Master of gibberish Lewis Carroll brings his inventive style of writing to life once more in the collection «Jabberwocky and Other Poems.» Though most famous for his creation of Wonderland and Alice's fall into the uncanny world of the nonsensical, Carroll used his wordsmithing ability to form inventive rhymes and lexicons in this collection. Words like «bandersnatch,» «chortled,» «tulgey,» and even «Jabberwocky» are inventions of Carroll's mind. Many critics have searched for meanings in the poem, but it is believed that Carroll used the nonsensical as a satire of high-poetry; he believed that too many writers took themselves seriously, so he wrote «Jabberwocky» as a way to confuse writers and critics alike. Also compiled in «Jabberwocky and Other Poems» are verses from his novels «Alice's Adventures in Wonderland» and «Through the Looking Glass.» In both stories, Alice found strange verses laying around Wonderland; this text brings them all together comprehensively for the reader's pleasure. Audiences have fallen in love with Carroll's unorthodox writing style, although there is little to say in terms of the poems' plots. Yet the colorful and amusing nature of Carroll's works draws readers into the author and mathematician's mind, which is a stimulating and vibrant place to be. «Jabberwocky and Other Poems» is enjoyed by readers of all ages, allowing the works to be relished by the entire family.
"La Vita Nuova" is the first of two collections of verse and prose written by the Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Since the Middle Ages, Dante has been cherished as the «Supreme Poet,» or simply il Poeta, of Italy, and is most widely recognized for his allegorical «Divina Commedia». «La Vita Nuova» contains works written over a period of ten years, from before 1283 to roughly 1293, and is the semi-autobiographical account of Dante's lifelong love for a woman he called Beatrice. It explores the emotions of courtly love, its powerful ability to inspire, and Dante's affirmations of his own religious convictions. The piece transformed European vernacular poetry, and established the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard. Today it is not only enjoyed for its imaginative and sensitive love story, but also for its exploration of poetry and religious experience, and the overarching connection between them all.
"The Aeneid" is considered by some to be one of the most important epic poems of all time. The story is as much one of the great epic hero, Aeneas, as it is of the foundation of the great Roman Empire. Aeneas, a Trojan Prince who escapes following the fall of troy, travels with others to Italy to lay the foundations for what would become the great Roman Empire. Virgil's Aeneid is a story of great adventure, of war, of love, and of the exploits of a great epic hero. In the work Virgil makes commentary on the state of Rome during the Rule of Augustus. It was a time that had been previously ravaged by civil wars and with the reign of Augustus order and peace had begun to be restored. That order had a price though. Many of the freedoms of the old Roman Republic had been lost under the new Imperialistic Rome. This loss of freedom and the debate over the virtues of a Republican Rome versus an Imperialistic Rome was central to Virgil's time and is interwoven throughout the poetic narrative of «The Aeneid.» Virgil's work forms the historical foundation for the argument of the empire over the republic as the best form of government.
With the first publication of «Leaves of Grass» in 1855, Walt Whitman was solidified as an American poet of undeniable importance. The poems contained in that slim volume candidly spoke of politics, slavery, sexuality, consciousness, and the spiritual world. His content was as radical as his form; he utilized free verse unlike anyone before, creating a poetic tongue that was unique and personal yet universal and cosmic. Born in New York in 1819, Whitman came to represent the spirit of an American poet. Influenced heavily by early 19th century Transcendentalism, Whitman befriended Ralph Waldo Emerson who would help shape his literary voice and vision. This volume contains the complete poetic works of Walt Whitman. Through his poems 'Song of Myself', 'Sleepers', 'To A Stranger', 'The Sleepers', and 'I Sing the Body Electric' we see a poet of great range and endless influence, one who is a «poet of democracy». Whitman's legacy is strong, influencing the beat movement, and countless poets of today. His verse is as layered and textured as the American soil he wrote on, becoming an essential part of America's cultural heritage. This edition of his complete poems is sure to satisfy the curious reader as well as the scholar. Whitman's poems are as vital and resonant today as ever, proving to be timeless and permanent fixtures of literary history.
This collection of extant odes by the Greek poet Pindar (c. 581-438 BC) presents a comprehensive look at the odes that define his poetic career. Along with Sappho, Pindar is one of the esteemed nine lyric poets of Ancient Greece. These extant odes are also representative of Greece's cultural and artistic trends at the beginning of the dynamic classical period (5th cen. – 4th cen. BC). Primarily in the mode of his famed victory odes, or «epikinia», Pindar elevates the legends of various athletic victors. From charioteers to wrestlers, these poems are frank yet powerful accounts of Ancient Greece's most harrowing Olympic events. Pindar's poetic style is particularly striking, often employing grandiosity unheard in his contemporaries' verse. His elegant phrasing and exacting imagery make these odes delightfully arresting. These games provide an opportunity for mortal men to be elevated to divine status; and it is these odes that so effortlessly set these transformations into action.
“The Aeneid” is considered by some to be one of the most important epic poems of all time. The story is as much one of the great epic hero, Aeneas, as it is of the foundation of the Roman Empire. Aeneas, a Trojan Prince who escapes after the fall of troy, travels to Italy to lay the foundations for what would become the great Roman Empire. Virgil’s “Aeneid” is a story of great adventure, war, love, and of the exploits of an epic hero. In the work Virgil makes his commentary on the state of Rome during the Rule of Augustus. It was a time that had been previously ravaged by civil wars and with the reign of Augustus order and peace had begun to be restored. That order had a price though. Many of the freedoms of the old Roman Republic had been lost under the new Imperialistic Rome. This loss of freedom and the debate over the virtues of a Roman Republic versus an Imperialistic Rome was central to Virgil’s time and is interwoven throughout the poetic narrative of “The Aeneid.” Virgil’s work forms the historical foundation for the argument of the empire over the republic as the best form of government. This edition is translated into English verse by John Dryden and includes an introduction by Harry Burton.
The great Roman poet Lucan is considered one of the most important Latin Poets of all time. His masterful epic “Pharsalia”, or “Civil War” chronicles the dynamic battle between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. The Great Civil War led to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Empire. “Civil War” is divided into ten books, tracking Caesar’s march to Rome, through Spain, and finally to Egypt. The cast of characters is wide: Brutus, Cicero, and Cleopatra all have parts, creating a singular epic. The poem is rooted in history though Lucan uses his poetic gift to create a work of literature that is as symbolic and moving as it is informative. Lucan’s clear and energetic verse brings one of the most important wars in history to life. The cruel and exacting Caesar is witnessed here like nowhere else in literature. Civil War brilliantly comments on violence, politics, and sacrifice. For the student of Roman history and the lover of epic poetry, Lucan’s “Civil War” is not to be missed.
Alfred Edward Housman was an English poet and classical scholar whose work became a major force in turn of the century English poetry. Unlike his contemporaries, Housman’s poetry does not qualify as Romantic, Victorian, or Modernist, and is not overly sentimental or optimistic; instead, his deeply pessimistic and ironic poetry, written clearly and succinctly, earned Housman recognition as one of the foremost classicists of his time. His best-known work, “A Shropshire Lad”, is a cycle of 63 poems set in a half-imaginative Shropshire, and explores themes of death, the fleetingness of love, and the passing of youth. The poems became increasingly popular at the time of World War I because of their depiction of brave English soldiers. In the early 1920s, Housman’s closest friend and old Oxford roommate, Moses Jackson, was dying, prompting Housman to compile his “Last Poems” for Jackson to read. The forty-one previously unpublished poems were so titled because Housman felt his inspiration had been exhausted. These two volumes are combined together here in this representative collection of Housman’s works.
Robert Service dreamed of a life of adventure and freedom to live and write as he wanted, surrounded by nature and the beauty of the world. Born in Lancashire, England, he developed an urge early on to travel abroad, and set his sights on the rough and tumble “wild west” of Canada. Part journalist and part storyteller, he ventured up and down the west coast of the United States and wrote romantic stories of cowboys, gold prospectors, and characters of the lush, wild backwoods. This collection of verse contains Service’s famous poetry collections “Songs of a Sourdough”, published in 1907 to wide success, “Ballads of a Cheechako”, “Rhymes of a Rolling Stone”, “Rhymes of a Red Cross Man”, and “Ballads of a Bohemian”. Service favored simple, rhythmic ballads that allowed the reader to get lost in the colorful descriptions and exciting tales of his imagination, which were inspired by his real world experiences.
One of Hilaire Belloc’s most famous works, “Cautionary Tales for Children” satirizes a genre of admonitory children’s literature popular in England in the 19th century. The seven stories contained in this work are macabre parodies of childhood lessons, and will entertain more sophisticated readers who can appreciate these tales of disproportionate punishment. Presented in a classic picture book style, Belloc has captured the foibles of children like Jim, who let go of his nurse’s hand and was eaten by a lion; Matilda, who told lies, and was burned to death; and Henry King who swallowed string. The consequences range from naughty children being whimsically eaten by lions, to stern reprimands for a boy who fires a loaded gun at his sister. Originally written nearly a century ago, Belloc’s sprightly verses are a quick and cathartic read which reflects upon a trend in children’s literature from yesteryear.