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A Century of Poetry Review

Edited by Fiona Sampson

A Century of Poetry Review
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Anthologies
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (320 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2009)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Editor
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • For a hundred years, Poetry Review has been at the heart of British literary life. Founded as The Poetical Gazette in May 1909, it has become the country’s most widely read poetry magazine, playing a vital role in giving readers access to a generous diversity of contemporary poetry, and poets a space for the practice and appraisal of their art.

    In this celebratory anthology, Fiona Sampson, the current editor of Poetry Review and herself an acclaimed poet, has selected a hundred of Poetry Review’s finest moments, ranging from Rupert Brooke’s ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’, published in 1911, to a manuscript page of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur, published 2008. Here are Nobel Prizewinners and Poets Laureate, as well as long-forgotten delights recovered from back-issues. Contextualised by key critical essays and reviews, with Fiona Sampson’s illuminating introduction, A Century of Poetry Review provides an indispensible map of twentieth-century poetry.

    Cover image:
    Tempo - Passado e Presente (Time - Past and Present) by Paula Rego, copyright the artist, photograph courtesy of Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd.


    Introduction: For God’s Sake, Do Something! ?? Fiona Sampson    xi
    A Note on the Text    xxv

    HAROLD MONRO, from the Introduction to the First Issue;
    Poetry Review    

    RUPERT BROOKE, The Old Vicarage, Grantchester     
    F.T. MARINETTI, from Le Futurisme    
    EZRA POUND, Credo from Prolegomena, and Sub Mare     
    LASCELLES ABERCROMBIE, from The Function of Poetry in
    the Drama     
    HENRY NEWBOLT, from Robert Bridges: The Classical Poet     
    THOMAS HARDY, A Song of the Soldiers    
    The Right Hon. A.J. BALFOUR MP, from Argument in Verse    
    IVOR GURNEY, The Incense Bearers     
    RABINDRANATH TAGORE, from After Death    
    ALEKSANDR BLOK, On the Function of the Poet     
    HARRIET MONROE, from Modern American Poetry
    OSBERT SITWELL, from Subtlety of the Serpent?     
    RUDYARD KIPLING, The Fires     
    MICHAEL ROBERTS, from The New Criticism     
    EDITH EVANS, from On Verse-Speaking     
    LAURENCE BINYON, from The English Lyric     
    KEITH DOUGLAS, Three Drawings    
    EDMUND BLUNDEN, A Day in December     
    ROBERT GRAVES, The Chink     
    RICHARD HOGGART, from The Journey of Sidney Keyes     
    WALTER DE LA MARE, Swift     
    ROY CAMPBELL, The Death of Antonio Torres Heredia,
            known as ‘El Camborio’    
    FRANCES CORNFORD, A Meeting     
    F. PRATT GREEN, from Some Post-War Poets –
    An Appreciation     
    LAWRENCE DURRELL, Deus Loci (Forio d’Ischia)     
    ROBERT FROST, The Gift Outright     
    T.S. ELIOT, An interview with DONALD HALL     
    HUGH MACDIARMID, from Scottish Literature Today     
    FEATURE: from Poetry in Scotland
    NORMAN MACCAIG, Introduction and a Selection    
    GEORGE MACKAY BROWN, Beachcomber    
    NORMAN MACCAIG, Sounds of the Day    
    HUGH MACDIARMID, By Wauchopeside     
    EDWIN MORGAN, For the ‘International Poetry
    Incarnation’, Royal Albert Hall, 11 June 1965    
    C. DAY LEWIS, A Loss     
    STEVIE SMITH, The Wedding Photograph    
    DEREK MAHON, Day Trip to Donegal     
    JOHN LEHMANN, from Relief and Admiration    
    ROBERT GRAVES, from Chaucer’s Man     
    DEREK STANFORD, from Thoughts on the Forties     
    W.H. AUDEN, A New Year Greeting     
    CHARLES CAUSLEY, Mary, Mary Magdalene     
    ROY FULLER, False Image     
    EDWARD LUCIE-SMITH, from Thoughts after Advent     
    IAN HAMILTON FINLAY, Evening / Sail
    BASIL BUNTING, At Briggflats Meetinghouse: Tercentenary    
    PETER PORTER, Talking To You Afterwards     
    LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI, The Old Italians Dying     
    PAUL MULDOON, Why Brownlee Left     
    PAUL AUSTER, from Fits and Starts     
    ALLEN GINSBERG, Bayonne Entering NYC     
    DAVID GASCOYNE, Variations on a Phrase    
    PHILIP LARKIN, Horror Poet     
    ANDREW MOTION, from Skating: Memories of Childhood
    ANNE RIDLER, Working for T.S. Eliot: A Personal
    GAVIN EWART, The Peter Porter Poem of ’83    
    JAMES BERRY, Bluefoot Traveller    
    JAMES FENTON, The Manifesto Against Manifestoes      
    CRAIG RAINE, from Babylonish Dialects and
    The Sylko Bandit    
    PETER MCDONALD, from From Ulster with Love     
    W.S. GRAHAM interviewed by JOHN HAFFENDEN, from
    ‘I Would Say I Was a Happy Man’    
    JOHN FULLER, England     
    CRITICAL FEATURE: English Identities
    MICK IMLAH, from Twenty Ways of Saying Happy Birthday    
    PHILIP HOBSBAUM, from Larkin’s England
    JOHN BAYLEY, from English Equivocation     
    TOM PAULIN, from The Politics of English Verse    
    LOUIS MACNEICE, from Broken Windows or
    Thinking Aloud      
    ANTHONY THWAITE, Memories of Rothwell House      
    EAVAN BOLAND, What We Lost     
    PRIMO LEVI, Unfinished Business    
    JOSEPH BRODSKY, Sextet      
    JAMES LOVELOCK, from Address to the Global Forum of
    Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders…    
    SEAMUS HEANEY, Man and Boy     
    JOHN ASHBERY, Avant de Quitter Ces Lieux     
    MIROSLAV HOLUB, Poetry Against Absurdity     
    PAUL CELAN, [‘Low water’]    
    AIMÉ CÉSAIRE, Word     
    DEREK WALCOTT, from The Poet in the Theatre
    E.A. MARKHAM, from Truly, Deeply, Sonorously    
    from TERRY EAGLETON in conversation with JAMES WOOD     
    CIARAN CARSON, On Not Remembering Some Lines
    of a Song    
    JO SHAPCOTT, Phrase Book     
    R.S. THOMAS, All Souls’ Night
    FEATURE: After Marina Tsvetaeva
    WENDY COPE, A Word Before Sleep     
    KATHLEEN JAMIE, In Praise of Aphrodite    
    GWYNETH LEWIS, The Hedge
    CAROL ANN DUFFY, Mrs Aesop     
    ADRIENNE RICH in conversation with SARAH MAGUIRE,
    from Storm Warnings     
    ANNE STEVENSON, from Sylvia Plath’s Word Games
    TED HUGHES, Four Ages
    DONALD DAVIE, from Critics and Essayists (Seamus
    Heaney, Helen Vendler and Eavan Boland)    
    THOM GUNN, The Painter as an Old Man    
    CZESlAW MIlOSZ, Prudence     
    PETER READING, Lucretian     
    C.K. WILLIAMS, Grief     
    MICHAEL LONGLEY, A Poppy     
    FEATURE: Ruth and Harry Fainlight
    RUTH FAINLIGHT, The Same     
    HARRY FAINLIGHT, [‘The moon shows through’]     
    IAN HAMILTON in conversation with GREGORY LESTAGE,
    from Pick Me Flowers for Vietnam     
    DENNIS O’DRISCOLL, from The State of the Language:
    On Irish English    
    GLYN MAXWELL, from Letters to Edward Thomas     
    FEATURE: Scottish Identity in the 1990s
    DOUGLAS DUNN interviewed by ATTILA DÖSA, from
    A Different Drummer
    W.N. HERBERT, Cabaret McGonagall     
    AMY CLAMPITT, Syrinx     
    BILLY COLLINS, Silhouette     
    LES MURRAY, The Holy Show     
    ZBIGNIEW HERBERT, Breviary     
    JOHN AGARD, Remember the Ship
    TONY HARRISON, The Ode not Taken     
    SIMON ARMITAGE, Chainsaw versus the Pampas Grass     
    HUGO WILLIAMS, Egg and Spoon     
    WIS?AWA SZYMBORSKA, Letters of the Dead     
    GEOFFREY HILL, from Speech! Speech!     
    PETER REDGROVE, At the Old Powerhouse
    PAULINE STAINER, The Hangar Ghosts     
    MONIZA ALVI, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
    PAUL FARLEY, Big Safe Themes
    SEAN O’BRIEN, Authentically Excruciating     
    ALAN JENKINS, Orpheus     
    ELAINE FEINSTEIN, Another Anniversary     
    MIMI KHALVATI, Ghazal     
    JOHN BERGER, from I Would Softly Tell My Love    
    SEAN O’BRIEN, Fantasia on a Theme of James Wright     
    ROBIN ROBERTSON, The Glair     
    JOHN BURNSIDE, Ama et fac quod vis     
    JACKIE KAY, Darling    
    DON PATERSON, from The Lyric Principle, Part 2:
    The Sound of Sense    
    W.S. MERWIN, Europe
    MEDBH MCGUCKIAN, Mariola with Angel Choir     
    JOHN KINSELLA, from Lyric and Razo: Activism and
    the Poet
    ALICE OSWALD, Two Moon Poems     
    HARRISON BIRTWISTLE, facsimile from The Minotaur    
    ALAN BROWNJOHN, Ludbrooke: His Old Approach    
    MARJORIE PERLOFF, from It Must Change
    SHARON OLDS, One Secret Thing    
    DON PATERSON, Song for Natalie ‘Tusja’ Beridze     
    DAVID HARSENT, Vanitas     

    Index of Authors

    Fiona Sampson has been published in more than thirty languages. She has twelve books in translation, and has received the Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia) and the Charles Angoff Award (US), and been shortlisted for the Evelyn Encelot Prize for European Women Poets. From 2005-2012 she was the Editor of Poetry Review ; ... read more
    Awards won by Fiona Sampson Short-listed, 2010 Fiona Sampson shortlisted amongst 10 others for the TS Eliot poetry prize.  (Rough Music)
    'It's always been the great distinction - and the great opportunity - of Poetry Review to be at once a beacon and a lighthouse: as interested in providing a centre for good writing, as it is in estabishing and representing a wide curiosity about the many forms that good writing might take. It's especially heartening to see the magazine in such excellent health in this, its centenary year.'
    Andrew Motion
    Praise for Fiona Sampson 'Fiona Sampson burst onto the literary landscape as the brilliant young editor of Poetry Review a couple of years ago. In Common Prayer, her subject is darkness of many kinds, erotic or lonely, histories of Eastern Europe, abandonment. She finds a subtle suggestion of sexual gesture in unexpected places.'
    Elaine Feinstein, The Times
    'That she is also a very fine poet indeed seems almost impertinent of her, but that is what she is… Sampson's free verse soon surprises by its seductive ease and its vivid rendition of he ordinary, material world. This perfect equilibrium between the numinous and the touchable is typical of Sampson's achievement.'
    Adam Thorpe, the Guardian
    'Urgent, acrobatically alert poems alternate with the comparative stillness of a series of love sonnets. Here, too, the imagination is always at work, demonstrating that curiosity is a form of passion.'
    Sean O'Brien, The Sunday Times
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