Here are some personal recommendations from the Poet's Forum

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Nice Price

Billy Collins
Questions About Angels

I had the pleasure of seeing Billy Collins speak,
and I was so impressed with his light-hearted
yet insightful poetry that I ran home and
bought every book he's written . . .
This is by far his best work to date!

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Beryl Markham
West with the Night

While I generally don't read biographies,
Beryl Marham's talent for prose makes
her extraordinary life seem more like epic
poetry . . . if you like poetry, her phrases,
descriptions and moods are second to none.
Markham details the people and places she
knew as a pilot in Africa after The Great War.

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The Norton Anthology of Poetry
4th edition

If you only buy one book of poetry, then this
should be it! The definitive collection of all
the best poets from Maldon and Chaucer to
Plath and Pound.

This truly is a "must have." I personally
feel the second edition was slightly better
collection than the current edition.
This is very hard to find these days, since it's
out of print. You can order it here!

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The Riverside Shakespeare
J. J. M. Tobin, Herschel Baker (Editors)

The definitive edition if Shakespeare's
complete works . . . this is a must have for
Shakespeare fans. Experts agree almost
unanimously that this is the most accurate
text of Will's works ever produced.
It looks impressive on your bookshelf too!

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The Poetry of Robert Frost
Robert Frost

This is the book I keep on my nightstand . . .
One of the things I love about Frost is that
You can read his works over and over and they
never get old. Maybe some things gold can stay!

This is a particularly nice edition in hardcover.

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Collected Poems
T. S. Eliot

An understanding of Eliot is essential to understanding
modern poetry.

This collection is the only edition of his works authorized
by the Eliot family. This hard cover book will make an
excellent addition to your collection.

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Selected Poems: Summer Knowledge
Delmore Schwartz

This poet is largely forgotten today, but he was
quite popular up until World War II.
I like his style which is both modern and
colloquial, yet had touches of language from
the classic poets. Schwartz has influenced my
writing very much, and he gives us my favorite
quote, "Time is the fire in which we burn."

This is an inexpensive book I recommend for
everyone to read.

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by Mary Shelley

This is the most criticized novel ever . . . why?
Because it has something for everyone!

Think you know the story already? Then you
MUST by this edition and read it. It's far
more passionate and scary than you ever thought.

The Norton Edition is extremely accurate and
contains essays, critiques and helpful notes.

Click here to see my own essay on this novel.

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The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
Jon Silken, editor

This is the best collection of World War I poetry.
With authors like Owens, Sassoon, Brooke,
Eliot, Rosenberg and more . . .

The Great War produced a wide array of poems,
beginning with Georgians like Brooke and ending
with Eliot's The Waste Land (not included here).
The range of human experience and experimentation
has not been duplicated that I can see. If you love
poetry about men in extra-ordinary circumstances,
buy this book.

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The Story of English
by Robert McCrum, William Cran (Contributor), Robert
MacNeil (Contributor)

A fascinating look at the origins of the English language,
it's mixture with other cultures, it's odd spellings, and
its popularity.

McCrum gives a lot of information in an entertaining
manner, and a lot of the history will satisfy your
curiosity. You'll want to read this cover to cover as
soon as you open it! Not too expensive, either :-)

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Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the
Appalachian Trail

by Ian Marshall

One of my favorite pastimes is hiking, and I have always
wanted to try the whole Appalachian Trail . . .

I also have a degree in English from Penn State, so when
I heard that a PSU professor had written a book on my two
favorite subjects, I just had to have it.

Anybody who has hiked the old mountains of the mid-atlantic
can appreciate the vivid descriptions and thoughtful insights
that Story Line offers.

One of my favorite parts of the book postulates a meeting
between Thoreau and Melville, noting how the shapes of the
mountain near Melville's home looked like a whale, noting
similarities of other works, and knowing that the two men did,
indeed, hike the same path.

If you like the outdoors and have a passion for literature,
this is money well spent!

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The Lives of the Heart
by Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield is a master poet, and she doesn't depend on
victimization or confessionals to make her poetry felt. She
simply captures moments and presents them for our viewing,
never preaching or telling us what to do.

Her rich language and excellent descriptions will make for
years of enjoyment.

Thanks for stopping by!