This is the first of the separate volumes:
‘Not Your Usual Anthology of Verse’ (often-quoted English verse, #7);
‘Not Your Usual Science Quotations’ (a treasury of science for writers, #8); and
‘Not Your Usual Australian Vignettes’ (Australian history quotes, #9).
My verse collection began with a stray wish to illustrate a blog entry on bridges with William McGonagall’s ‘The Tay Bridge Disaster’, a classic piece of bad poetry about poor bridge design (and demonstrating even worse scansion). From that simple start, I gathered more McGonagall, but soon realised I could not have such an imbalance in favour of poor verse.
From there, like Stephen Leacock’s young man, who sprang on his horse, I rode off in all directions. Here you will find good verse, bad verse, parodies verse (and the parodies), war verse, hackneyed and clichéd verse, Australian verse and rarely-seen verse: anything I found went into this file so I could use it again. This was a spare-time labour of love over many years, and it was for my own use, but I hope I have found some of your favourites as well.
This collection includes at least 270 poets (a few are sadly, anonymous), and there are something over 1800 poems, making this collection larger than the Norton Anthology, but the main plus is that you can search the text (depending on the vagaries of your reader or app).
The choice was at all times based on my interests, and to that extent, it is biased. Still, you can use this collection to find the origins of:
* female of the species must be deadlier than the male; or
* all that glisters (yup, that’s what it really says!); or
* East is East, and West is West…
all you have to do is apply the search function!
This collection was assembled as one of the commonplace books of a now somewhat ancient writer who has, over the years, used many of these quotations, though others are as yet waiting their moment. The collector of those words anticipates being Collected in the next dozen years or so by a chap on a horse named Binky, and plans, ere then, to enjoy advanced middle age, which means slowing down on the writing front.
So, in summary, you can opt to take up separate volumes like this one, or just grab ‘Not Your Usual Sources’, (Not Your Usual series, #6). That will always represent a major saving, because I want to encourage people to reach out beyond their comfort zone.