"If a chap can't compose an epic poem while he's weaving tapestry he had better shut up", says William Morris (1834-1896). He was a brilliant designer, a political thinker and one of the most popular poets of his day. While his designs are still prized, his poetry fell for decades into neglect. Crafted and robust, his verse is something to be enjoyed, like other well-made objects. It is at the heart of his creative vision. This selection contains the best of his short poems, ranging from dramatic narratives with medieval settings to romantic lyrics, to "Chants for Socialists". His most popular poems, such as "The Defence of Guenevere" and "King Arthur's Tomb", appear here, as do extracts from "The Life and Death of Jason" and "Love is Enough". Extensive selections from poems of the "Earthly Paradise" time and "Poems by the Way" are also included.
William Morris was born in 1834. He was a brilliant designer and political thinker, as well as one of the most popular poets of his day. He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford and was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphelites, especially Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In 1861 he became a founding partner of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., a prestigious design firm, and he also founded both the Socialist League and the Hammersmith Socialist society, Becoming known as an influential and persuasive speaker. His best-known collection of poetry is The Earthly Paradise (1868-1870). He died in 1896.