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Selected Poems (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 14 Mar 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (14 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019958432X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199584321
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.8 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

a fine study of Milton and Ovid ... a skilfully woven work of criticism without a thread awry in its scholarly fabric. (Erick Ramalho, Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

a major achievement ... as timely as other creative reinterpretations of Ovid today, and, though a scholarly work, belongs to the same rich field of our own transformations and interpretations of Ovid. (Goran Stanivukovic, Review of English Studies) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Paul Davis is the author of Translation and the Poet's Life: the Ethics of Translating in English Culture, 1646-1726 (OUP, 2008).


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love Rochester but his poems have been out of affordable print for years. This new edition is based on Harold Love's Works of Rochester (Oxford, 1999), and is a good selection of the range of Rochester's poetry.

Writing at the court of Charles II from the mid-1660s till 1680, Rochester is clever, witty, mocking, scurrilous and deliberately bawdy. With his focus on mistresses, sexual encounters, constancy, love and the erotic, he draws on classical, Elizabethan and cavalier poetic traditions - but gives them a dynamic, energetic and sometimes very cynical edge of his own.

Rochester the rake-about-town is well-known - but his excellence as a poet is sometimes overlooked. His metrics are impeccable, and he's one of the only poets writing in English who makes the rhyming couplet work.

Like many other elite, courtly and now canonical poets from the Renaissance period - Thomas Wyatt, Philip Sidney, John Donne - Rochester's poems circulated only in manuscript and were first published in a `pirated' unauthorised version on his death. With a complicated textual history, editions of Rochester do matter, and it's only recently that we've been able to recuperate something that is relatively reliable.

As with most of the Oxford paperbacks, this has a focused and up-to-date introduction. The notes are excellent on textual variations and positioning within the various manuscripts, but are oddly silent on how the poems situate themselves against poetic traditions and as imitations and re-writings. But that's a small niggle.

So overall a very good edition of an excellent poet - highly recommended.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 May 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must admit that this isn't the only selection of poems by John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester that I own, and I was more than happy to be offered this selection by OUP to review. I should think more people are aware of Rochester than have ever read his poetry, especially if you have read the play or seen it or the film 'The Libertine'. The character of Rochester also pops up in novels and other films.

The man himself was what was called at the time, a rake, and he definitely lived a hedonistic lifestyle, putting to shame people who claim to be such these days. Sometimes a friend of the king, Charles II, he was definitely the leading satirist of his age, and probably also the greatest poet of the time as well. Edited by Paul Davis, who also herein gives an excellent and comprehensive introduction, the poems in this edition have been selected from Harold Love's edition. The problem with Rochester's poems and finding the real text by the author has always been rife with problems. Originally written by the author instead of being printed the poems did get altered over the period, some being made more fruitier than they were, and then also being censored, by other parties. Of course, the language that at times Rochester used has been the main appeal to these poems by a lot of people, but just to look at that detracts from other points about these. Well written, at times rude, and also at times very funny, Rochester it has to be admitted was a genius.

If you have never read any of Rochester's poems before, then this book may well be an ideal starting place, you have an excellent introduction, a note on the text, chronology, genre sections, notes and an index, so this is pretty comprehensive. If you do decide to purchase this, then please make sure you read 'A Ramble in St James' Park' (page 41), my all time favourite piece by this author. In all I am more than happy to be given this particular edition to review.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a wonderful new edition of the poetry of the 'Libertine Earl' made famous most recently by Johnny Depp in the 2004 film The Libertine. Paul Davis is to be congratulated on bringing together for the average reader, some of the best (and most notorious) of poems, satires, lyrics and monologues of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.
Much of his poetry is deliberately anti-heroic, scatalogical and could not be quoted in full here - littered as it is with four-letter words. Yet the overwhelming observation that struck this reader - was how much more there is to Rochester than merely dirty ditties.

He was cultured, well-read and intelligent, and a courtier at Charles II's court in the 1660s and 1670s. It is this latter point that we miss if we merely think of him as the typical hell-raising Restoration Rake slumming it in the stews of London's Drury Lane.
True, he did live fast and died young - blind of syphilis at just 33. But in his clear-sighted introduction we are allowed to see him as a complex individual, as Davis separates out the four main strands of Rochester's life - court, theatre, country, and church - he died repentant in the arms of the C of E.

He spent much of his life in London at court - and while he did go rambling with his cronies (which in the 17th C meant drinking in disreputable taverns in search of prostitutes) his poetry clearly shows much of his life was spent immersed in the factions and politicking around the king.

His life in the country in Oxfordshire fascinates me, there he lived surrounded by his family - all women - who all seemed devoted to him, his formidable mother, his wife, and his daughter.
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