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Burton Raffel (1928–2015)

Author of How to Read a Poem

31+ Works 788 Members 9 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Works by Burton Raffel

How to Read a Poem (1984) 221 copies
Poems from the Old English (1960) 73 copies
The Essential Horace (1973) — Translator — 55 copies
Introduction to poetry (1971) 17 copies
Poems: An Anthology (1971) 13 copies

Associated Works

Hamlet (1603) — Introduction, some editions — 31,874 copies
Don Quixote (1605) — Translator, some editions — 29,775 copies
Romeo and Juliet (1599) — Editor, some editions — 27,746 copies
Beowulf (0010) — Translation and Introduction, some editions — 24,715 copies
The Canterbury Tales (0014) — Translator, some editions — 21,481 copies
The Divine Comedy (1308) — Translator, some editions — 21,099 copies
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1619) — Introduction, some editions — 19,216 copies
Othello (1604) — Editor, some editions — 16,516 copies
Julius Caesar (1623) — Editor, some editions; some editions — 12,068 copies
Twelfth Night (1601) — Introduction, some editions — 10,448 copies
The Red and the Black (1830) — Translator, some editions — 9,309 copies
The Taming of the Shrew (1623) — Editor, some editions — 8,489 copies
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1380) — Translator, some editions — 8,305 copies
Antony and Cleopatra (1623) — Introduction, some editions — 5,356 copies
Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532) — Translator, some editions — 4,958 copies
Henry IV, Part I (1598) — Editor, some editions — 4,906 copies
The Charterhouse of Parma (1839) — Contributor, some editions — 4,298 copies
Nibelungenlied (1200) — Translator, some editions — 2,845 copies
Erec and Enide (1170) — Translator, some editions — 271 copies
Cligès (1176) — Translator, some editions — 130 copies
The Cherryh Odyssey (2004) — Contributor — 32 copies
A Thousand Years of Vietnamese Poetry (1968) — Translator, some editions — 28 copies
New World Writing 17 (1960) — Contributor — 4 copies


16th century (1,145) 17th century (1,291) British (1,365) British literature (1,699) classic (6,029) classic literature (959) classics (7,373) comedy (1,070) drama (8,904) England (869) English (1,360) English literature (2,538) epic (1,021) fantasy (786) fiction (12,867) Folio Society (724) French literature (1,134) history (806) literature (6,552) medieval (1,942) medieval literature (949) mythology (1,089) novel (1,479) Old English (892) own (914) play (4,540) plays (5,391) poetry (6,889) read (2,303) Renaissance (794) romance (998) Spain (770) Spanish (811) Spanish literature (1,000) theatre (3,240) to-read (5,439) tragedy (2,153) translation (993) unread (894) William Shakespeare (10,596)

Common Knowledge



34 short stories written after WWII, great authors
betty_s | Sep 15, 2023 |
This collection of short stories begins early in the history of the US and moves forward from there, with one entry per writer featured. Brief biographies of each writer were also included before the stories. For me, this had the effect of placing the stories in their proper historical context and creating a sense of forward motion as I moved through the collection. I felt as if I was getting a sampling of many different writers (some I'd heard of, some I hadn't, some I'd read works of before and others I hadn't) and gaining a stronger sense of how US culture and the short story as a form have evolved over time.

I think this did a lot to help with the fact that many of the stories obviously include the types of attitudes a modern reader would no longer approve of, especially as someone living in the US who has a sense of how things have progressed since the final story featured and has a hope that we will continue to do so. Maybe I'll even have some small part in shaping that. A writer can dream!

That being said, there were some stories that were surprisingly refreshing, particularly from the earlier female authors. I found myself wondering why I never had heard about them before and in some cases wanting to read more of their works. Perhaps I will at some point.

No rating given here because some of the stories I loved (The Yellow Wallpaper will always be one of my favorites) while others I certainly didn't (skip the Hemingway story if it's going to be triggering for you). I think that's always going to be the case with a collection like this. Different people have different tastes, but I think the collection as a whole achieved its goal in providing the reader a wide and varied selection.
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dste | May 7, 2023 |
This is a straightforward introduction to the art of poetry. Burton Raffel, a noted poet and translator, discusses the meaning, structure, and techniques of poetry. The generous use of examples from the best of poetry is used to demonstrate the specifics of poetics.
jwhenderson | 1 other review | Mar 24, 2023 |
These are Greek lyrics translated by one of my favorite poet-translators, Burton Raffel. The poets included in this anthology provide a glimpse into archaic Greek culture through their poetry. Among them are the very obscure to the somewhat less obscure, with a few familiar names like Plato. There are poems and fragments of poems for everyone's taste. I enjoyed making connections with my own life and our twenty-first century culture. It was also interesting to see the influence that these ancient poets had on some of our greatest modern poets. Overall it is a beautiful selection of poetry.… (more)
jwhenderson | 1 other review | Dec 28, 2021 |

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Herman Melville Contributor
Henry James Contributor
Sarah Orne Jewett Contributor
Jack London Contributor
Sherwood Anderson Contributor
Edgar Allan Poe Contributor
O. Henry Contributor
F. Hopkinson Smith Contributor
Bayard Taylor Contributor
James Thurber Contributor
Mark Twain Contributor
Washington Irving Contributor
Ernest Hemingway Contributor
William Faulkner Contributor
Ambrose Bierce Contributor
Willa Cather Contributor
Kate Chopin Contributor
Rose Terry Cook Contributor
Stephen Crane Contributor
John Dos Passos Contributor
Harold Frederic Contributor
Zona Gale Contributor
Hamlin Garland Contributor
Bret Harte Contributor
Edith Wharton Contributor


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