The Poets Laureate Anthology

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Overview

The first anthology to gather poems by the forty-three poets laureate of the United States.
Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the world's finest military forces between 73and 71 BC, bringing both fears and hopes that have never wholly left the modern mind.
Sweepingly erudite and strikingly personal, The Spartacus Road is a book like none other—at once a ...

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Overview

The first anthology to gather poems by the forty-three poets laureate of the United States.
Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the world's finest military forces between 73and 71 BC, bringing both fears and hopes that have never wholly left the modern mind.
Sweepingly erudite and strikingly personal, The Spartacus Road is a book like none other—at once a journalist's notebook, a reflection on life's fragility, including the author's own fight against cancer; and a classicist's celebration. As he travels along the Spartacus Road and into the classical Italian landscape, Stothard breathes new life into a singular war in antiquity, recounting one of the greatest stories of the ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The United States has a long tradition of choosing a national poet, though the term poet laureate only came to be used here after 1985. Before that, since its inception in 1935, the post was called consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress. So far we've had 43 of them, including some of America's most famous and best-loved poets, such as Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and, of course, Billy Collins, perhaps the most popular poet to hold the title (2001–2003), and also the author of the foreword to this enjoyable anthology, which offers a sampling of work from all 43 laureates, plus short introductions about each one. Former New York Times Book Review poetry editor Schmidt calls the laureates "the gatekeepers of the American idiom," and above all, that's what a reader will find here: a good sampling of what the mainstream of American poetry has to offer--the careful descriptions of Bishop, the powerful critiques of Brooks, the surreal landscapes of Simic, Merwin's deep images, Bogan's careful stanzas, Lowell's blustery lines. There are a few occasional poems, but mostly, it's a gathering of great poets hanging together because they held an important job. This will be a wonderful holiday gift for poetry lovers. (Oct.)
Library Journal
"Be careful what you say to us now./ The street-lamp is smashed, the window is jagged,/ There is a man dead in his blood by the base of the fountain./ If you speak/ You cannot be delicate or sad or clever." With these lines, Josephine Jacobsen reminds readers that despite all the hardship in the world, poetry is there to report. With this sweeping behemoth of an anthology, Norton and the Library of Congress have given readers and libraries an excellent excuse to own another book. Schmidt, former poetry editor for the New York Times Book Review, has included all of the Poet Laureate Consultants (commonly known as U.S. Poet Laureates) from Joseph Auslander (1937–41) to Kay Ryan (2007–10). Even newly named Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin is included because he served as Special Bicentennial Consultant with Rita Dove and Louise Glück (1999–2000). Schmidt gives readers a fine selection of poems for each poet, some expected and some surprises. In addition, she includes introductions that place poets in social and literary context and elaborates their contributions to the office of Consultant. For example, William Carlos Williams's term was mired in Communist controversy and health problems, and while appointed, he never served. VERDICT A hefty and worthy read that everyone will want to savor. Essential for all contemporary poetry collections.—Karla Huston, Appleton Arts Ctr., WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393061819
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/4/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 382,119
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, a former poetry editor at the New York Times Book Review, is the editor of the acclaimed anthology Poems of New York and The Poets Laureate Anthology. She lives in New York City and currently teaches American literature at Sarah Lawrence College.

Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, a former poetry editor at the New York Times Book Review, is the editor of the acclaimed anthology Poems of New York and The Poets Laureate Anthology. She lives in New York City and currently teaches American literature at Sarah Lawrence College.

Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate of the United States and the State of New York. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College and a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute. A Literary Lion of the New York Public Library and author of many collections of poetry, including Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds and Horoscopes for the Dead, he lives in Westchester, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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