Well… this was a disappointment.
I was pretty excited when I picked this one up. I blindly grabbed a poetry book, because April is National Poetry Month. It looked really good, and it started pretty good, but I lost interest quickly. This book just wasn’t all that great.
John Hollander (and his Advisory Committee) selected these
100 104 poems based on their length, rhyme and meter, and level of classical snobbery. The purpose of memorizing poetry explained in the introduction is “recitation from memory” and “oral performance”. The introduction even specifies that this book is quite different from previous selections, because those contain poems “that had particularly affected [the readers]”.
None of the poems are more recent than the 1950s, and the average age of a poem is 150+ years.
A mediocre, hodgepodge selection, intended to show off, and not much more.