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1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Scholarship, 10 Nov 2013
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This review is from: A Poet's Guide to Britain (Poetry Anthology) (Paperback)
A POET'S GUIDE TO BRITAIN by OWEN JONES is at first, an innocuous selection of the poet's favourite poems under landscape themes which was chosen for my local U3A poetry class by, naturally, a Welshwoman married to an Englishman and hence living in England in the village next to me in South Cambridgeshire.

My main objection to the book is I feel Owen Jones has not done his research very well and whatever he thinks of Wordsworth as a poet, has not paid him enough respect. There are errors in the printing of the excerpt from "The PRELUDE" which in my copy of Wordsworth's poetry is from Book 14, not 13 as he has it. Then he proceeds to write his own version of this Book 13 or 14, which is a description of a guided walk in the mountains of North Wales. He shortens it and includes some original lines but mostly he changes it to his own version. I suppose this is just about allowable, but What I find difficult is that he pays no acknowledgement to the original - there are no acknowledgements to the original in the book. For me, the worst thing is that this poet, Owen Jones, was actually Writer in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust from 2004. Presumably he was able to retire from that job when he started to win prizes. I think this is bad for a modern poet and a supposed expert on Wordsworth to disregard and not add acknowledgments to his poetic origins in this anthology. It is hardly a work of scholarship, badly edited and rather arrogant, in my opinion. He should get a better editor for his next anthology. I am also disappointed in Penguin who,up until recently, had high standards in their editorship. I suppose the answer it that living poets are more lucrative to Penguin TV than the respected memory of poor old Wordsworth, I wonder what William Wordsworth's ancestors think?
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Dec 2013 18:13:20 GMT
Interesting comments, but if you're going to get on your high horse, you should choose your words carefully. I shouldn't think Wordsworth's ancestors have much to say on the subject. His descendants however...

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2013 10:34:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Dec 2013 10:35:17 GMT
Palmer says:
Hi Steve!
Thank you for pointing out my error!
Yes, of course, his descendants whether they include Owen Sheers or not, decide to make Wordsworth a Welsh poet and obviously he thinks he ha the right to do that. I just wonder, Steve, if Sheers will be remembered for his superficial and glossy poetry after his own death? Fortunately, I didn't pay a lot of money for this anthology and have better ones in my own library here e.g. those produced and published by Oxford University Press - "The Oxford Book of 20th Century Verse", for instance, to quote one. I am disappointed with Penguin and it makes me question their standards as well as the standards of modern acclaimed poets and writers like Mr Sheers. That's all! Perhpas I should go to another poetry group!
Thanks for your response. - Eleanor (Palmer)
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