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Poetry Books

Spoken on the street, put to music, or preserved in documents and books, poetry is not new to the history of man. In fact, despite its elusive nature, which is often considered subjective and open to interpretation, poetry has had as much of an inflammatory impact on the history of the world as other forms of literature and protest. This written reflection of history and the dialogue poetry has with it makes poems precious to scholars and collectors.

Since language stems from oral traditions of storytelling and song, it is difficult to pinpoint when poetry began. Some of the earliest known poetry was performed by the Greeks as part of drama in the 7th to 4th centuries B.C. The Shi Jing "Classic of Poetry" was the first major collection of Chinese poems, which combined odes and poetry derived from folk songs. Arabic poetry may be some of the most soulful from history, even when translated from its original meter, and combined imagery of eroticism, journeys, and reverence to a ruler. Following the onset of the Islamic period, this hedonistic imagery was disguised as devotion to God. It has been much debated whether the Quran is an example of Arabic poetry. The same may be said of the Christian Bible, where passages from "The Song of Solomon" and "Job" have been studied as poetic language.

Provencal poetry, under the oppression of the Middle Ages, began as a group of troubadours putting poetry to music until squelched by the Inquisition. Later poetry movements still influence the study of literature today, including famous works from the Shakespearean poets, Metaphysical poets, Romantics, Transcendentalists, Harlem Renaissance poets, and Beat poets. The controversy sparked over the years of the romantic and spiritual language of poetry often fascinates scholars. Poetry and its followers have been banished, banned, and burned for intangible crimes of language.


Quick Facts

  • In 380 A.D., the bishop of Constantinople ordered the work of the Greek poet Sappho burned, while in 1073, Pope Gregory VII ordered her work to be publicly burned. Other banned classics include Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass," Shel Silverstein’s children’s book "A Light in the Attic," and Geoffrey Chaucer’s "Canterbury Tales"
  • "I’ve Been Wandering in the Greenwoods," a rare poem written by Charlotte Bronte at the age of 13, sold for more than $131,685 at an auction by Bonhams in 2013
  • A tattered first edition of Edgar Allen Poe’s first book "Tamerlane and Other Poems" sold at auction for $662,500 at Christie’s in 2009

Recommended Items at Auction

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RACKHAM -- SWINBURNE, A.C. The Springtide of Life. Poems of Childhood. W. a
Nov 17, 1:30 PM CET
RACKHAM -- SWINBURNE, A.C. The Springtide of Life. Poems of Childhood. W. a
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €80- €100
€1603 Bids
Die Gesundbrunnen, a poem in four
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Die Gesundbrunnen, a poem in four
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1001 Bid
15-Little Leather Library Books 1920'S
Oct 29, 12:00 PM PDT
15-Little Leather Library Books 1920'S
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $125- $200
$251 Bid
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Sartorio Giulio Aristide, Sibilla. Poema drammatico in quattro atti. Milano: l'Eroica, [1922].
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CEST
Sartorio Giulio Aristide, Sibilla. Poema drammatico in quattro atti. Milano: l'Eroica, [1922].
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €400- €800
€4000 Bids
My Favourite Betcheman A Selection Of His Poems By A Selection Of His Admirers hardback book.
Oct 29, 6:00 PM BST
My Favourite Betcheman A Selection Of His Poems By A Selection Of His Admirers hardback book.
by Chaucer Covers & Auctions
Est: £6- £8
£60 Bids
Bouquin "Laconique", Rare work, poems by Andre Morlain and original lithographs and prints on hand p
Oct 31, 10:00 AM CET
Bouquin "Laconique", Rare work, poems by Andre Morlain and original lithographs and prints on hand p
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €6,000- €8,000
€6,0000 Bids
SHAKESPEARE, W. (Werken). Vert. d. G. Komrij. 1988-95. 14 vols. Ocl. w
Nov 17, 1:30 PM CET
SHAKESPEARE, W. (Werken). Vert. d. G. Komrij. 1988-95. 14 vols. Ocl. w
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €65- €80
€650 Bids
PENDANT WITH FIGURE AND POETRY CARVING
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
PENDANT WITH FIGURE AND POETRY CARVING
by Hardt Auctions GmbH
Est: €1,500- €3,500
€1,3000 Bids
Kim MacConnel POETRY PROJECT Screenprint, Signed Edition
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
Kim MacConnel POETRY PROJECT Screenprint, Signed Edition
by Palm Beach Modern Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$750 Bids
The Heavenly Dykes Poems June E Downey signed
Nov 21, 11:00 AM EST
The Heavenly Dykes Poems June E Downey signed
by Moggies Auction Service
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids
UTAGAWA TOYOKUNI (1769-1825) EDO PERIOD
Nov 05, 10:00 AM GMT
UTAGAWA TOYOKUNI (1769-1825) EDO PERIOD
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £700- £900
£3400 Bids
Ɵ SITWELL, EDITH. THE CANTICLE OF THE ROSE POEMS: 1917-1949, INSCRIBED BY SACHEVERELL SITWELL (8)
Nov 17, 10:30 AM GMT
Ɵ SITWELL, EDITH. THE CANTICLE OF THE ROSE POEMS: 1917-1949, INSCRIBED BY SACHEVERELL SITWELL (8)
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £200- £250
£1200 Bids
[BOXING]. WEIR, IKE (1867-1908). HANDWRITTEN POEM ABOUT IKE...
Nov 20, 10:00 AM CST
[BOXING]. WEIR, IKE (1867-1908). HANDWRITTEN POEM ABOUT IKE...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Abraham Sutzkever Ed Colker 'Beneath The Trees'
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Abraham Sutzkever Ed Colker 'Beneath The Trees'
by Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
THE POETICAL WORKS OF JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL HOUSEHOLD
Oct 29, 6:00 PM EDT
THE POETICAL WORKS OF JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL HOUSEHOLD
by Auctions by Daum
Est: $20- $50
$100 Bids
LEPORELLO ALBUM WITH TEN POEMS BY DIFFERENT POETS
Nov 11, 9:30 AM CET
LEPORELLO ALBUM WITH TEN POEMS BY DIFFERENT POETS
by Nagel Auction
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
A SAFINA ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY OF SA’DI, BABA TAHIR ORYAN, AMIR HOSSEIN, SALMAN, AND OTHERS
Oct 29, 11:00 AM BST
A SAFINA ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY OF SA’DI, BABA TAHIR ORYAN, AMIR HOSSEIN, SALMAN, AND OTHERS
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
The Merchant of Venice
Nov 12, 6:00 PM EST
The Merchant of Venice
by Lettieri Auction & Appraisal
Est: $40- $60
$200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Poetry Books


Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries

Hindman

Hindman

Karamitsos

Karamitsos

Soler y Llach

Soler y Llach