The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry

“Romanticism is a valuing of emotion, of imagination, a belief in human potential taken beyond its ordinary limits. It belongs to no period.”

Romanticism is a valuing of emotion, of imagination, a belief in human potential taken beyond its ordinary limits. It belongs to no period.

Romantic poetry, where to begin? It can be a bit daunting, boundless, and emotionally unnerving. Thankfully this not-so-slight compendium assists. A thoughtful and comprehensive collection of Romantic poetry edited by Jonathan and Jessica Wordsworth, a descendant of Wordsworth and Oxford scholar who married in life and on this project.

I appreciate the collection, more so, the guiding introduction and the thoughtfulness of the selections and the boundaries it gently places on this movement that “belongs to no period.” Many poets and poems will be familiar – Burns, Coleridge, Lamb, Byron, and Scott – featured in a nicely named section called “Romantic Hallmarks” and many others will be unfamiliar and worth discovering.