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Best Loved Poems of American People Hardcover – Oct 1 1936


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Reissue edition (Oct. 1 1936)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385000197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385000192
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 5.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By Anne on April 25 2000
Format: Hardcover
My parents gave this volume to me for Christmas when I was just 10. I was and still am a voracious reader, captivated by the rhythm and meter of language. This book introduced me to poetry in a fun, enjoyable way. The broad categories include: 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, and Various Themes. As an adult, the poems selected in this 670 page tome are not all of my favorites, but they yet strike a gentle idealistic chord in my soul. They ring with the thoughts of a bygone era, before mass media distracted people from books. Yes, they are romantic, yes they are old-fashioned, yes many of them are not of the highest literary quality. Yet I love them for their quirkiness and old-fashioned thoughts. And in many ways as I read, I cannot help but think that we are not so very different from our ancestors, after all. I highly recommend this book.
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By A Customer on Sept. 14 1998
Format: Hardcover
This collection of poems, copyrighted in 1936, was compiled by Hazel Felleman, who drew on her 15-year experience as editor of the Queries and Answers page of The New York Times Book Review. She received multiple inquiries daily from all over the country about favorite poems, learning much about the poetry preferences of Americans. She used that knowledge to great advantage in this selection of poems. Many of the poems that I remember from school (I'm an American), up to and including college, are here. Although I don't consider myself a lover of poetry, this book is one of my favorites (definitely my favorite poetry book among several that I own), one that I refer to often. My grandchildren also greatly enjoy being read to aloud from it.
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