These days when children, if not blasting one another with shotguns in schoolyards, are glued to the television where every type of adult entertainment is available to them, it is becoming more and more difficult to differentiate between adult literature and literature written specifically for or directed to children. With children treated almost everywhere as adults, how can one have an anthology like this one that proclaims itself a “collection of ‘children’s verse?’” That term, the editor Neil Philip immediately recognizes, covers a multitude of sins. “I have taken it to mean,” he writes,

verse written for children, or with them prominently in mind, or published for them with the explicit endorsement of the author… . The problem is essentially one of definition. What is children’s poetry, and how does it differ from poetry in general? This anthology is itself a full answer...

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