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The New Oxford Book of Light Verse

ISBN 0192820753 / 9780192820754 / 0-19-282075-3

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Book summary

This delightful anthology celebrates a rich and pleasing--if often underrated--tradition of English writing. The choice of poems reflects the great variety of light verse as well as the tastes and views of its distinguished editor. The selections range from genial satire to nonsense verse, from epigrams to limericks. More than 250 poems by some 80 authors provide a witty and consistently entertaining survey of English verse from Rochester and Ben Jonson to Anthony Powell and Philip Larkin.
As Mr. Amis explains in a lively introduction, the principles on which he based this selection differ from those used by W.H. Auden in selecting for The Oxford Book of Light Verse (first published in 1938). Auden's definition of "light" was closer to "popular" than "humorous." Amis's collection--which includes familiar favorites as well as previously unpublished masterpieces--is lighter in heart, closer to a modern understanding of the meaning of "light." [via]