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The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith   By: (1730-1774)

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I recently had the pleasure of diving into the world of one of the most influential and versatile poets of the 18th century, Oliver Goldsmith, through his collection of poems titled The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith. This anthology offers readers a delightful journey through Goldsmith's profound observations on life, love, nature, and society.

What struck me most about these poems was the sheer range of styles and themes that Goldsmith explored. From his witty and satirical pieces to his poignant and reflective verses, he showcases an extraordinary ability to capture the human experience in its many forms. Whether he is musing on the beauty of nature in "The Deserted Village" or highlighting the follies of urban life in "The Citizen of the World," Goldsmith's words possess a timeless quality that continues to resonate with readers today.

One of the aspects I greatly appreciated in this collection is Goldsmith's masterful use of language and rhythm. His poetic style effortlessly weaves together rhymes and meter, creating a melodic flow that enhances the overall reading experience. This skill is particularly evident in his longer narrative poem "The Traveller," where Goldsmith takes readers on a vivid and captivating journey across different countries, while intertwining profound philosophical contemplations along the way.

Furthermore, Goldsmith's keen observational skills are on full display throughout these poems. His ability to delve into the intricacies of human nature, exposing both their virtues and flaws, provides a thought-provoking exploration of various social and cultural situations. Through his verses, Goldsmith compels readers to reflect on their own lives and the society they inhabit, inviting introspection and prompting a deeper understanding of the world around us.

The comprehensive nature of this anthology offers a comprehensive insight into Goldsmith's artistic development over time. By presenting his earliest works alongside his later, more refined compositions, readers are afforded a glimpse into the poet's growth and maturation. This progression allows one to appreciate the evolution of Goldsmith's style, as well as the recurring themes that define his poetic voice.

While some readers might find the language of the 18th century a bit challenging, I found that this added to the charm and authenticity of Goldsmith's writings. Moreover, the extensive footnotes provided by the editor greatly assist in explaining unfamiliar words or historical references, ensuring a more comprehensive reading experience.

In conclusion, The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith is truly a treasure trove for poetry enthusiasts and lovers of classic literature. This collection brilliantly showcases Goldsmith's literary genius, capturing the essence of his imagination, wit, and social commentary. With its varied themes, rhythmic compositions, and insightful observations, the poems within this anthology continue to resonate with readers, reminding us of the timeless power of Goldsmith's artistry.

First Page:







THIS volume is a reprint, extended and revised, of the 'Selected Poems' of Goldsmith issued by the Clarendon Press in 1887. It is 'extended,' because it now contains the whole of Goldsmith's poetry: it is 'revised' because, besides the supplementary text, a good deal has been added in the way of annotation and illustration. In other words, the book has been substantially enlarged. Of the new editorial material, the bulk has been collected at odd times during the last twenty years; but fresh Goldsmith facts are growing rare. I hope I have acknowledged obligation wherever it has been incurred; I trust also, for the sake of those who come after me, that something of my own will be found to have been contributed to the literature of the subject.


CONTENTS Introduction Chronology of Goldsmith's Life and Poems

POEMS The Traveller; or, A Prospect of Society The Deserted Village Prologue of Laberius On a Beautiful Youth struck Blind with Lightning The Gift. To Iris, in Bow Street The Logicians Refuted A Sonnet Stanzas on the Taking of Quebec An Elegy on Mrs. Mary Blaize Description of an Author's Bedchamber On seeing Mrs... Continue reading book >>

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