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Best Loved Poems of American People [Hardcover]

Hazel Felleman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1936
More than 1,500,000 copies in print! Over 575  traditional favorites to be read and reread.  Categorized by theme, and indexed by author and first  line, this is a collection that will be treasured.

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Product Description

From the Publisher

More than 1,500,000 copies in print! Over 575 traditional favorites to be read and reread. Categorized by theme, and indexed by author and first line, this is a collection that will be treasured.

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FIRST TIME he kissed me, he but only kiss'd Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Poems Jan. 4 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had this book years ago, but my daughter took it! So i purchased it again for myself. Lots of the old classics like Elizabeth Barret Browning, and ones I never heard of before! If you love poems, this is the only book you need
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good early American collection June 5 2004
Hazel Felleman was editor of the Queries and Answers page of the New York Times for nearly 15 years. In that time, she had the opportunity to research and discover many a bizarre and odd fact. However, one of the most frequent requests was that of finding a favorite poem or author. It is out of this experience that she collected the works in this volume, The Best Loved Poems of the American People, published in 1936. She said she used this sampling of people's preferences rather than her own in collecting the works in this volume. Of course, today we would know that the readership of the New York Times is a fairly specific subset of the American people, not necessarily fairly representative of the whole, and those who write to the New York Times are yet an even more rarified subset. In any case, this is a good collection drawn from a widely cast net of inquiries.
Felleman put the poems in categories thematically. These are the broad themes of the book:
+ Love and Friendship
+ Inspiration
+ Poems that Tell a Story
+ Faith and Reverence
+ Home and Mother
+ Childhood and Youth
+ Patriotism and War
+ Humor and Whimsey
+ Memory and Grief
+ Nature
+ Animals
+ Various Themes
There are a lot of poems here with Unknown listed for the author, verses rather famous but either not attributed to any particular person, or attributed to too many people, the true origin of which could not be verified.
These are not all American poets. These are poems that Americans love, so naturally there are many poets from the British side, and various poems from other languages that have been translated into English. Wordsworth, Byron, Arnold, Tennyson, Burns and Kipling figure prominently.
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3.0 out of 5 stars If You Are in Love Read These Poems to Each Other April 11 2004
I have always been a big romantic at heart. From my earliest college days when I would go out on dates I would always bring flowers for my ladies. I was never one, however, to read poetry. When the courtship started with my wife her attitude was "flowers are nice, but if you're really interested in me then read poetry with me". So was set in motion a precedent throughout our marriage that she would recite poetry to me from this book. Thus, it was in her final months of brain cancer, when she could not speak or feed herself, that myself and my mother would sit at her bedside and read to her from this book (that has her inscription, in her own writing, in it from 1974). If you're in love with someone, buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best compilation of poetry I've ever seen Dec 30 2002
I have enjoyed this book since I was a girl. It has everything- truly something for all tastes. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who ever thought of liking poetry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Aug. 21 2002
I haven't gone through the whole book yet, the farthest I got was the chapter of "Love and Friendship" poems, and that chapter right there is worth buying the book. I was going through marking poems left and right that I loved, every page I turned there was another more beautiful than the first. This book is a must to have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fond Memories Feb. 1 2002
Perhaps, one of my earliest memories of my grandmother is her reading poetry to me from this book. When she died my sisters and I inherited this item and cherished it. We soon memorized much of the poetry particularly the ones that told stories. We were also fascinated by the sequeals to "Casey at the Bat" as well as the clever story of "The Fox and the Gullible Raven" I still have it memorized to this day, "A raven sat upon a tree and not a word he spoke..." This is a great way to introduce young children to poetry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Versifier�s delight! March 14 2001
There's a distinct nineteenth century feel to this wide-ranging collection of mostly American verse, as though perhaps one might encounter the book by the bedside of Huck Finn's benefactor, the Widow Douglas. Ah, but it's really not that old. First published in 1936 and dedicated to the memory of Adolph S. Ochs, long-time publisher of the New York Times, by editor Hazel Felleman, this is a collection for Everyman. The fact that it's still in print is tribute to Felleman's good sense of what people like. No known species of poetry is shunned. Verse, ditty and doggerel stand side by side with Shelley and Keats (but no Shakespeare!). There are rousing Sousa stanzas and homey hymn-like lines respecting home and hearth, flag and country, and tributes to the dog. There are also epigrams and epithets and limericks and songs sung blue. Felleman arranges the contents by subject matter, beginning with "Love and Friendship" followed by "Inspiration" through "Patriotism and War," "Memory and Grief," etc., ending with "Nature," "Animals," and "Various Themes." There's a slew of poems by "Unknown," some of them doing a mighty justice to anonymity, e.g., "Get a Transfer" ("If you are on the Gloomy Line/ Get a transfer/If you're inclined to fret and pine/Get a transfer...") There are "answers" to popular poems, and burlesques and parodies aplenty. Here you'll find, if you've been looking (and even if you haven't), "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines" and "Animal Fair" ("The birds and the bees were there!"), and Joyce Kilmer's much, much maligned "Trees" ("...only God can make a tree"), but also Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade," and Poe's "The Raven," and Keats's "La Belle Dame sans Merci" and William Wordsworth's "Daffodils."
Did I mention there's no Shakespeare? One wonders why.
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