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Short and Sweet: 101 Very Short Poems (Faber Poetry) Paperback – 7 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New edition edition (7 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571215564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571215560
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 908,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Some of the finest poems are short. Whether it's Edward Lear's limericks Or the fragments of Sappho, brevity is very often the soul of a poet's wit: what would be obvious and mundane expressed in lengthy prose, or prolix doggerel, becomes amusing or moving when forcibly compressed into five or seven--or three or two--lines of poetry.

No stranger to the pithy himself, poet Simon Armitage has collected 101 of literature's best "very short poems" in this anthology. His criterion of shortness (as he explains in a witty introduction) is that no poem should be more than 13 lines long. This deliberately excludes the 14-line sonnet, but manages to include some famous nearly-sonnets: such as Gerard Manley Hopkins's Pied Beauty("Glory be to God for dappled things"). It's towards the end of the book, where the poems dwindle in size (they are arranged so that the longer precede the shorter), that Armitage's selection comes truly into its own. Some of the poems are so tiny they are quotable in their entirety, Gavin Ewart's "Penal", for instance: "The clanking and wanking of Her Majesty's Prison", or Edwin Morgan's Siesta of a Hungarian Snake,"s sz sz SZ sz SZ sz ZS zs Zs zs zs z." Finally, right at the end, comes a laugh-out-loud piece that manages to remain a poem while consisting of no lines whatsoever. --Sean Thomas --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, he has published ten collections of poetry, including Selected Poems (2001), Seeing Stars (2010) and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007). A broadcaster and presenter, he also writes extensively for television and radio, is the author of two novels, the bestselling memoir All Points North (1998) and Walking Home (2012), his poetic journey along the Pennine Way. In 2010 he received the CBE for services to poetry.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Josh on 12 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have many poetry books, 50% classics, 50% anthologies.
The anthology "Short and Sweet: 101 Very Short Poems" is the best I have read in many a year and has revived my interest in poetry. With a brilliant introduction, the selection cuts straight to the heart of the essence of poetry. I read the anthology backwards (ie: from the shortest poem {no lines, just a title} to the longest {13 lines}) to test my attention span and also get a feel for my personal preference of an optimum length of a poem (the poems longer than 8-9 lines started to feel a bit 'padded out').
If you've never read any poetry, I recommend start here with "Short & Sweet" ... or if poetry has become mundane for you, then re-start with same.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Nov. 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
Each poem in this book is less than 13 lines long, and the smallest has no lines at all but does have a fantastic title. As a compilation, the style and tone of the poems vary considerably but many are witty and pithy. Simon Armitage's introduction is worth the price of admission alone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These poems are indeed 'short and sweet' - they are a very well chosen collection of poems, leaving you able to flick through and find poems that attract you. (Because they are so short and extremely well written and resonating poems, it is actually quite addictive!) The book is small, thin and lightweight too, meaning that it is a great travel companion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great selection of poetry, some well know some more obscure. A little book that's worth it's weight in gold. There's things you'll read here that'll stay with you forever. Ian Hamilton Findlay's - Catch, stands out as one of the best!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
A collection of short poems. some are very short - 2 lines - others are longer - a whole verse. all are short and sweet. An excellent book for dipping into and worth owning!
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