Representative French Poetry
Victor Ernest Graham
University of Toronto Press, 1965 - Literary Criticism - 118 pages
The making of a reasonably comprehensive anthology which is intended to do more than reflect the personal literary tastes of the anthologists is not an easy task, but is certainly an exciting and challenging one. It is important, of course, if it is to have coherence and validity, that its audience be reasonably well defined and kept in mind as the selection proceeds. The anthology offered by Professor Graham has been prepared carefully to meet the needs of students reading French poetry while in the early years of their university course. It does not attempt to be a bulky sample of the whole field of French poetry but rather to be a judicious selection of the works of poets who may be described as typical of the best in their age. From each of them have been included some well-known selections which students must always meet and also some less well known which are nevertheless equal in quality and whose relative unfamiliarity may give them a special appeal to instructors. A particularly interesting and valuable feature of the anthology is that the editor has in a good many cases chosen poems on similar themes from different authors, and students will thus be able to compare styles of different centuries and different poets as applied to certain specific subjects. (For example, the selection includes Deschamps' "Balade" on "Renart et le Corbaut" and La Fontaine's "Le Corbeau et le Renard'; Lamartine's and also Leconte de Lisle's "Le Lac.")
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