The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems

The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems

Sometimes you read a book review that not only makes you want to go out and get the book, it also just makes you want to cheer because you’ve found another kindred soul, in this case the book is The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, the reviewer Becky at Farm School.

The review opened with one of my mom’s favorite quotations and then launched into a delightful reflection on poetry, children’s literature and classics. And to top it off she ended by quote from Faulkner’s Noble Prize speech.

The book is going on my wishlist. And now I’m going to go browse the farm school archives. Looks like some good stuff…

Big thanks to Melissa Wiley of the Bonny Glen for the link.


I know, I know, the above link is actually to the author’s further reflections and not to the original review, which can be found here; but really, this entry stands alone as a recommendation for both the book and the reviewer.

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  • You pulled out my favorite quotes … we clearly think alike!

    I have been turning over science fiction “classics” to see which might fit those criteria. Other than The Lord of the Rings the only book that comes to mind is The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. However, I am severely handicapped in this because I like it so much that I can’t judge it impersonally.

    As much as I love science fiction it is difficult to think of other true contenders for great literature. Of course, considering the huge quantity of books written over time, the accepted great literature makes up a fairly small percentage of that as well.

  • I think Wright might overstate his case when he says that no great literature can be written in the fantasy and sci-fi genres; but like you I can only really posit Lord of the Rings as a real contender.

    The other good point he makes is that you really can’t determine whether a book is a classic unless a hundred years have passed and it’s stood the test of time. We just can’t get the proper perspective on books written within living memory.

    I remember really liking the Doomsday Book, but don’t have a very clear recollection of it.

    I think there are some flaws in Wright’s criteria; but for me the interest in his essay is more for the questions it raises and the discussion that can ensue.