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The Golden Treasury (1861)

por Francis Turner Palgrave (Selected and arranged by)

Outros autores: G. F. Maine (General editor)

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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1,7081710,317 (3.9)11
An anthology of English poetry which includes poets of previous centuries such as Shakespeare, Milton, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats alongside major figures of the present century such as Yeats, Eliot, and Auden.
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Great selection. Couldn't care less about most of the stuff after, say, Eliot. ( )
  judeprufrock | Jul 4, 2023 |
My favourite Poetry anthology.

It's been through many editions. I had the Oxford World's Classics one when I was a teenager, and later on the Everyman one - rather easier on the eyes.

If you are only going to buy one poetry book, this is the one to get. ( )
  NickDuberley | Mar 5, 2022 |
I first heard of this venerable anthology soon after entering college and reading that Robert Frost generally had a copy in his pocket during his stay in England. I’ve owned copies of it off an on for decades but decided a while back to read it from cover to cover for once, rather than simply dip into it. I did this in two stages. First, with a free download of the original on my Kindle, where it was a handy companion for trips. Then, to finish it, I read the supplementary Book Five, added in 1964, to cover poets from the previous hundred years; Palgrave’s original selection included no poets still living when it was first published in 1861. This additional book was more than two-thirds as bulky as the first four books combined. This may reflect the difficulty of choosing among poems from the recent past: should one attempt to select the best? Should one aim to find the most representative or famous?
The first four books bear the stamp of the personality of Palgrave. This sets it apart from many anthologies, the product of editorial teams and aimed for use as textbooks in university courses. No doubt Palgrave discussed his selections with his close friend Tennyson (dedicatee of the first edition) and others, but these are his choices. The result, if you’re at all in tune with his sympathies, is a handy compendium. For the most part, Palgrave limits himself to lyrical poems, although he admits that a few of his choices could also be grouped among narrative or dramatic poetry.
The four books cover epochs, for which Palgrave wisely avoids assigning names such as “the Elizabethan era” or “the Romantic era.” Within each book, though, the order is only roughly chronological, nor does he print the poems by a given author consecutively. Instead, he groups poems dealing with various themes, such as death, childhood, or romantic love. This gives one the feel of a conversation between the poets.
The fifth book, on the other hand, selected by John Press, orders the poems as mini-anthologies of the authors collected, chronologically according to the year of birth. He does have one thing in common with Palgrave though: the authors he selects are overwhelmingly male. I did a quick count of authors represented, and from over two hundred, I only spotted seven women (Press would have included one more, Kathleen Raine, but was denied permission). Of course, there are nine poems of unknown authorship, so it’s possible there are some by the most prolific poetess of history (according to Virginia Woolf), Anonymous.
The authors are all British, although Press stretches the criterium both ways; he includes both T. S. Eliot, an American who took on British citizenship, and W. H. Auden, an Englishman with an American passport.
So what did I learn from reading the entire collection in sequence? What follows is strictly personal opinion. I already knew Shakespeare was great. No surprise there, but that Marlowe fellow wasn’t so bad either. My close attention to Milton was rewarded, especially in “Il Penseroso,” a seriously great poem. Among the Romantics, I found I don’t care if I ever read another poem by Walter Scott. I liked Shelley more than Keats and much more than Byron; until now, I had always thought of them as a single, three-headed poetic hydra. Wordsworth is generously represented, too much so for the sake of his reputation — there’s a lot of chaff there. Ditto for Tennyson. I get it — he’s a master of the depiction of nature, but to what purpose? Browning is a different matter. There’s something strange about his poems; I’m curious to continue exploring.
Among the moderns: Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, and Auden have long been personal favorites, but until now I hadn’t paid any attention to the poems of Thomas Hardy, in spite of the fact that he’s one of my favorite novelists (and the urging of one of my best friends, whose taste I trust). The selection included here is seriously good — right up there with Robert Graves.
Another benefit of reading a well-selected anthology is the discovery of writers I hadn’t heard of before. I’ve noted several for further study.
The time draws close when I will have to cull my library to fit in a smaller space, but I expect this book, with its myriad explorations of the intersection of world and word, will make the cut even when I’m down to one small bookcase. ( )
1 vote HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
A seminal anthology from Francis Turner Palgrave becomes a middling lyric-dump when John Press adds his own contributions. Originally published in 1861 with an updated version a few decades later, Palgrave's lean selections, totalling about three hundred pages in my Oxford University Press edition, promise and provide the 'best lyrical poems in the English language'. Alongside obvious but necessary choices like Shakespeare, Milton and Wordsworth, Palgrave includes a number of more obscure but enjoyable poems, all annotated with unobtrusive endnotes and commentary. Beautifully sequenced, it is a compelling read for those looking to examine the collective footprint of British poets before Tennyson.

However, the final two segments of the Golden Treasury, added by John Press in 1964 and 1994, more than double the length of the book without adding comparable value. Press does add some great new poets who would've been worthy of the original Treasury had they lived then, such as Yeats and Eliot, along with Tennyson (who Palgrave had omitted, with the poet's agreement, on the grounds of personal and professional friendship). But, fatally, Press is much less discerning than Palgrave in his selections. It would be hard to argue credibly that the English language has provided as many great poets since the start of the 20th century as it had in the previous four centuries, especially as poetry has become a relegated medium, but even if you were amenable to this implicit argument, Press' selections do little to win you over. Many are milquetoast pieces that remain deservedly obscure, particularly among the contemporary selections, and of those stellar poets that are included, the examples chosen from their work are underwhelming (Kipling is allowed only two poems, neither of which rank among his best, while Wilfred Owen's larger selection still lacks 'Dulce et Decorum Est'). The less said about many of the post-war poets, the better. Under Press, this compendium is no longer 'The Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language', as Palgrave's original subtitle put it, and this remit is further tarnished by Press' omission of any English-language poets from America, such as Robert Frost.

Rather than enlightening us with a lean selection comprising the best of the best, Press adds too much bronze and tin to Palgrave's golden treasury. In his original commentary, discussing 18th century poets like Burns and Gray, Palgrave writes that poetry was "at this as at all times… a more or less unconscious mirror of the genius of the age" (pg. 649). This is sadly no longer true of poetry, unless you take the somewhat contrary reasoning that Press' mild selections often mirror the uncomfortable reality that our own age is so lacking in poetic genius. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Sep 19, 2020 |
An updated version including some more modern poems. Among many favourites, it includes Ben Jonson's “Hymn to Diana”, one of the most perfect lyrics in the English language (you can recite it to the moon, and I have been known to), and “It is not growing like a tree”.
  PollyMoore3 | May 15, 2020 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Palgrave, Francis TurnerSelected and arranged byautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Maine, G. F.General editorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Day Lewis, C.Introduction and additional Poems selected and arranged byautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
This Edition of a Great Anthology Is Dedicated As a Mark of Appreciation to EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
This little collection differs, it is believed, from others in the attempt made to include in it all the best original Lyrical pieces and Songs in our language (save a very few omitted on account of length), by writers not living -- and none beside the best. [Preface]
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
Palgrave's Golden Treasury, as it commonly called, was first published in 1861 under the title, The Golden Treasury of the best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English language. It has remained in print, in various forms ever since. The second edition in 1891 had additional poems added and for the third edition in 1926 Laurence Binyon produced a supplementary 5th book to add to Palgrave's four. Over the years, reprints have allowed newer material to be added.

The core of the anthology would be recognisable to Palgrave but there are significant differences which would normally suggest that the work could be separated. Some would not consider this proper and it would be a daunting task to get the separation right. The editions to which the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was included have been separated as have the few copies of a 1996 selection of love poems from the anthology published by Phoenix. The rest co-exist peacefully.
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
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An anthology of English poetry which includes poets of previous centuries such as Shakespeare, Milton, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats alongside major figures of the present century such as Yeats, Eliot, and Auden.

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