Dip into this inspired assortment of concise masterpieces, and draw out - a fragment of Sappho from ancient Greece, a perfect haiku from Japan; a brief nature poem by John Clare, Robert Frost, Ted Hughes or Boris Pasternak; a compact love poem by Alexander Pushkin or Anne Bradstreet, Robert Herrick or Carol Ann Duffy; a miniature story by Hardy, Rumi or Roethke; a pithy meditation by Wang Wei, Emily Dickinson, Tennyson or Lorca. Dip again, and discover the compressed wit of Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash; contemporary poets Simon Armitage and Moniza Alvi at their most succinct; short poems in very odd shapes from Apollinaire and Vaclav Havel ... So few lines, so much variety: epitaphs and epigrams; couplets and quatrains; lyrics, limericks and lullabies - go on, dip again .
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