Love has to be one of the most influential emotion; especially when it comes to poetry. Classic Love Poems edited by Max Morris is just one of the many books dedicated to this topic. By embracing poets from Richard Monckton Milnes to William Wordsworth, he created a really cute book with pretty illustrations.
The poetry was either hit or miss with me. Some of them left me smiling, and the others left me turning the page with no idea of what I just read. My favourites have to be the ones dedicated to a certain individual (at least, I assume they are) such as Robert Burn’s I Love My Jean. However, the overall tone was too lovey dovey for my liking. There should have been more intense and even depressing love poems so we can have a larger variety and would even help with the order.
Morris used the classic alphabetical order of the authors and while I have no issue with this, there are a few other structural issues. The main one is that he included passages from books or plays, such as one from Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Knowing that there is a whole story surrounding the poem prevents me from enjoying what has been presented to me. I just need to know the context. Another minor issue is that Morris didn’t title some of the poems properly. For example, every poem by Shakespeare was simply called Sonnet. This confused me because he numbered Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. Why were some poems titled properly while others weren’t?
There’s not much to say about the illustrations except that they were pretty. I would have appreciated a little more depth or variety, but then it wouldn’t have gone with the idealistic tone of the book. Overall, it was a fine job.
This is a great book if you’re looking for romantic (and sometimes corny) poems. Unfortunately, that’s not for me so I’m going to have 5.6/10.
Let’s do something different. Create your own love poem and submit it in the comment section.