November 28 , 2009

Selected Verse


Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was one of English poetry's truly distinctive stylists, a supreme technician, with an unbelievable mastery over sound' (Edith Sitwell). He was one of the major poets of the Victorian era, and almost certainly the most provocative. His pagan' sensualism and masochistic fantasies thrilled and outraged his readers, while the musical textures of his verse both delighted and unsettled. In this new anthology of his finest verse, Swinburne's most celebrated collection, the Poems and Ballads of 1866, is represented much more fully than in earlier selections, and ample extracts are given from his later masterpiece, Tristram of Lyonesse (1882). Also included are generous passages from the best of Swinburne's five-act tragedies, which have not been reprinted for nearly a century. Above all, this book is designed to make Swinburne, once again, a poet to be read widely for pleasure. No one else has made such music in English', wrote Ezra Pound; The splendid lines mount up in one's memory and overwhelm any minute restrictions of one's praise'.

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