Classics: 12 Poets Alternate Edition

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving if you’re in the United States. My family has a non-traditional tradition of going to the beach on Thanksgiving, so I’ve spent the last couple days relaxing by the window, listening to the beach sounds, and vegging out after an intense two weeks of several school assignments plus two sermons for my out-of-town pastor.

I brought an old book from the shelf that I don’t remember buying called 12 Poets: Alternate Edition. It probably came from a thrift store, as the margins are filled with notes. Since I’ve been working on starting a book collection, I thought y’all might be interested in descriptions with pictures of these cool editions of novels or anthologies. Without further ado, here’s the first in a series of book showings.

12 Poets: Alternate Edition

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My copy of 12 Poets: Alternate Edition is a red paperback with significant wear. The combination of their well-chosen serif fonts with thicker pages that are more beige than white makes me feel like I’m reading something old and important. If you appreciate the tactile experience of reading books, you understand why these details matter.

The authors include:

  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Ben Jonson
  • John Milton
  • Andrew Marvell
  • John Dryden
  • William Blake
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • Thomas Hardy
  • John Crowe Ransom
  • Archibald Macleish
  • Theodore Roethke

The editor provides a succinct biography for each writer and features anywhere from five to twenty significant works from each. The works have no transitions and minimal footnotes. According to the preface, the editor supplemented writers equivalent in weight or style to those chosen for the original edition, which I’ll definitely pick up soon. Chaucer substitutes Shakespeare, Dryden substitutes Pope, Blake substitutes Wordsworth, Tennyson substitutes Browning, etc.

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I appreciate the editor’s tastes. I’ve taken a Chaucer class, so I’d already read his works in this anthology from Canterbury Tales. Others works I was already familiar with include St. Cecilia’s Day, 1687 by Dryden, On My First Son by Jonson, To His Coy Mistress by Marvell, many of the Blake poems from his collections called Song of Innocence and Songs of Experience, etc. Admittedly, I’m more familiar with the first six writers than the last six, so I look forward to exposing myself to new classics.

Do you enjoy any of these writers? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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