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A Cluster of Grapes A Book of Twentieth Century Poetry   By: (1871-)

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"Hee doth not onely shew the way, as will entice anie man to enter into it: nay he doth as if your journey should lye through a faire vineyard, at the verie first, give you a cluster of grapes, that full of that taste, you may long to passe further."


The contents of this volume are copyright and may not be reproduced without the permission of the respective authors and publishers.


If the existence and contents of this book require any explanation, the compiler may adopt the words of a famous defender of poetry:

"Hee doth not onely shew the way but giveth so sweet a prospect into the way as will entice anie man into it.

"Nay, hee doth as if your journey should lye through a faire Vineyard, at the verie first give you a cluster of Grapes that full of that taste you may long to passe further. He beginneth not with obscure definitions, which must blurre the margent with interpretations and loade the memorie with doubtfulnesse, but hee cometh to you with words set in delightful proportion, either accompanied with or prepared for the well enchanting skill of musicke, and with a tale forsoothe he cometh unto you, with a tale which holdeth children from play and olde men from the chimney corner, and pretending no more, doth intend the winning of the minde from wickedness to vertue."

These excellent words of Sir Philip Sidney give the reason and scope of this collection of examples of the poetry of the present century. No attempt at arbitrary classification or labelling has been made; it is not intended to show that any poet, deliberately or otherwise, is a Neo Symbolist or Paroxyst or is afflicted with any other 'ist or 'ism; it is not compiled to assert that any one group of poets is superior to any other group of poets or to poets who had the misfortune to have their corporeal existence cut short before the dawn of the twentieth century; it is not even intended to prove that good poetry is written in our time. All such purposes and particularly the latter are superfluous and may be left to dogmatic disputants who have little care for the grace and harmony of poetry.

The scheme of the Anthology is simple and without guile. It does not presuppose an abrupt period, but for the sake of convenience and in justification of its existence includes only the work of living writers produced during the present century and therefore most likely to be representative of the poetry of to day. No editorial credit can be claimed for the selections; they are not the reflex of one individual's taste and preferences, but have been made by the writers themselves, to whom and their respective publishers for their cordial co operation the collator of this distinctive volume is exceedingly grateful, not on his own account only but also on behalf of those readers to whom this volume will open out so fair a prospect that they will long to pass further, this "cluster of grapes" being one of the "lures immortal" for the rapidly increasing number of discriminating lovers of the high poetry that is the touchstone of beauty. The finest lyric work of our day needs no further introduction; the poet is his own best interpreter; but it may be added, in anticipation of adventitious criticism of the limitations of these examples, that the capacity of the present volume and the absence abroad of some potential contributors account for the non inclusion of certain writers who otherwise would have been represented here.


May , 1914.



A.E.: Collected Poems (Macmillan), 1913.

Reconciliation 1 The Man to the Angel 2 Babylon 3

ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER BENSON: Le Cahier Jaune (privately printed), 1892... Continue reading book >>

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