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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both Useful and Beautiful, 18 April 2012
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For the person like myself who loves poetry as a mirror reflecting every human mood, like the Bible's Book of Psalms, this collection has it all...all human life is there. You will meet the familiar which has already sounded echoes in your heart, and the new which will take you, whatever your age, into new and challenging places. It is a book to comfort but in the Latin meaning of the word:"to strengthen".
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Diverse Century of Poetry beginning and ending in Strife, 17 Nov 2011
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The 20th Century in Poetry (Hardcover)
The fact that these 400 pieces form only a fraction of those written in the C20 is a salutary reminder of the richness of this century for poetry. The dramatic changes of this period probably make the poetry more diverse than for any previous century: not just in the themes and issues covered, but also in the progression from poetry that must rhyme and scan with metre, to the blank verse which had become the norm post World War 2.

The poems are presented in the order of first publication, starting in 1900 with Hardy's "Darkling Thrush" in which he is struck by the incongruous beauty of the bird's song in a bleak landscape which forms a metaphor for the Boer War - which he subtly does not mention specifically. The year 2000 is marked at the end with Kit Wright's poem "Hoping it Might be So" which hopes for a utopian world without evil, hinting at the holocaust with the line "For at least six million reasons or else no reason". The last poem is Jeffrey Harrison's "Pale Blue City" which provides a beautiful description of New York seen from a plane during takeoff, with the paired towers of the Trade Center (deliberate US spelling!) still standing and the poignant wish "I want it all to stay like this".

Some poems seem included since they form part of a standard "canon" like both John Masefield's "Sea-Fever", and his "Cargoes", William Owen's "Dulce et Decorum est" , or Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night". On this basis, of course, we are all likely to regret the omission of some favourite poems!

The choice of lesser known works is inevitably arbitrary, reflecting the subjective personal preferences of the editors Michael Hulse and Simon Rae. Poems included share the common factor of describing some event, or topical situation for each year of the century. Many of the later poems selected seemed fairly unremarkable to me, or a bit too laboured, but I made some discoveries to note, such as "Sportsmen" by Keith Douglas, the World War 2 poem, half admiring and half despairing over the misplaced courage of men who persist in going off to war as if it were a game. It's also good to be reminded of the power of an epic-style poem like "Flannan Isle", commemorating the unexplained disappearance of three lighthouse keepers in the Outer Hebrides.

The need to reflect real events, rather than choose poems which speak to the reader, may have been a straitjacket. Yet, overall, it is an interesting anthology to explore, very well-indexed with brief biographical notes on the poets.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most pleasing collection!, 17 Sep 2012
By 
G. Wylie "george11171" (Scottish Highlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 20th Century in Poetry (Hardcover)
I enjoy reading poetry when I get a quiet moment and find that this collection is the most interesting and satisfying that I have come across in many years. I look forward to pleasant browsing!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pageant of everyday life and thought, 9 Mar 2012
This review is from: The 20th Century in Poetry (Hardcover)
This book although it contains splendid poetry is, with it's concise, perceptive commentaries as much about the history of the twentieth century and its peoples and provides shrewd insights into the 'human condition'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive Treats, 11 Jan 2014
By 
Ronald Ellis (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 20th Century in Poetry (Hardcover)
This is a very very big book!

But quite outstanding in its range and presentation

I thoroughly enjoyed the selection and have dipped in to it many times

Strongly recommended
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 4 Oct 2011
This review is from: The 20th Century in Poetry (Hardcover)
Well worth the price you can get it for here on Amazon. This compendium showcases poetry throughout the 20th Century by using each poem to showcase a particular event or period in time. The poems aren't necessarily in order of when they were written but in the order to which they refer in time. It's an unusual selection, and there are a few that I would of liked in here that aren't but it is not lacking for that and remains a superb compilation - I have discovered many that I had not read before. The packaging itself is lovely, and would do justice to even the most sophisticated coffee table.

Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The 20th Century in Poetry (Hardcover)
I love it - so comprehensive. An absolute bargain!
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The 20th Century in Poetry
The 20th Century in Poetry by Simon Rae (Hardcover - 6 Oct 2011)
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