A Little History of Poetry

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$25.00  $23.25
Yale University Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.6 X 1.5 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author
John Carey is emeritus professor at Oxford. His books include The Essential Paradise Lost, What Good Are the Arts?, studies of Donne and Dickens, and a biography of William Golding. The Unexpected Professor, his memoir, was a Sunday Times best-seller.
"[A] fizzing, exhilarating book"--Sebastian Faulks, The Sunday Times
"Book reviewer and Oxford don has great fun, galloping through 4,000 years of verse. Reputations are flayed and poetic gems are uncovered."--Robbie Millen and Andrew Holgate, The Times and The Sunday Times, 'Best Books of 2020'

"In this clever, wide-ranging history, British literary critic Carey provides a tour of Western poetry, from Homer to Maya Angelou. Each brief chapter tackles one or more poets representative of a particular era, with excerpts from their works, brief accounts of their lives, and Carey's insightful critical commentaries. . . . Those looking for a shrewdly condensed and accessible history of poetry could not ask for a better guide."--Publishers Weekly
"A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray. . . . Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful."--Kirkus Reviews
"An elegant history of poetry, what it is, what it does, why it matters, written in an authoritative and engaging voice. Masterly."--Ruth Padel, author of 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem
"Warm in tone, informative, generous in its sympathies, inviting in its choices, with a clear emphasis on human stories underpinning poetic achievement."--Emma Smith, author of This is Shakespeare
"This wonderfully positive and vivid history is a delight on every page ... Carey's sparkling Little History of Poetry is an astonishingly full introduction to English poetry from Beowulf to the present, set in a framework extending in place and time from Gilgamesh to Akhmatova and Seferis."--Bernard O'Donoghue, Winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award
"Here is an informative, fast-moving book ... Like Carey's previous works, it's forceful as well as clear, and it's populist, no-nonsense and anti-elite in its sympathies. Many people may find new favourites here."--Stephanie Burt, Professor of English, Harvard University
"Books about poetry are rarely page turners, but Carey's little history is gripping, is unputdownable! Reading this book and its galaxy of poets is like looking up at the sky and seeing the whole wheeling and constellated universe."--Daljit Nagra, author of Look We Have Coming to Dover!