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Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry

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Drawing on poetry written in English and on European poetry in translation, this anthology tells the story of the 20th century in verse - primarily the story of world events but also of social changes, technical developments, and ways of thinking and behaving.


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Drawing on poetry written in English and on European poetry in translation, this anthology tells the story of the 20th century in verse - primarily the story of world events but also of social changes, technical developments, and ways of thinking and behaving.

30 review for Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Palmyrah

    A wide-ranging anthology of the past century's poetry, including lots of poems in translation. Few of these, I'm sorry to say, work; poetry doesn't lend itself well to translation, even if the translator is himself a poet. However, there are riches enow among the English poetry on display here. The poems are grouped under different subject headings and chronologically under each heading. The subjects are also grouped in rough chronological order. This seems to be a reasonable way to proceed, but A wide-ranging anthology of the past century's poetry, including lots of poems in translation. Few of these, I'm sorry to say, work; poetry doesn't lend itself well to translation, even if the translator is himself a poet. However, there are riches enow among the English poetry on display here. The poems are grouped under different subject headings and chronologically under each heading. The subjects are also grouped in rough chronological order. This seems to be a reasonable way to proceed, but it isn't an arrangement that lends itself either to gentle browsing or to easy reference. A titles/first lines index helps enormously in the latter connexion, though the reader is still left to guess, as best he or she can, when a particular poem was written. I, for one, find this quite frustration. All the usual suspects are here, of course. Eliot, the Peradeniya Mafia favourite, has aged badly; in addition to sounding uptight, detached and repressed as he always did, he has acquired a distinct quality of the ridiculous. Auden and Louis MacNiece (whom Porter calls the guiding spirits of the anthology) have aged far better, especially the former. But in poetry, as in humour, it's chacun à son goût, so I'll leave you to find your own favourites.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Not enough poetry, lots of events--poems without much poetry in them. Carol Ann Duffy has 5 poems, beat only by WH Auden and Louise MacNeice. These are newspaper articles. And I won't ever read all of it, because reading bad poetry makes me write badly. Two stars because there are a lot of poems and some of them very good; but as an anthology, one star. (A lot of poems, but, again, not enough poetry.) Not enough poetry, lots of events--poems without much poetry in them. Carol Ann Duffy has 5 poems, beat only by WH Auden and Louise MacNeice. These are newspaper articles. And I won't ever read all of it, because reading bad poetry makes me write badly. Two stars because there are a lot of poems and some of them very good; but as an anthology, one star. (A lot of poems, but, again, not enough poetry.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Avian Dewanto

    I am a poet lover. And, this book is a collection of the world class' poetry writers want to explain how was things happen in the 20th century. Of course, a poet can express all human imagination end expression. I don't think how many books will publish to describe what happen in a century. Reminds me of a book named Quran which explain the beginning of time until the end. I am a poet lover. And, this book is a collection of the world class' poetry writers want to explain how was things happen in the 20th century. Of course, a poet can express all human imagination end expression. I don't think how many books will publish to describe what happen in a century. Reminds me of a book named Quran which explain the beginning of time until the end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    my all time favourite poetry anthology!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Roshan

    Took me nearly 5 years to read this, a few poems at a time. But so worth it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie Rogers

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ugnė Pa

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jude Brigley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sue H

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pete

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim McDonald

  14. 4 out of 5

    Frank Ashe

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Wonfor

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anwen Ebenezer

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sophy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Weber

  21. 4 out of 5

    Doug

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    808.8104 S2839 1999

  23. 5 out of 5

    Manpreet Singh

  24. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Collins

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  29. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dorie

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