Indiana University Bloomington


The Instructive Game of Poets
The Instructive Game of Poets. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872.

The Instructive Game of Poets consists of fifty–two printed cards in thirteen groups of four per poet. Bryant and Whittier are the only American poets represented.

Below are three sets of 'books' by particular poets and examples of their poetry in the Lilly Library collection.

Tennyson cards

Portrait of Tennyson
Alfred Tennyson. Poems. London: Boussod, Valadon and Co., 1889.
Charge of the Light Brigade
"The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Tennyson. Maud and Other Poems. London: E. Moxon, 1856.

Sometimes referred to as Lord or Baron Tennyson, as the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, he remains one of the most popular poets in British history.

"The Charge of the Light Brigade" is a narrative poem, written in 1854, concerning the Crimean War.

Burns cards

Portrait of Burns
Robert Burns. Poems: Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. Dublin: William Gilbert, 1787.
Auld Lang Syne mss.
Robert Burns. Auld Lang Syne. English Literature Mss., December 7, 1788.

Robert Burns, a Romantic poet, is best remembered for having written poetry in the Scots dialect.

The poem "Auld Lang Syne" is traditionally sung at New Years, perhaps best captured on film at the closing of It's A Wonderful Life.

Shown here is an original manuscript of "Auld Lang Syne" penned by Burns on December 7, 1788.

Coleridge cards

The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Poems Chosen Out of the Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896.

Coleridge, along with William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement. "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" was his best–known poem, and introduced the idea of an albatross around one's neck into the English language.

William Morris, one of the most important figures in the British Arts and Crafts Movement, founded the Kelmscott Press in 1891. Morris' interest in the book arts is reflected in the Kelmscott's fifty–three publications, including an emphasis on type design, in which he designed three original type–faces; on hand–made linen paper; on decoration and illustration, in which Morris designed the elaborate borders and initials; and on hand–production.

The Lilly Library owns a first–rate collection of Kelmscott Press publications.

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