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Representing a literary tradition from Geoffrey Chaucer to W.H. Auden, this collection of narrative poetry contains tales of all kinds--romantic, humorous, ghostly, and gory--written over the past six hundred years. Most of the fifty-nine poems collected here are given in full, including such classics as Pope's Rape of the Lock, Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Poe's The Raven, and classic twentieth-century works like G.K. Chesterton's "Lepanto," Robert Frost's "The Code," Marriott Edgar's "The Lion and Albert," and W.H. Auden's "The Ballad of Barnaby." Extracts from book-length narratives such as Paradise Lost and The Faerie Queen add to the volume's richness and variety. The poems are accompanied by illuminating notes, which trace the source of the poet's inspiration, whether fact or fiction, and show how the poets translated their sources into verse.
Universal in its appeal, this collection will enchant, entertain, and inform anyone with an interest in the art of poetry or who simply enjoys a good story.