How much inspiration can a century provide ? Michael Schmidt is, as always, in tune with the kaleidoscope of something tumultuous. In reply to andsonsandsons, l would politely point out that,to introduce each poet would make this an even more epic book than it is, with a price tag to match.
And, in the age of the internet and Google, all information can be readily be to hand. And, what about the reference libraries ?
Studying, has come a long way since l was an English undergraduate with a limited budget that was incapable of buying new copies of the textbooks required.
I bought this book out of necessity: it was part of the necessary reading for my course at university. Unfortunately, it really doesn't succeed as an academic book. If you want an interesting overview of 20th century poetry, this book will fit you well. The poems are authoritatively and imaginatively chosen. However, there is a complete lack of context. It would have been massively more useful if it had provided dates: births and deaths of the authors, and the dates of different poems. The Harvill Book presents poems in a vacuum, without context or connections. This may be what you want - it was not what I wanted. (If you buy this book, prepare for plenty of Googling.)