Imagine if Billboard compiled a list of the top 100 poems, chosen not by critics or professors but by the people themselves. That's the concept behind The Classic Fifty Poems, and it works brilliantly.
William Harmon found the 100 most anthologized poems in English, based on the ninth edition of The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry—the most objective measurement of greatness available, representing consensus among the editors of some 400 anthologies. Then he put them in order and prefaced each one with concise, erudite, often humorous commentary. The range of poets, subjects and forms—from Shakespeare to Frost, from love and death to crime and punishment, from sonnets to odes—makes this an entertaining, enlightening, and indispensable aural guide to the finest verse in the English language.