VOYA - Cindy FaughnanEach book in this series contains about a dozen poets in chapters arranged chronologically by the poet's birth date. Chapters begin with a brief bio and then contain a sample poem or two, summary and explication of the poems, discussion of poetic techniques and theme, and a comment on what critics say about the poet. Modern American Poetry includes familiar poets such as Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, and Langston Hughes, as well as lesser-known poets such as H. D. and Louise Bogan. Early American Poetry includes Phillis Wheatley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. This particular book discusses what is going on historically and how the poet connected with people and events of the time, making it an excellent book to use to connect literature and history. The interesting introductions explain the type of poetry popular at the time covered in the book and examine the influences that affected the poets, such as the effect of modern art on modern poetry. Each chapter contains an image of the poet and sometimes art or a picture that goes with a poem. Sidebars labeled "Facts" explain poetic devices or information about the poet or the time. Facts in Early American Poetry include what Romanticism is, an explanation of poetic meter and rhyme scheme, and information about Emily Dickinson's correspondence. The writing is conversational but intelligent. Familiar and new poetic vocabulary, such as alliteration, symbolism, and allusion, are discussed with understandable definitions and examples from the poems. Each chapter leaves the reader with a greater understanding of poetry in general and with adesire to find more work by the poet discussed. These books would be great supplemental texts for teachers in grades eight through twelve who teach poetry and will look forward to the next three volumes in the spring: Contemporary American Poetry, Modern British Poetry, and World Poetry. Reviewer: Cindy Faughnan
Children's Literature - Ellen WeltyThe time period described by the term �modernism' in American poetry is the first half of the twentieth century. The movement is sometimes called "The Golden Age of American Poetry" and includes such giants as Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot, whose works remain popular today; but it also includes lesser known poets whose work is equally representative. The period is characterized by a break from traditions and a freedom to experiment with meter and rhyme. Part of the "Poetry Rocks!" series, this collection is a survey of poets from the period and selections of some of their works. The poets discussed are Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, H.D., Marianne Moore, T.S. Eliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, e.e. cummings, Louise Bogan, and Langston Hughes. Each chapter presents a brief biographical sketch of the poet, along with samples of his or her work and some discussion of themes and techniques used. There is also a section discussing what the critics of the day wrote about the poet and the work. Chapter notes, a glossary, a list of additional reading sources, and an index are appended. Literature classes will make good use of the selections in this book and the series, as well. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library JournalGr 8 Up–This series offers a comprehensive overview of literary periods and introduces readers to poets with a few pages of biographical information and a brief summation of critical response. The most useful section of each entry presents a sample poem (or excerpt), which is then explicated in terms of technique and themes.Â The writing is somewhat uneven, and in many cases, truncated and oversimplified, though each of the books offers a well-written introductory statement. The formulaic presentation is balanced with plenty of photographs and colorful borders, type fonts, and fact boxes. These titles will find the most use with teachers looking to guide literary studies.
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