Roy J. Cook compiled his popular anthology in 1916, long before the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eighty Years of Bestsellers (1895-1975) by Hackett and Burke ranks Roy J. Cook's anthology among the fifty most popular books sold in the U.S. in the past century. One Hundred and One Famous Poems (or alternatively, 101 Famous Poems) has remained continuously in print.
Why is 101 Famous Poems still popular today? Cook's compilation is simply fun to read. Cook did include selections from great poets like Byron, Dickinson, Keats, Milton, Shakespeare, Shelley, Tennyson, Whitman, and Wordsworth. There are also popular poems by Frost, Kipling, Longfellow, Poe, Riley, and Whittier. However, what makes Cook's anthology special is that we find those lesser poems that we often memorized as a child and still find enjoyable years later.
I grew up with this book, and perhaps for that reason, have always kept a copy in my personal library. This is a second copy, recently received.