Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology, with DVD


A multimedia collection of poems introduced by American readers, featuring a DVD including a video introduction by Robert Pinsky.

For a reader unaccustomed to reading poetry, or who has fallen away from the custom, this collection offers an inviting way into the art, or back into it. For readers devoted to poetry, it offers illuminating examples of the infinitely various ways a poem reaches a reader.

In both the book and the videos on the ...

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A multimedia collection of poems introduced by American readers, featuring a DVD including a video introduction by Robert Pinsky.

For a reader unaccustomed to reading poetry, or who has fallen away from the custom, this collection offers an inviting way into the art, or back into it. For readers devoted to poetry, it offers illuminating examples of the infinitely various ways a poem reaches a reader.

In both the book and the videos on the accompanying DVD, poems by Sappho, Shakespeare, Keats, Whitman, and Dickinson as well as contemporary poets are introduced by people from across the United States—a construction worker, a Supreme Court justice, a glassblower, a marine—each of whom speaks about his or her connection to the poem. Their comments are variously poignant, funny, heartening, tart, penetrating, and eccentric, showing some of the ways poetry is alive for American readers. An Invitation to Poetry will inspire a fresh experience of poetry's pleasure and insight.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This third anthology from the Favorite Poem Project under Pinsky (former U.S. poet laureate) is designed to usher poetry back into ordinary people's lives, homes, and bookshelves. Testimonials from Americans of all stripes preface the poems, exploring that fertile crux between poetry and first love, marriage, divorce, war, alienation, and the sudden shock of death. The more difficult poems, therefore, come with their own entr es, which often include a clue to a successful reading or at least a possible reading in the form of these readers' notes. The poems come from dozens of countries, represent a diverse range of emotions and views, and include established poems and more recent aspirants to literary posterity. Readers may wonder whether poems were chosen on the persuasiveness of the testimonials or the enduring strength of the poems themselves. In most cases, the latter is the welcome answer. The accompanying DVD further demonstrates the intense emotional connection ordinary people have with certain poems connections they detail with inspiring candor. Overall, a fine collection of poets' voices that will serve readers well; recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/04.] Joel Whitney, Fordham Univ., New York Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393058765
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/19/2004
  • Edition description: Book and DVD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 458,824
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Maggie Dietz is the Favorite Poem Project's director. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

Robert Pinsky is the author of eight collections of poetry including, most recently, his Selected Poems. His translation The Inferno of Dante won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. His CD PoemJazz, with Grammy-winning pianist Laurence Hobgood, was released in 2012. As United States Poet Laureate, Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project (, in which thousands of Americans shared their favorite poems. That project gave rise to the previous anthologies, Americans’ Favorite Poems and An Invitation to Poetry, with each poem accompanied by readers’ comments. Pinsky teaches at Boston University.

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Table of Contents

From "Discordants" (1) 3
The sentence 4
The great canzon 5
Inside the apple 7
In memoriam Mae Noblitt 8
A blessing in disguise 10
This room 10
It is dangerous to read newspapers 12
Lullaby 14
The more loving one 14
L'invitation au voyage 17
Enueg 1 19
Enueg 2 19
From "Eleven addresses to our Lord" (3, 4) 23
At the fishhouses 25
A cold spring 25
Some dreams they forgot 25
The chimney sweeper (from Songs of innocence) 31
The garden of love (from Songs of experience) 31
The crows 33
Dark summer 33
The blossom 34
We real cool 36
When you have forgotten Sunday : the love story 36
Strong men 38
Two in the Campagna 41
Ay, ay, ay de la Grifa Negra 43
Is there for honest poverty 45
John Anderson my Jo 45
Deathfugue 48
The Negro's complaint 50
Sunday morning apples 52
For a poet 54
Song in spite of myself 54
I carry your heart with me ... 56
Ample make this bed 58
The grass so little has to do 58
I'm nobody! Who are you? 58
One need not be a chamber - to be haunted 58
Surgeons must be very careful 58
To fight aloud, is very brave 58
An epithalamion 62
The good-morrow 62
The elephant 67
With no experience in such matters 70
Journey of the Magi 72
Seen through a window 74
After apple-picking 75
Directive 75
An old man's winter night 75
"Out, out -" 75
The oven bird 75
The pasture 75
Transcription of organ music 82
The school children 84
The holy longing 85
Ode on the death of a favorite cat 86
The idea of trust 88
Woolworth's 90
Population 91
Afterwards 93
The man he killed 93
Privilege of being 95
The night-blooming Cereus 97
From "Clearances" (3) 100
Prospects 101
The collar 102
The envoy of Mr. Cogito 104
Upon Julia's clothes 106
Carrion comfort 107
God's grandeur 107
To seem the stranger lies my lot ... 107
When I was one-and-twenty (A Shropshire Lad 13) 110
The dream keeper 111
Minstrel man 111
Motto 111
Degrees of gray in Philipsburg 113
My real dwelling 115
The islands 116
The woman at the Washington Zoo 116
The eye 118
The song of the banana man 119
Inviting a friend to supper 122
Lovel's song 122
Men at forty 124
From Endymion 125
On a leander which Miss Reynolds, my kind friend, gave me 125
To sleep 125
Finding a long gray hair 128
The boiling water 129
Facing it 134
Thinking of death and dogfood 136
Hornworm : autumn lamentation 138
The layers 138
An Arundel tomb 141
The explosion 141
Caedmon 144
They feed they lion 146
What work is 146
The flower-fed buffaloes 149
Still night thoughts 150
River-snow 151
A psalm of life 152
To Althea, from prison 154
Memories of West Street and Lepke 156
The old flame 156
Portrait 160
Ars poetica 162
Language lesson 1976 163
The mad scene 164
The shore 165
On hearing a symphony of Beethoven 166
Recuerdo 166
You who wronged 168
When I consider how my light is spent 169
Piececitos 170
A jellyfish 172
What are years? 172
The meeting of the waters 174
The snow globe 175
Absence of Joaquin 176
He lived - childhood summers 177
The day lady died 178
Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!) 178
Poem (and tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock in Springfield, Massachusetts) 178
The forms of love 181
Psalm 181
Dulce et decorum est 183
At the new year 185
Dawn 186
Wind and water and stone 186
When in the widening circle of rebirth 188
Nick and the candlestick 189
Alone 191
Erat hora 192
Meditatio 192
The diamond cutters 193
Phantasia for Elvira Shatayev 193
Initiation 197
Requiem for the death of a boy 197
The sheaves 201
The unforgiven 201
I knew a woman 204
In a dark time 204
The sloth 204
Effort at speech between two people 207
With his venom 209
Tired and unhappy, you think of houses 210
Helvellyn 211
The truth the dead know 213
As an unperfect actor on the stage (Sonnets 23) 214
That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnets 73) 214
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes (Sonnets 29) 214
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow (Sonnets 2) 214
Love's philosophy 218
Stanzas written in dejection - December 1818, near Naples 218
Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a brere (Amoretti 26) 221
The gift 222
The shirt poem 223
Disillusionment of ten o'clock 227
A rabbit as king of the ghosts 227
My shadow 229
Keeping things whole 230
The centaur 231
Notes from a nonexistent Himalayan expedition 234
From Gitanjali (35, 39) 236
The sadness of my neighbors 237
From In memoriam A.H.H. (54) 238
Casey at the bat 239
If I were tickled by the rub of love 241
You shall not despair 241
The evacuee 244
Bent with worry 246
Like city's rain, my heart 247
Streams 248
For my people 250
Lineage 250
Go lovely rose! 253
Tell me a story 254
Dirge for two veterans 255
The runner 255
From Song of myself (50, 52) 255
Year that trembled and reel'd beneath me 255
Patriots' day 259
The Harlot's house 260
The ivy crown 262
Rain 262
We are seven 268
The world is too much with us; late and soon 268
After reading Tu Fu, I go outside to the Dwarf Orchard 272
Lying in a hammock at William Duffy's farm in Pine Island, Minnesota 273
Whoso list to hunt 274
A prayer for my daughter 275
A prayer for old age 275
Politics 275
The lower leaves of the trees 279
Attention 280
The way of the water-hyacinth 281
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