The Best Poems of the English Language is the culmination for Harold Bloom of his lifelong love of poetry. It is a comprehensive anthology that offers the reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry. The vast scope of this anthology begins with Chaucer and ends with poets whose births predate 1900. Bloom has culled his selection according to his three absolute criteria: aesthetic splendor, intellectual power, and wisdom. Featured in this volume is a substantial and significant introductory essay called "The Art of Reading Poetry." This essay presents Bloom's critical reflections on more than a half century devoted to reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves best, and conveys his passionate concern for how a poem should be interpreted and appreciated. Throughout this anthology, Bloom includes extensive introductions to each poet and to many of the individual poems. In such commentaries, Bloom guides the reader through what is most relevant for a true understanding of the more than one hundred poets selected. The Best Poems of the English Language is regarded by Harold Bloom as his most significant meditation upon all those poets in English who have formed his mind. Here in one volume is an abundance that can never be exhausted.