The School Bag
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If Heaney's and Hughes' first collection, The Rattlebag, was an inspiration, a book to turn the most suspicious 14-year-old on to the parallel world of poetry, this new title is a more conventional anthology for young people wanting to study poetry in a more structured fashion. The selection includes some American and Australian as well as British work (taking in poems in translation from Old English, Welsh, Irish and Gaelic). It includes many epic poems, established delights and unfamiliar poets to discover and enjoy. A 'personal canon' or 'listening post' with a pedagogical purpose, The School Bag displays its editors' extraordinary ability to find the poems that resonate with the events of each age and wrap them about with complementary works that bring the particularity of that age to life. With space for only one poem from each chosen author (no Heaney or Hughes is included), the juxtaposition of the various themes and stages of language should ensure that many of those reading this book will want to explore English language poetry further and discover for themselves those works which have inevitably been omitted. This is a book that will become a lifelong companion to both children and adults.