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Benjamin Britten's Poets: An Anthology of the Poems He Set to Music
Edited by Boris Ford
Categories: 20th Century, Anthologies, British, War writings
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (328 pages)
(Pub. May 1996)
Out of Stock
O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages,
So small beside their large confusing words,
So gay against the greater silences
Of dreadful things you did.
W.H. Auden, 'Anthem for St Cecilia's Day',
for Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten was a great reader of poetry, and poetry profoundly affected his musical genius and style of composition. Friendships and collaborations with writers -- Auden and Forster among them -- left their mark. No other composer of songs, not even Schubert or Schumann, set poems of such range and quality. All the 360 poems Britten set are included in this book. They range from Donne's complex 'Holy Sonnets' to the deceptive simplicity of Blake's 'Oh rose thou art sick'. They include anonymous ballads, modern work and poems in other languages (with translations). Full details of the source and use of each poem are given.
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