The Rattle Bag - Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes

The Rattle Bag: An Anthology of Poetry - Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes

Well, my main question about this book is - how did it ever get published? Don't get me wrong - it's great, it's got some really lovely poems in it, and I read things I'd never have read otherwise (although it does seem to have a number of poems on the we-are-stardust theme) - but really, how was it ever commissioned? It's an anthology with no particular focus - it's not a children's anthology, not a collection of poems on a theme, not a historical survey - and no particular market. In fact, its only selling point appears to be its distinguished editors, Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes. Can you imagine the conversation at the publishing house?


"Right, so, we're planning on publishing this book of random poems which has no specific target market, in a genre that doesn't sell well anyway. In fact, the only reason people will buy it is because it has two famous poets on the cover."


"Go ahead. Spend all this money that we've got from the slumping book market."


I mean, really. Can anyone tell me why this got published?


(But I'm glad it did.)