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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Homer tops poetry bestseller list
Brad Pitt in Troy
Troy, starring Brad Pitt, was based on The Iliad
The ancient Greek Homer remains one of today's most popular poets, topping the chart of bestselling poetry books for 2004 with online retailer Amazon.

Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, which both dealt with the Trojan War, were the first and second bestsellers.

His popularity has been partly put down to release of the movie Troy, starring Brad Pitt, which is based on The Iliad.

Amazon released the best-sellers list to co-incide with National Poetry Day on Thursday.

"We've seen a huge revival for classical Greek epic poetry this year, which we've put down to the 'Troy effect', " said Fiona Buckland, senior books editor at Amazon.

"Whether it was the film's thrilling narrative or Brad Pitt in a skirt that promoted the renewed interest, Homer's works have been selling really well for the past few months now."

Third in the bestselling poetry list of the year was The Works: Every Kind of Poem You Will Ever Need For the Literacy Hour edited by Paul Cookson, which is used by teachers.

War poetry

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes, featuring the distinctive illustrations of Quentin Blake, was the fourth most popular book of the year, followed by Christopher's Matthew's Now We Are Sixty.

Other academic works in the top 10 include John Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained and Dante's The Divine Comedy.

A collection of works by war poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke, entitled World War One British Poets, was also a popular purchase on Amazon, in a year that saw the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

This year's National Poetry Day has the theme of food, with a host of events being staged around the topic.

To co-incide with the dedicated day there will be a Recipe Poem book published with recipes from the likes of Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal sitting alongside contemporary poems by Roger McGough, Selima Hill and Matthew Sweeney.

There are also food-themed poetry events happening around the UK.

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