Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A New Library of Poetry and Song

Recently Acquired:

A New Library of Poetry and Song, edited by William Cullen Bryant with his review of poets and poetry from the time of Chaucer. Revised and enlarged with recent authors, and containing a dictionary of poetical quotations. Pictorial and portrait illustrations. New York: The Baker Taylor Company. Copyright, in 1870 and 1877, by J.B. Ford and Company. In 1880, 1886, 1895, and 1900, by Fords, Howard, and Hulbert. The Greenwich Printing Co., New York.

The book includes a Publishers’ Preface (New York, 1900); a Classification of Poems and Fragments; a list of Illustrations which in turn includes Full Page Portraits, Homes of Poets, With Poems by Recent Authors, and Manuscript and Autograph Fac-Similes; “Poets and Poetry of the English Language (Mr. Bryant’s introduction to the first edition); an Index of Authors and Titles; an Index of Titles; an Index of First Lines; and an Analytical Index of Famous and Apt Poetical Quotations.

Hardcover. 1,100 pages. $2.00.

From the Introduction:

...It should be considered, moreover, that in poetry, as in painting, different artists have different modes of presenting their conceptions, each of which may possess its peculiar merit, yet those whose taste is formed by contemplating the productions of one class take little pleasure in any other....

...While speaking of these changes in the public taste, I am tempted to caution the reader against the mistake often made of estimating the merit of one poet by the too easy process of comparing him with another....

...There is no poet, indeed no author in any department of literature, who can be taken as a standard in judging others; the true standard is an ideal one, and even this is not the same in all men’s minds....

This entry added to And I Quote.

April 8 journal entry added to Volume 23 of Songs and Letters.

In the Forum: a Saroyan snippet of Bukowski’s “We, the Artists—”

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