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Selected Poems (2e)

John Gay

Edited by Marcus Walsh

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
10% off
Categories: 17th Century, 18th Century
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Edition: 2nd
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback 2e (96 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2003)
£6.95 £6.25
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • Contents
  •     thou Trivia, Goddess, aid my Song,
    Thro' spacious Streets conduct thy Bard along:
    By thee transported, I securely stray
    Where winding Alleys lead the doubtful Way,
    The silent Court, and op'ning Square explore,
    And long perplexing Lanes untrod before.
        (from Trivia, Or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London)

    John Gay (1685-1732) was part of the 'association of wits' that included Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. But though Gay's exposure of weakness and folly is no less acute than theirs, his wit is characterised by a benign and ironic sense of the fallibility of humankind. Gay is a great master of parody and pastiche, and the quality of Gay's poetry, as Marcus Walsh points out in his introduction, lies in its 'sense of verbal play'. The ironic appreciation of 'life as it is' that makes his Beggar's Opera enduringly popular is present in his poetry. Trivia, which Gay's biographer called 'the greatest poem on London in English literature', teems with the chaotic energy of the eighteenth-century city, while The Shepherd's Week is a pastoral of comic realism. This selection enables Gay's poetry to take its place alongside his drama as one of the most distinctive reflections of his age.
    Table of Contents

    Introduction - Marcus Walsh

    Chronology of Life and Works - Marcus Walsh

    Select Booklist - Marcus Walsh


        The Shepherd's Week
    The Proeme

    Monday; or, the Squabble

    Wedmesday; or, The Dumps

    Saturday; or, The flights

    Book I

    Book III

    The Birth of the Squire

    The Tea-Table

        Fables 1727

    Introduction to the Fables - Marcus Walsh

    Fable X: the Elephant and the Buttleflies

    Fable XXIV: The Butterfly and the Snail

    Fable XXIX: The Fox at the Point of Death

    Fable XXXIX: The Father and Jupiter

    Fable XL:The Two Monkeys

    Fable XLII: The Jugglers

    Fable L: The Hare and Many Friends

         Fables, 1738

    Fable I: The Dog and the Fox

    Fable II: the Vultur, the Sparrow, and other Birds

    Fable XVI: The Ravens, the Sexton, and the Earth-Worm

    My Own Epitaph

    Notes - Marcus Walsh

    Marcus Walsh
    ... read more
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