Judiciously selected and beautifully produced, this anthology will reward both poetry virgins and over-versed roués with its canny, sometimes inspired conjoining of the familiar and the obscure. (It's also the first edition to let dramatic verse through the gate, meaning that some of the Bard's greatest lines have now made the cut.) From the medieval "Sumer is icumen in" through Seamus Heaney's "The Pitchfork," Ricks selects 822 poems from more than 200 writers. Not surprisingly, Shakespeare comes out on top. But Wyatt, Sidney, Jonson, Milton, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Hardy also make strong showings, as do such under-anthologized females as Mary Robinson, Jane Taylor, and Frances Cornford. In addition, the editor includes an assortment of mnemonically irresistible nursery rhymes.