The Penguin Book of the Sonnet

( 1 )

Overview

A unique anthology celebrating that most vigorous of literary forms--the sonnet

The sonnet is one of the oldest and most enduring literary forms of the post-classical world, a meeting place of image and voice, passion and reason, elegy and ode. It is a form that both challenges and liberates the poet.

For this anthology, poet and scholar Phillis Levin has gathered more than 600 sonnets to tell the full story of the sonnet tradition in the ...

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Overview

A unique anthology celebrating that most vigorous of literary forms--the sonnet

The sonnet is one of the oldest and most enduring literary forms of the post-classical world, a meeting place of image and voice, passion and reason, elegy and ode. It is a form that both challenges and liberates the poet.

For this anthology, poet and scholar Phillis Levin has gathered more than 600 sonnets to tell the full story of the sonnet tradition in the English language. She begins with its Italian origins; takes the reader through its multifaceted development from the Elizabethan era to the Romantic and Victorian; demonstrates its popularity as a vehicle of protest among writers of the Harlem Renaissance and poets who served in the First World War; and explores its revival among modern and contemporary poets. In her vibrant introduction, Levin traces this history, discussing characteristic structures and shifting themes and providing illuminating readings of individual sonnets. She includes an appendix on structure, biographical notes, and valuable explanatory notes and indexes. And, through her narrative and wide-ranging selection of sonnets and sonnet sequences, she portrays not only the evolution of the form over half a millennium but also its dynamic possibilities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140589290
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 1,449,741
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillis Levin's poems have appeared in many publications and anthologies. She is author of the Norma Farber First Book Award-winning Temples and Fields, as well as The Afterimage. Phillis Levin is also the recipient of an Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, an Ingram Merrill Grant, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Slovenia, and has been a fellow at The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She lives in New York City and currently teaches in the M.A. program in Creative Writing at Hofstra University.

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Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Proem FRANCESCO PETRARCA (1304-1374):
from Canzoniere, 132
GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1343?-1400):
from Troilus and Criseyde,
Canticus Troili

SIR THOMAS WYATT (1503?-1542)
"The longe love, that in my thought doeth harbar"
"Who so list to hounte I know where is an hynde"
"Farewell, Love, and all thy lawes for ever"
"My galy chargèd with forgetfulnes"
"I find no peace, and all my war is done"

HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY (1517?-1547) "The soote season, that bud and blome furth bringes"
"Alas, so all thinges nowe doe holde their peace"
"I never saw you, madam, lay apart"
"Love that liveth and reigneth in my thought"

ANNE LOCKE (1533?-1595)
from A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner: Written in maner of a Paraphrase upon the 51 Psalme of David
"Loe prostrate, Lorde, before thy face I lye"
"But render me my wonted joyes againe"

GEORGE GASCOIGNE (1539-1578)
"That self-same tongue which first did thee entreat"
A Sonet written in prayse of the browne beautie

GILES FLETCHER THE ELDER (1549?-1611)
from Licia or Poems of Love
20. "First did I fear, when first my love began"

EDMUND SPENSER (1552?-1599)
from Amoretti
1. "Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands"
8. "More then most faire, full of the living fire"
18. "The rolling wheele that runneth often round"
22. "This holy season fit to fast and pray"
23. "Penelope for her Ulisses' sake"
30. "My love is lyke to yse, and I to fyre"
37. "What guyle is this, that those her golden tresses"
45. "Leave, lady, in your glasse of christall clene"
67. "Lyke as a huntsman after weary chace"
68. "Most glorious Lord of lyfe that on this day"
71. "I joy to see how in your drawen work"
75. "One day I wrote her name upon the strand"
78. "Lackyng my love I go from place to place"
79. "Men call you fayre, and you doe credit it"
81. "Fayre is my love, when her fayre golden heares"

FULKE GREVILLE, LORD BROOKE (1554-1628)
from Cælica
38. "Cælica, I overnight was finely used"
39. "The nurse-life wheat, within his green husk growing"
100. "In night when colours all to black are cast"

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554-1586)
from The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia
"My true love hath my hart, and I have his"
from Astrophel and Stella
1. "Loving in truth, and faine in verse my love to show"
3. "Let daintie wits crie on the Sisters nine"
5. "It is most true that eyes are form'd to serve"
31. "With how sad steps, O Moone, thou climb'st the skies"
37."My mouth doth water, and my breast doth swell"
39. "Come sleepe, O sleepe, the certaine knot of peace"
41. "Having this day my horse, my hand, my launce"
47. "What, have I thus betrayed my libertie?"
49. "I on my horse, and Love on me doth trie"
54. "Because I breathe not love to everie one"
63. "O Grammer rules, O now your vertues show"
71. "Who will in fairest booke of Nature know"
73. "Love still a boy, and oft a wanton is"
90. "Stella, thinke not that I by verse seeke fame"
from Certaine Sonnets
"Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust"

SIR WALTER RALEGH (1554?-1618)
A vision upon This Conceipt of the Faery Queene
"A secret murder hath been done of late"
To His Son

THOMAS LODGE (1558-1625)
from Phillis: Honoured with Pastorall Sonnets, Elegies, and amorous delights
35. "I hope and feare, I pray and hould my peace"

GEORGE CHAPMAN (1559?-1634)
from A Coronet for his Mistress Philosophy
1. "Muses that sing Love's sensual empery"

HENRY CONSTABLE (1562-1613)
from Diana
"Needs must I leave, and yet needs must I love"

MARK ALEXANDER BOYD (1563-1601)
Sonet ("Fra banc to banc, fra wod to wod, I rin")

SAMUEL DANIEL (1563-1619)
from To Delia
34. "Looke, Delia, how wee steeme the half-blowne Rose"
49. "Care-charmer Sleepe, sonne of the sable Night"
50. "Let others sing of Knights and Palladines"

MICHAEL DRAYTON (1563-1631)
from Idea in Sixtie Three Sonnets
5. "Nothing but No and I, and I and No"
6. "How many paltry, foolish, painted things"
7. "Love, in a Humor, play'd the Prodigall"
15. His Remedie for Love
38. "Sitting alone, Love bids me goe and write"
61. "Since ther's no helpe, Come let us kisse and part"

JOHN DAVIES OF HEREFORD (C. 1563?-1618)
"Some blaze the precious beauties of their loves"
"Although we do not all the good we love"
The author loving these homely meats specially, viz.: cream, pancakes, buttered pippin-pies, &c.

CHARLES BEST (D. 1602)
Of the Moon

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616)
from Love's Labour's Lost
"Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye"
from Romeo and Juliet
"If I profane with my unworthiest hand"
from Sonnets
1. "From fairest creatures we desire increase"
3. "Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest"
13. "O, that you were yourself, but, love, you are"
18. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
19. "Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws"
20. "A woman's face, with Nature's own hand painted"
24. "Mine eye hath played the painter and hath stelled"
27. "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed"
29. "When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes"
53. "What is your substance, whereof are you made"
55. "Not marble nor the gilded monuments"
57. "Being your slave, what should I do but tend"
60. "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore"
65. "Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea"
71. "No longer mourn for me when I am dead"
73. "That time of year thou mayst in me behold"
94. "They that have pow'r to hurt and will do none"
105. "Let not my love be called idolatry"
106. "When in the chronicle of wasted time"
116. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds"
127. "In the old age black was not counted fair"
128. "How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st"
129. "Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame"
130. "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"
134. "So, now I have confessed that he is thine"
138. "When my love swears that she is made of truth"
141. "In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes"
144. "Two loves I have, of comfort and despair"
146. "Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth"
147. "My love is as a fever, longing still"
151. "Love is too young to know what conscience is"

JAMES I (1566-1625)
An Epitaph on Sir Philip Sidney

SIR JOHN DAVIES (1569-1626)
from Gullinge Sonnets
5. "Mine Eye, myne eare, my will, my witt, my harte"
"If you would know the love which I you bear"

JOHN DONNE (1572-1631)
La Corona
1. "Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise"
2. Annunciation
3. Nativity
4. Temple
5. Crucifying
6. Resurrection
7. Ascension from Holy Sonnets
1. "Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay"
5. "I am a little world made cunningly"
6. "This is my play's last scene, here heavens appoint"
7. "At the round earth's imagined corners, blow"
10. "Death be not proud, though some have called thee"
13. "What if this present were the world's last night?"
14. "Batter my heart, three-personed God; for, you"
18. "Show me dear Christ, thy spouse, so bright and clear"
19. "Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one"
Sonnet. The Token

BEN JONSON (1572?-1637)
A Sonnet to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth

LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY (1583-1648)
"Sonnet to Black It Self"

WILLIAM DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN (1585-1649)
"I know that all beneath the moon decays"
"Sleep, Silence' child, sweet father of soft rest"

LADY MARY WROTH (1587?-1652?)
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus
A crowne of Sonetts dedicated to Love

ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674)
To his mistress objecting to him neither toying nor talking To his ever-loving God

GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1633)
Two Sonnets Sent to His Mother, New-Year 1609/10
Redemption Prayer Love (I)
The Sonne The H. Scriptures (I)
The H. Scriptures (II)

JOHN MILTON (1608-1674)
O Nightingale!
How Soon Hath Time To Mr. H. Lawes, On His Airs On the Detraction Which Followed Upon My Writing Certain Treatises On the New Forcers of Conscience Under the Long Parliament To the Lord General Cromwell On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
"When I consider how my light is spent"
"Methought I saw my late espousèd Saint"

CHARLES COTTON (1630-1687)
Resolution in Four Sonnets, of a Poetical Question Put to Me by a Friend, Concerning Four Rural Sisters

THOMAS GRAY (1716-1771)
On the Death of Mr. Richard West

THOMAS WARTON, THE YOUNGER (1728-1790)
To the River Lodon

ANNA SEWARD (1747-1809)
To Mr. Henry Cary, on the Publication of His Sonnets

CHARLOTTE SMITH (1749-1806)
To the Moon To Sleep Written Near a Port on a Dark Evening

WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827)
To the Evening Star

ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796)
A Sonnet upon Sonnets

THOMAS RUSSELL (1762-1788)
To the Spider

ELIZABETH COBBOLD (1767-1824)
from Sonnets of Laura
I. Reproach

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850)
"Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room"
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
"The world is too much with us; late and soon"
"It is a beauteous evening, calm and free"
from Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty
To Toussaint L'Ouverture London, 1802
"It is no Spirit who from heaven hath flown"
"Surprised by joy-impatient as the wind"
from The River Duddon, A Series of Sonnets (1820)
III. "How shall I paint thee?-Be this naked stone"
from Ecclesiastical Sonnets in Series (1822)
47. "Why sleeps the future, as a snake enrolled"
"Scorn not the Sonnet; critic, you have frowned"

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834)
To the River Otter To Nature To a Friend, Who Asked How I Felt, When the Nurse First Presented My Infant to Me Work Without Hope

ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774-1843)
from Poems on the Slave Trade
VI. "High in the air exposed the slave is hung"
To a Goose

CHARLES LAMB (1775-1834)
The Family Name

JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE (1775-1841)
To Night

HORACE SMITH (1779-1849)
Ozymandias

EBENEZER ELLIOTT (1781-1849)
"In these days, every mother's son or daughter"

MARTHA HANSON (FL. 1809)
"How proudly Man usurps the power to reign"

MARY F. JOHNSON (FL. 1810 D. 1863)
The Idiot Girl

LEIGH HUNT (1784-1859)
To the Grasshopper and the Cricket

GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788-1824)
On Chillon
"Rousseau-Voltaire-our Gibbon-and de Staël"

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792-1822)
To Wordsworth Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte Ozymandias England in 1819
Ode to the West Wind

JOHN CLARE (1793-1864)
To Wordsworth Hen's Nest To John Clare The Happy Bird The Thrush's Nest

JOHN KEATS (1795-1821)
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer To My Brothers
"Great spirits now on earth are sojourning"
On the Grasshopper and Cricket
"When I have fears that I may cease to be"
To Homer
"Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art"
Sonnet to Sleep
"If by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd"
"I cry your mercy-pity-love!-aye, love"

HARTLEY COLERIDGE (1796-1849)
To a Friend
"Let me not deem that I was made in vain"
"Think upon Death, 'tis good to think of Death"

THOMAS LOVELL BEDDOES (1803-1849)
To Night A Crocodile

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (1806-1861)
Finite and Infinite from Sonnets from the Portuguese
I. "I thought once how Theocritus had sung"
VII. "The face of all the world is changed, I think"
XIII. "And wilt thou have me fashion into speech"
XVIII. "I never gave a lock of hair away"
XLII. "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways"

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882)
Chaucer The Cross of Snow

CHARLES TENNYSON TURNER (1808-1879)
Letty's Globe On the Eclipse of the Moon of October 1865

EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849)
To Science

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON (1809-1892)
"If I were loved, as I desire to be"
"Mine be the strength of spirit fierce and free"

ROBERT BROWNING (1812-1889)
Why I Am a Liberal

JONES VERY (1813-1880)
Yourself

AUBREY THOMAS DE VERE (1814-1902)
The Sun God

GEORGE ELIOT (1819-1880)
from Brother and Sister
I. "I cannot choose but think upon the time"
XI. "School parted us; we never found again"

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL (1819-1891)
The Street

FREDERICK GODDARD TUCKERMAN (1821-1873)
from Sonnets, First Series
10. "An upper chamber in a darkened house"
28. "Not the round natural world, not the deep mind"
from Sonnets, Second Series
7. "His heart was in his garden; but his brain"
29. "How oft in schoolboy-days, from the school's sway"

MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822-1888)
Shakespeare West London

SYDNEY DOBELL (1824-1874)
The Army Surgeon

GEORGE MEREDITH (1828-1909)
from Modern Love
I. "By this he knew she wept with waking eyes"
XVII. "At dinner, she is hostess, I am host"
XXX. "What are we first? First, animals; and next"
XXXIV. "Madam would speak with me. So, now it comes"
XLVII. "We saw the swallows gathering in the sky"
XLIX. "He found her by the ocean's moaning verge"
L. "Thus piteously Love closed what he begat"
Lucifer in Starlight

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882)
from The House of Life
Introductory Sonnet XV. The Birth-Bond XIX. Silent Noon LIII. Without Her LXXXIII. Barren Spring XCVII. A Superscription

CHRISTINA ROSSETTI (1830-1894)
Rest In an Artist's Studio from The Thread of Life
"Thus am I mine own prison. Everything"

ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE (1837-1909)
Cor Cordium On the Russian Persecution of the Jews

THOMAS HARDY (1840-1928) Hap She, to Him (I)
She, to Him (II)
In the Old Theatre, Fiesole (April 1887)
At a Lunar Eclipse A Church Romance Over the Coffin We Are Getting to the End

ROBERT BRIDGES (1844-1930)
"While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry"

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (1844-1889)
God's Grandeur
"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame"
Spring The Windhover Pied Beauty The Caged Skylark Peace Felix Randal
"I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day"
"No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief"
"Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee"
That Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection
"Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend"
To R. B.

EUGENE LEE-HAMILTON (1845-1907)
from Imaginary Sonnets
Luther to a Bluebottle Fly (1540)

ALICE CHRISTINA MEYNELL (1847-1922)
To a Daisy

EMMA LAZARUS (1849-1887)
The New Colossus

OSCAR WILDE (1856-1900)
On the sale by auction of Keats' love letters Hélas

FRANCIS THOMPSON (1859-1907)
All's Vast

W. B. YEATS (1865-1939)
The Folly of Being Comforted The Fascination of What's Difficult At the Abbey Theater
"While I, from that reed-throated whisperer"
Leda and the Swan Meru A Crazed Girl High Talk

ERNEST DOWSON (1867-1900)
A Last Word

EDWARD ARLINGTON ROBINSON (1869-1935)
Firelight Calvary Cliff Klingenhagen Reuben Bright Credo Sonnet ("The master and the slave go hand in hand")
The Sheaves

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON (1871-1938)
Mother Night

PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR (1872-1906)
Robert Gould Shaw Douglass

AMY LOWELL (1874-1925)
To John Keats

TRUMBULL STICKNEY (1874-1904)
"Be still. The Hanging Gardens were a dream"
Six O'Clock

RUPERT BROOKE (1875-1915)
The Hill Clouds A Memory from 1914
The Soldier

ALICE DUNBAR-NELSON (1875-1935)
Sonnet ("I had no thought of violets of late")

ROBERT FROST (1875-1963)
A Dream Pang Mowing Meeting and Passing Hyla Brook The Oven Bird Range-Finding Acquainted with the Night Design The Silken Tent Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same

EDWARD THOMAS (1878-1917)
Some Eyes Condemn February Afternoon

EZRA POUND (1885-1972)
A Virginal

ELINOR WYLIE (1885-1928)
from Wild Peaches
1. "When the world turns completely upside down"
2. "The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass"
Sonnet ("When, in the dear beginning of the fever")
A Lodging for the Night

SIEGFRIED SASSOON (1886-1967)
Dreamers Glory of Women On Passing the New Menin Gate

ROBINSON JEFFERS (1887-1962)
Love the Wild Swan

MARIANNE MOORE (1887-1972)
No Swan So Fine

EDWIN MUIR (1887-1959)
Milton

T. S. ELIOT (1888-1965)
from The Dry Salvages

JOHN CROWE RANSOM (1888-1974)
Piazza Piece

CLAUDE MCKAY (1890-1948)
If We Must Die The Harlem Dancer America

ARCHIBALD MACLEISH (1892-1983)
The End of the World Aeterna Poetae Memoria

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY (1892-1950)
"Thou art not lovelier than lilacs,-no"
"Time does not bring relief; you all have lied"
"If I should learn, in some quite casual way"
"Oh, think not I am faithful to a vow"
"Pity me not because the light of day"
"I shall go back again to the bleak shore"
"I, being born a woman and distressed"
"What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why"
"Still will I harvest beauty where it grows"
from Fatal Interview (1931)
II. "This beast that rends me in the sight of all"
VII. "Night is my sister, and how deep in love"
XX. "Think not, nor for a moment let your mind"
XXX. "Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink"
"I will put Chaos into fourteen lines"
"Read history: so learn your place in Time"
from Epitaph for the Race of Man (1934)
V. "When Man is gone and only gods remain"

WILFRED OWEN (1893-1918)
Anthem for Doomed Youth Dulce et Decorum Est Futility

DOROTHY PARKER (1893-1967)
"I Shall Come Back"

e. e. cummings (1894-1962)
"when thou hast taken thy last applause,and when"
"my girl's tall with hard long eyes"
"it is at moments after i have dreamed"
"it may not always be so;and i say"
from Sonnets-Actualities
I. "when my love comes to see me it's"
II. "it is funny,you will be dead some day"
VII. "yours is the music for no instrument"
X. "a thing most new complete fragile intense"
XII. "my love is building a building"
"i like my body when it is with your"
" 'next to of course god america i"
"if i have made,my lady,intricate"
"i carry your heart with me(i carry it in"

JEAN TOOMER (1894-1967)
November Cotton Flower

ROBERT GRAVES (1895-1985)
History of the Word

EDMUND BLUNDEN (1896-1974)
Vlamertinghe: Passing the Chateau, July 1917

LOUISE BOGAN (1897-1970)
Fifteenth Farewell Simple Autumnal Sonnet ("Dark, underground, is furnished with the bone")
Single Sonnet Musician

HART CRANE (1899-1932)
To Emily Dickinson

ALLEN TATE (1899-1979)
from Sonnets at Christmas
2. "Ah, Christ, I love you rings to the wild sky"

YVOR WINTERS (1900-1968)
To Emily Dickinson

ROY CAMPBELL (1901-1957)
Luis de Camões

COUNTEE CULLEN (1903-1946)
Yet Do I Marvel At the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

EDWIN DENBY (1903-1983)
Air

MERRILL MOORE (1903-1957)
They Also Stand . . .

PATRICK KAVANAUGH (1904-1967)
Canal Bank Walk

PHYLLIS MCGINLEY (1905-1978)
Evening Musicale

ELLIOTT COLEMAN (1906-1980)
from Oedipus Sonnets
3. "In a May evening, commuter, king"

W. H. AUDEN (1907-1973)
Who's Who Our Bias Montaigne Rimbaud Brussels in Winter from The Quest: A Sonnet Sequence
The Door from In Time of War
XII. "And the age ended, and the last deliverer died"
XXVII. "Wandering lost upon the mountains of our choice"

LOUIS MACNEICE (1907-1963)
Sunday Morning

MALCOLM LOWRY (1909-1957)
Delirium in Vera Cruz

JAMES REEVES (B. 1909)
Leaving Town

STEPHEN SPENDER (1909-1995)
"Without that once clear aim, the path of flight"

ELIZABETH BISHOP (1911-1979)
The Prodigal Sonnet ("Caught-the bubble")

GEORGE BARKER (1913-1991)
To My Mother

ROBERT HAYDEN (1913-1980)
Those Winter Sundays Frederick Douglass

MURIEL RUKEYSER (1913-1980)
On the Death of Her Mother

DELMORE SCHWARTZ (1913-1966)
The Beautiful American Word, Sure

JOHN BERRYMAN (1914-1972)
from Berryman's Sonnets (1967)
7. "I've found out why, that day, that suicide"
15. "What was Ashore, then? . . Cargoed with Forget"
36. "Keep your eyes open when you kiss: do: when"
107. "Darling I wait O in my upstairs box"
115. "All we were going strong last night this time"

WELDON KEES (1914-1955)
For My Daughter

WILLIAM STAFFORD (1914-1993)
Time

DYLAN THOMAS (1914-1953)
Among Those Killed in the Dawn Raid Was a Man Aged a Hundred

MARGARET WALKER (1915-1998)
Childhood For Malcolm X

GWENDOLYN BROOKS (1917-2000)
from The Children of the Poor
1. "People who have no children can be hard"
4. "First fight. Then fiddle. Ply the slipping string"
from Gay Chaps at the Bar
gay chaps at the bar still do I keep my look, my identity . . .
my dreams, my works, must wait till after hell piano after war the progress

CHARLES CAUSLEY (B. 1917)
Autobiography

ROBERT LOWELL (1917-1977)
History Words for Hart Crane Ezra Pound Robert Frost Fishnet Dolphin

WILLIAM MEREDITH (B. 1919)
The Illiterate

AMY CLAMPITT (1920-1994)
The Cormorant in Its Element

HOWARD NEMEROV (1920-1991)
A Primer of the Daily Round

HAYDEN CARRUTH (B. 1921)
from Sonnets
2. "How is it, tell me, that this new self can be"
3. "Last night, I don't know if from habit or intent"
4. "While you stood talking at the counter, cutting"
5. "From our very high window at the Sheraton"
Sonnet ("Well, she told me I had an aura. 'What?' I said")
Late Sonnet

MARIE PONSOT (B. 1921)
Out of Eden Call

RICHARD WILBUR (B. 1921)
Praise in Summer

PHILIP LARKIN (1922-1985)
"Love, we must part now: do not let it be"

ANTHONY HECHT (B. 1923)
Double Sonnet The Feast of Stephen

JANE COOPER (B. 1924)
Praise

DONALD JUSTICE (B. 1925)
The Wall Mrs. Snow Henry James by the Pacific

JAMES K. BAXTER (1926-1972)
from Jerusalem Sonnets
1. "The small gray cloudy louse that nests in my beard"

JAMES MERRILL (1926-1995)
Marsyas Last Words

W. D. SNODGRASS (B. 1926)
Mh' tiV . . . Ou'tiV

JOHN ASHBERY (B. 1927)
Rain Moving In

W. S. MERWIN (B. 1927)
Epitaph on Certain Schismatics Substance

JAMES WRIGHT (1927-1980)
Saint Judas My Grandmother's Ghost

DONALD HALL (B. 1928)
President and Poet

PHILIP LEVINE (B. 1928)
Llanto

THOM GUNN (B. 1929)
First Meeting with a Possible Mother-in-Law Keats at Highgate

JOHN HOLLANDER (B. 1929)
from Powers of Thirteen
"Just the right number of letters-half the alphabet"
"That other time of day when the chiming of Thirteen"
from The Mad Potter
"Clay to clay: Soon I shall indeed become"

ADRIENNE RICH (B. 1929)
from Contradictions: Tracking Poems
1. "Look: this is January the worst onslaught"
14. "Lately in my dreams I hear long sentences"
18. "The problem, unstated till now, is how"
Final Notations

DEREK WALCOTT (B. 1930)
Homage to Edward Thomas

GEOFFREY HILL (B. 1932)
September Song Funeral Music

SYLVIA PLATH (1932-1963)
Mayflower

JOHN UPDIKE (B. 1932)
Island Cities

TED BERRIGAN (1934-1983)
from The Sonnets
III. "Stronger than alcohol, more great than song"

JEAN VALENTINE (B. 1934)
Rain

ROBERT MEZEY (B. 1935)
Hardy

GRACE SCHULMAN (B. 1935)
The Abbess of Whitby

CHARLES WRIGHT (B. 1935)
Composition in Grey and Pink

JUNE JORDAN (B. 1936)
Sunflower Sonnet Number Two

JUDITH RODRIGUEZ (B. 1936)
In-flight Note

FREDERICK SEIDEL (B. 1936)
Elms

JOHN FULLER (B. 1937)
from Lily and Violin
6. "Afterwards we may not speak: piled chords"

TONY HARRISON (B. 1937)
from Fom The School of Eloquence
On Not Being Milton

LES MURRAY (B. 1938)
Comete

CHARLES SIMIC (B. 1938)
History

DICK ALLEN (B. 1939)
Lost Love

FRANK BIDART (B. 1939)
Self-Portrait, 1969

SEAMUS HEANEY (B. 1939)
The Forge Act of Union The Seed Cutters A Dream of Jealousy from Clearances
II. "Polished linoleum shone there. Brass taps shone"
III. "When all the others were away at Mass"

STANLEY PLUMLY (B. 1939)
from Boy on the Step
1. "He's out of breath only halfway up the hill"
5. "None of us dies entirely-some of us, all"

BILLY COLLINS (B. 1941)
American Sonnet Duck/Rabbit Sonnet ("All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now")

DOUGLAS DUNN (B. 1942)
France

MARILYN HACKER (B. 1942)
Sonnet ("Love drives its rackety blue caravan")
from Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons
"Did you love well what very soon you left"
from Cancer Winter
"Syllables shaped around the darkening day's"
"I woke up, and the surgeon said, 'You're cured' "
"The odd and even numbers of the street"
"At noon, an orderly wheeled me upstairs"

DAVID HUDDLE (B. 1942)
from Tour of Duty
Words from Album
Coda

ANN LAUTERBACH (B. 1942)
Aperture

CHARLES MARTIN (B. 1942)
Easter Sunday, 1985
from Making Faces
II. The End of the World The Philosopher's Balloon

WILLIAM MATTHEWS (1942-1997)
Vermin

HENRY TAYLOR (B. 1942)
Green Springs the Tree

LOUISE GLÜCK (B. 1943)
Snowdrops

ELLEN BRYANT VOIGT (B. 1943)
from Kyrie
"Dear Mattie, You're sweet to write me every day"
"When does a childhood end? Mothers"
"This is the double bed where she'd been born"
"Once the world had had its fill of war"

EAVAN BOLAND (B. 1944)
Yeats in Civil War The Singers Heroic

J. D. MCCLATCHY (B. 1945)
My Mammogram

LEON STOKESBURY (B. 1945)
To His Book STAR BLACK (B. 1946)
Rilke's Letter from Rome Personals

MARILYN NELSON (B. 1946)
Balance Chosen Chopin

BRUCE SMITH (B. 1946)
from In My Father's House
O My Invisible Estate

MOLLY PEACOCK (B. 1947)
The Lull Desire Instead of Her Own The Purr The Hunt

HUGH SEIDMAN (B. 1947)
14 First Sentences

FLOYD SKLOOT (B. 1947)
My Daughter Considers Her Body

RACHEL HADAS (B. 1948)
Moments of Summer

DAVID LEHMAN (B. 1948)
Sonnet ("No roof so poor it does not shelter")

TIMOTHY STEELE (B. 1948)
Summer

AGHA SHAHID ALI (B. 1949)
from I Dream I Am the Only Passenger on Flight 423 to Srinagar,
"and when we-as if from ashes-ascend"
"Attar-of jasmine? What was it she wore"

DENIS JOHNSON (B. 1949)
Sway Passengers

SHEROD SANTOS (B. 1949)
Married Love

JULIA ALVAREZ (B. 1950)
from 33
"Where are the girls who were so beautiful"
"Let's make a modern primer for our kids"
"Ever have an older lover say: God"
"Secretly I am building in the heart"

DANA GIOIA (B. 1950)
Sunday Night in Santa Rosa

T. R. HUMMER (B. 1950)
The Rural Carrier Stops to Kill a Nine-Foot Cottonmouth

MEDBH MCGUCKIAN (B. 1950)
Still Life of Eggs

PAUL MULDOON (B. 1951)
Why Brownlee Left Holy Thursday October 1950

RITA DOVE (B. 1952)
Hades' Pitch Sonnet in Primary Colors

MARK JARMAN (B. 1952)
from Unholy Sonnets
2. "Which is the one, which of the imps inside"
9. "Someone is always praying as the plane"
14. "In via est cisterna"

ELIZABETH MACKLIN (B. 1952)
I Fail to Speak to My Earth, My Desire Foolishly Halved, I See You

TOM SLEIGH (B. 1953)
The Very End Eclipse from The Work
4. The God

ROSANNA WARREN (B. 1953)
Necrophiliac

DAVID WOJAHN (B. 1953)
from Mystery Train: A Sequence
1. Homage: Light from the Hall
2. Buddy Holly Watching Rebel Without a Cause, Lubbock, Texas, 1956

DAVID BAKER (B. 1954)
Top of the Stove

BRUCE BOND (B. 1954)
Isaac

PHILLIS LEVIN (B. 1954)
Final Request

JAMES MCCORKLE (B. 1954)
Deer at the Corner of the House

JOHN BURNSIDE (B. 1955)
The Myth of the Twin

CAROL ANN DUFFY (B. 1955)
Prayer

ROBIN ROBERTSON (B. 1955)
Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

APRIL BERNARD (B. 1956)
Sonnet in E

HENRI COLE (B. 1956)
Chiffon Morning

ANNIE FINCH (B. 1956)
My Raptor

KARL KIRCHWEY (B. 1956)
Zoo Story In Transit

DEBORAH LASER (B. 1956)
from Between Two Gardens
"Night shares this day with me, is the rumpled"

JACQUELINE OSHEROW (B. 1956)
Sonnet for a Single Day in Autumn Yom Kippur Sonnet, with a Line from Lamentations

JAMES LASDUN (B. 1958)
Powder Compact Plague Years

KATE LIGHT (B. 1960)
Reading Someone Else's Love Poems Your Unconscious Speaks to My Unconscious And Then There Is That Incredible Moment,

JOE BOLTON (1961-1990)
from Style
II. "I was surprised to find how light I felt"

SASCHA FEINSTEIN (B. 1963)
from Sonnets for Stan Gage (1945-1992)
"Floodlight shadow. Your shoes are stroking"
"With young people the heart keeps beating even"

RAFAEL CAMPO (B. 1964)
The Mental Status Exam

MIKE NELSON (B. 1967)
Light Sonnet for the Lover of a Dark

DANIEL GUTSTEIN (B. 1968)
What Can Disappear

BETH ANN FENNELLY (B. 1971)
Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding

JASON SCHNEIDERMAN (B. 1976)
The Disease Collector

Appendix: The Architecture of a Sonnet
Explanatory Notes Suggestions for Further Reading Biographical Notes Index of Authors Index of Titles and First Lines

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  • Posted July 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book is an anthology that celebrates that most vigorous of

    This book is an anthology that celebrates that most vigorous of literary forms, the Sonnet.
    The earliest sonnets record the unceasing conflict between the law of reason and the law of love, the need to solve a problem that cannot be resolved by an act of will, yet finds its fulfillment, if not its solution, only in the poem. Thematically and structurally this tension plays itself out in the relationship between a fixed formal pattern and the endless flow of feeling. The poet experiences the illusion of control and the illusion of freedom and from the meeting of those illusions creates the reality off the poem.
    The sonnet is one of the only poetic forms with predetermined lengths, specific though flexible set of possibilities for arranging patterns of meaning and sound but it is also a blueprint for building a structure that remains open to the unknown, ready to lodge an unexpected guest.
    A sonnet is a fourteen line poem that composes a single stanza, called a quatorzain. When a sonnet is true to its nature, it encompasses contradiction and arrives at resolution or revelation.
    The reader of this book can follow the sonnets evolution over time, experiencing firsthand how historical, political, and structural pressures engender innovation, subversion and renewal.
    Many sonnets are included with dates. I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it.

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