Tag Archives: William Blake

Books Acquired Recently

The Laurel Poetry Series.

The Laurel Poetry Series.

Blake, William. Blake. Ed. Ruthven Todd. New York: Dell, 1960.

Browning, Robert. Browning. Ed. Reed Whittemore. New York: Dell, 1960.

Herbert, George. Herbert. Ed. Dudley Fitts. New York: Dell, 1962.

Herrick, Robert. Herrick. Ed. William Jay Smith. New York: Dell, 1962.

Jonson, Ben. Ben Jonson. Ed. John Hollander. New York: Dell, 1961.

Keats, John. Keats. Ed. Howard Moss. New York: Dell, 1959.

Marvell, Andrew. Marvell. Ed. Joseph H. Summers. New York: Dell, 1961.

Whitman, Walt. Whitman. Ed. Leslie A. Fiedler. New York: Dell, 1959.

I was at the grocery store yesterday, and they were having a used book sale to benefit a local charity. A set of books that was rubber-banded together immediately caught my eye because the cover of the top volume was clearly an illustration of Walt Whitman, one of my favorite writers. The books turned out to be selections from the Laurel Poetry Series. The set only cost $1.00, so I bought it because the books are so aesthetically pleasing. It was definitely an instance of appreciating books-as-furniture. While I enjoy the work of Whitman, Blake, and Herrick, I’m not sure if I will actually read any of the books, but they deserve a good home, which I will give them. They are all in very good condition despite being from the 1960s. Several volumes have a stamp on the first page that reads “Dave Harralson English Department,” and a Google search quickly turned up a Dave Harralson who worked at Utica College (which is where I currently teach), so their provenance is established.

Waters, Sarah. The Paying Guests. New York: Riverhead, 2014.

The New Yorker had a brief review of Waters’s latest novel last week, and I bought it (on amazon.com) immediately, as she is one of my favorite writers. It is nearly 600 pages long, but I hope to find time to read it soon.

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The New Site Photograph

I just updated the main photograph for the site (what Facebook would call the “cover photo”). It is a picture of one of my favorite shelves in the poetry section of my library. The photograph includes some of my favorite poets and one of my favorite books of poetry, William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, which is a beautifully reproduced combined volume of Blake’s engravings for Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience published by Oxford University Press.

Blake is followed on the shelf by Di Brandt, my second favorite poet after Frank O’Hara. I have all of her books (her first collection, questions i asked my mother, is still my favorite), as well as a selection of her poems edited by Tanis MacDonald. Gwendolyn Brooks is next. Her Selected Poems only goes through 1963, so I have several of her later collections as well, which I enjoy not only for their content but also aesthetically, as I am a collector of old Broadside Press volumes.

Sterling A. Brown’s Collected Poems, which I read for my Ph.D. exams and thus feel sentimental towards, follows. Ana Castillo’s My Father Was a Toltec and Selected Poems contains some enjoyable work, although I prefer her fiction.

Other highlights on the shelf are C.P. Cavafy’s Complete Poems, which I enjoy because of their unabashed homoeroticism, and Sandra Cisneros’s Loose Woman, which is one of the best single collections of poems that I’ve ever read. I read a lot of Lucille Clifton when I first began investigating poetry, and think of her fondly even though I haven’t returned to her work for some time.

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