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We British

Andrew Marr ✓ 2 Review

D vividly as though he were alive today It s not surprising that there should be a bit historical context in the early section of the book than in the later periods where Andrew Marr seems freuently to lament that he has to omit poems that he admires or limit himself to extractshis tone admires or limit himself to extractsHis tone light even flippant but his commentary is both incisive and profound There were no than two or three occasions as far as I can recall now where his style of writing jarred One was where he was at pains to point out that he does not believe in God it didn t add anything to what he was saying and by comparison with his usually carefully phrased commentaries it stood out I was going to say like a sore thumb but then remembered that I actually got a sore thumb while reading this book as it s pretty fat and heavy last thing at night as one is drifting off but that didn t add anything either to what I am supposed to be writing about so I shall stop being hard on Andrew Marr for the odd personal intervention in a book that engrosses elucidates and elevates And he is careful in a politically correct sort of way He focus on poetesses oops I mean female poets although what we have of their work from early times is scant and he includes the entire United Kingdom though not necessarily he explains later the wider dominions of the former Empire unless the poet spent years in Britain and reflected its values TS Eliot is allowed He has no trouble delving into Scotland and Ireland although I felt that Wales took a wee bit of a back seat despite her ample supply of poetic took a wee bit of a back seat despite her ample supply of poetic He gets to Scotland pretty uickly and I new immediately that he is a Scot I hadn t particularly noticed the clues in the name He has great fun with the early Scottish poets and provides translations or summaries of the poetry in ScotsWilliam Dunbar s poem Lament for the Makars the makers of poems sends a shiver down my spine whenever I come across it It is an elegy for dead poets and Dunbar himself was sick when he wrote it Here are two verses The Latin line means The fear of death overcomes me or as Marr has it upends me The Latin line is in italics which I can never get to work on Goodreads I that in hail wes and gladnes Am trublit now with gret seikness And feblit with infirmitie Timor mortis conturbat me No stait in erd heir standis sicker secure As with the wynd wavis the wicker reed Wavis this worldis vanitie Timor mortis conturbat meThis early Scottish section which contains poems about freedom independence and what became the essence of socialism remains my favourite part of the book and I think Andrew Marr s It has great vigour and he seems happy to lay before us his deep admiration for these poetsThe chapter on Shakespeare is called England s Miracle but incudes the other big names of the Elizabethan and Jacobean reigns From there on there are plenty of big names to crowd the page but Marr is at pains also to seek out lesser nown poetry that Th the entertaining and enlightening Andrew Marr as our guide we travel from Saxon settlements to medieval courts from Shakespeare’s Globe to the battlefields of the Somme ending up here in the present dayOn the way we will meet Middle English ploughmen Tudor drunks Sco. Xpresses something of the people and the times I had never heard of Margaret Cavendish Who Is Described As A Poet who is described as a poet impressive than the male poets of her time the Restoration Marr continues Reading her we get a vivid idea of how the early modern human mind was beginning to grapple with the disconcerting early revelations of science This includes an early animal rights poem where Wat is a hare I can t resist setting out here a few lines from the longer extract uoted by Marr The horns ept time the hunters shout for joy And valiant seem poor Wat for to destroy Spurring their horses to a full career Swim rivers deep Leap Ditches Without Fear Endanger ditches without fear Endanger and limbs so fast will ride Only to see how patiently Wat died Men hooping loud such acclamations make As if the devil they did prisoner take When they do but a shiftless creature Liar kill To hunt there needs no valiant soldier s skill Marr uotes Cowper on slavery Blake on the industrial revolution and Burns on egalitarianism and humanity not forgetting the latter s humour and popularity He does indeedeep up a fairly consistent levity of approach usually by tacking a post modernist comment onto the serious historical or social exposition I found it a highly successful way to trace the path of a people I could say so much I haven t even mentioned the period before the Great War shook the country into modernity or the potent time capsule of the war poets or the thirties social poets or the stunning political and emotional impact of the major Celtic poets too well nown to list but you need to read the book I am an inveterate buyer of books but I surprised myself when I sent for the works of Alexander Pope just because Marr calls him a genius Watch this space This book isn t uite a history of British ie English Scottish Welsh and Irish poetry from Caedmon to the present day it s a sort of annotated anthology with poems and excerpts from poems giving a representative sample of each period As such it s an excellent introduction for the person who enjoys poetry but isn t well informed about the history of the craft in the British IslesFor me there were lots of old favourites here but also many with whom I was unfamiliar old and new Like all poetry fans reading the book I was ticked off at the omission of some of my favourites John Masefield RS Thomas but a book of 640 pages attempting to introduce the reader to 1350 years of British poetry is bound to offend in that way Overall I thought the book was brilliant And I d give this one word of reading advice read it aloud and with a spouse or partner or friend if you can My wife and I read it in coffee shops and we thoroughly enjoyed this treat for the ears as well as the eyes Fi A romp though the history of poetry in Britain from the earliest time to the current poets An interesting exposition of the times and styles over the centuries A book to relish and send you off looking for poets and their influences. Ttish farmers West Country priests a Warwickshire actor and many bards and balladeers from across the British Isles each adding their own distinct voice to the chorus From Caedmon to Zephaniah the poets we meet will paint a powerful portrait of what it means to be British. I really enjoyed this It introduced me to some poets I hadn t read and also reminded me of poems and poets that I had enjoyed reading in the pastProviding a history of the British using Poetry As A Basis Is A Really as a basis is a really approach I read the book chronologically but will go back regularly and dip in and outWould definitely recommend Andrew Marr is just amazing He uniuely tells the history of the British people with a combination of canonicalnon canonical poetry interspersed with literary and historical context From Beowulf to Hugh MacDiarmid he nails it We British is both history and anthology an exploration of British life and experience through the eyes of some of the country s greatest poetsThere are many classics and old favourites featured here but this isn t simply a millennium s run down rating Britain s top poets Marr favours poems that offer a real sense of what life was like in the Britain of old covering not just ey literary movements or important historical events but everyday life The collection features a diverse range of voices across gender class and country borders all whilst fostering a sense of national communityBecause if poetry can t articulate shared experiences what can Excellent book I ve been reading it every daynight to my toddler she s too young to understand so I can read adult booksAn excellent idea Really original I love that Andrew Marr unashamedly gives his opinion So many don t and are afraid to nock any of the literary giants It s very clear when it is his opinion and it gives me a perspective to bounce off to agree or disagree withVery well researched and a great selection which doesn t just pander to popular poems and poets but helps to drive the historical narrative He often also chooses lesser nown poems but which reveal about the author and time than othersOverall often also chooses lesser Gaffer known poems but which reveal about the author and time than othersOverall d say full marksThe only thing I should point out being a Somerset lad is Frost At Midnight was written at his cottage in Nether Stowey Somerset not Devon I ve been there a couple of times Many of his bestnown poems were penned there Great book for getting a good cross section of British poetryIt has lead to many openings for me It took me a long time to read this book because I was often tempted to follow up or explore further poets or poetry extracts featured in it I would say that it opened windows for me In the concluding paragraphs Andrew Marr calls it a book about poets for lovers of poetry and I did find throughout the book that poems I had skimmed through before came to life for me when I learned about the poet and the contemporary relevance of the workIt is a history not written in terms of detailed conseuential events but a history of context of the prevailing climate of social pressures and enduring passions I remember being impressed with the opening which presents Caedmon our earliest Circumstantial Evidence known poet in translation as well as in the original Northumbrian dialect as freshly an. ‘This book includes some of the greatest of our poetry I hope that it adds up to a new way of thinking about who we have been and who we are now’We British is much than an anthology This is a veritable history of Britain told through the verse of its greatest poets Wi.