was Oscar Williams, himself a poet, although he was more well-known for his collections of others' poetry than his own.
What I like about this anthology, American and British poems ranging from Chaucer to Dylan Thomas, is that the works are divided into categories.
So we have Poetry of the Earth, Beginnings, Spirit of Man, Mortality, Snow, Auguries of Innocence, Time, Age and others. And finally there is the delightful section of humorous ditties, Jabberwocky.
In all there are 766 pages of long, short, narrative, and lyric poems; ballads; songs; and, passages from great plays. There is an index of authors and titles, an index of first lines, and lo, and behold, portraits of the poets. I just love looking at their faces! Only two females are featured in this gallery - Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the anthologist's wife, poet Gene Derwood.
The book is just the size to sit on my bedside table which may encourage me to pick it up and read a stanza or two before bed.
I kept thinking that Mr. Williams' name sounded familiar, so I searched my shelves and sure enough, I came across Immortal Poems of the English Language which he also gathered. It was given to me by a dear friend on my birthday (which just happens to be tomorrow - I hope there will be cake!) many years ago. To give you an idea of just how long ago, the little paperback cost seventy-five cents.
Are you reading any poetry these days?