Top critical review
Good content presented in a user-unfriendly way.
on 26 November 2016
At a quick glance this seems to be a very good and comprehensive anthology, just what I would like to use with my students for a class on First World War Poetry. On closer inspection, though, it reveals itself to be fairly user-unfriendly. I have no objection to the poems being arranged by topic rather than by author: in fact I quite welcome it. However the volume has the following editorial defects:
- The contents page gives only the topics, not the individual poems.
- There is an alphabetical index of poems giving page numbers, but not one of poets! There are biographical notes on the poets, arranged alphabetically. It would have cost little work and very little ink to add the page numbers on which their respective poems are to be found so that this section could also function as an index.
- There are apparently quite useful notes on the poems at the back, but the only way to find the notes on a particular poem is to leaf your way through the notes, as there is no cross-referencing system either by page numbers or poem numbers. (The pages are numbered, but the poems are not – this is not a defect in itself, but it could have been done to help us find the notes.)
Sometimes I wonder whether the people who publish books also read them or work with them. I shall look for another anthology for my class.