This is a set book for an Open University course that starts in September. Never did a set book give me so much pleasure. I read at least one poem a day and it's always a delight. The poems are among the best our literature has to offer; all styles, all ages. The animals do not dominate. I often forget that there is an animal somewhere in the poem. If I have one gripe it is that the editors offer no explanations of achaic or dialect words. For example, anyone who is unfamiliar with the Scots language will have trouble with some of Robert Burns' texts.
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