'Any healthy man can go without food for two days,' wrote the nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire, 'but not without poetry.' Now no one need ever go without again, for this anthology contains a different poem for every day of the calendar year.
The Methuen Book of Poems for Every Day includes 366 poems by over two hundred poets from antiquity to the present. From Blake to Betjeman and Whitman to Wilde, the book blends familiar classics with unknown gems old and new. The result is at once a celebration of the greatest poets and their finest work, of the endless variety of the year - and of poetry itself, in all the glorious diversity of the form: lyric, epic and elegiac, sonnet, ballad, song, satire and romance.
Here are poems of every kind, to suit each day, each mood and season, all tastes and ages: reflective, exuberant, mourning or joyful, loving or laughing. They chart every trajectory of human experience and emotion; and at the same time, they give it context within the shape of the year. Mingled with the poetry of the interior life are the public celebrations: poems for the major festivals, for high days and holidays, for the changes of the year; verses that commemorate the great events of history, the achievements of exceptional men and women, the dates of public significance that resonate alongside the private.
The poems are accompanied by notes that set them, day by day, in their historical record. Concise and informative, these include other notable events of that date, from births and deaths to coronations and catastrophes. And thus, just as every day in a calendar has both private meaning and public significance, so this wonderful collection inspires as both a private diary and a public almanac - and a uniquely rewarding treasury of the greatest poems ever written.
'Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history,' observed Plato. Here the two are intertwined in a timeless anthology that will speak to every contemporary reader with a love of the finest poetry history can offer, every day of any year.