To celebrate their 80th anniversary, Penguin have released a collection of 80 ‘Little Black Classics’. Here is my review of three of them.
Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti – ‘She kissed and kissed her with a hungry mouth’.
This mini bind up of 20 of Rosetti’s most loved poems really marks a change for poetry. Being most prevalent in the 19th century, Rosetti’s poetry is all about love, life and loss. Underneath it all lies a very dark, sinister undertone, one that makes the work so intriguing to read. The ever famous poem ‘Goblin Market’ is really the driving force of the whole collection. It is sinister, flowing, clever and whimsical all at once. A great introduction to poetry if you haven’t read it before.
Come Close by Sappho – ‘Yes, we did many things, then – all beautiful…’.
The greek poet Sappho writes with such encapsulation and prowess, it is difficult to not imagine yourself back in ancient Greece when reading her. The love, admiration and compassion she portrays for the greek gods and goddesses of her time is evident throughout the text. The stories told within her cleverly woven verses are rich and powerful, and altogether perfectly constructed and told.
Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen – ‘Tonight he noticed how the women’s eyes passed from him to the strong men that were whole’.
The first world war poet encapsulates the destruction, devastation and ruining nature of war so brilliantly it is hard not to feel sorry and upset for the subjects he is writing about. Although it is unnecessary and horrible, Wilfred Owen has also shown me that there is a certain beauty in war, one that should be acknowledged in an appropriate manner.