Books: An Unapologetic Anthology

THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH LIGHT VERSE Edited by Kingsley Amis; Oxford; 347pages; $13.95

"Never apologize/ For what you anthologize." So, if anyone had thought of it, might run the motto for this entertaining and occasionally exasperating selection of poetic japes and fripperies. Novelist Kingsley Amis is not just a wickedly funny writer (read Lucky Jim several times); he is also a critic known for his strong and aggressively idiosyncratic opinions. With the venerable Oxford imprimatur on his side, Amis' poetastering now becomes what the next several generations of readers will have to swallow.

That will not be hard to...

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