Revenge and Forgiveness: An Anthology of Poems

Overview

"When you seek revenge, dig two graves."-Anonymous

A poetry anthology for teens on a perennially important topic

Acclaimed anthologist and teacher Patrice Vecchione has put together an immensely powerful group of poems, all of which address the timeless and uniquely human desires for revenge and for forgiveness.

"The events of September 11th inspired this book. I wanted to create a tangible forum, a book to hold in our hands, to help frame and ...

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Overview

"When you seek revenge, dig two graves."-Anonymous

A poetry anthology for teens on a perennially important topic

Acclaimed anthologist and teacher Patrice Vecchione has put together an immensely powerful group of poems, all of which address the timeless and uniquely human desires for revenge and for forgiveness.

"The events of September 11th inspired this book. I wanted to create a tangible forum, a book to hold in our hands, to help frame and think not just about terrorism but about who we are as individuals and who we are as a country. It's been gestating in me for all this time. Finding these poems was like turning little lights on to illumine the dark. How can beauty be made out of ugliness and fear? Can it rise from ash?"-Patrice Vecchione

A collection of nearly sixty poems dealing with revenge and forgiveness, plus suggested readings about each contributing poet.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Vecchione's goal for this book, to help readers to see themselves and others more clearly, to guide them past pain to understanding, has been beautifully and intelligently reached."—School Library Journal, starred review

"[A]n accessible, stimulating, and timely collection."—Kirkus Reviews

"Without glib messages, the combination works, connecting conflict and empathy across the world and within the reader."—Booklist

"Eschewing the more usual themes of love, death, and basketball, Vecchione here brings together for young adults close to sixty poems on a theme that offers more latitude then one might expect. While the anthologist says in her introduction that the idea for the book was inspired by September 11th, most of the poems focus on more intimate moments of betrayal, and the book is better for it."—The Horn Book

"This collection of poems, centered around the titular themes, offers readers a wide array of insight into human nature."—VOYA

Publishers Weekly
Two wrenching themes inform the collection Revenge and Forgiveness: An Anthology of Poems, edited by Patrice Vecchione, which the editor says was inspired by the "tragedy of September 11." She includes poems from across cultures and centuries, and poets from Shakespeare to Robert Frost and Francisco X. Alarc n. In "Quatrain: Forgive Me Not," Lilla Cabot Perry writes, "Forgive me not! Hate me and I shall know/ Some of Love's fire still burns within your breast!/ Forgiveness finds its home in hearts at rest,/ On dead volcanoes only lies the snow." (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
This collection of poems, centered around the titular themes, offers readers a wide array of insight into human nature. Anger, grief, sorrow, and regret are conveyed through poems from both classic and contemporary writers. Frost, Whitman, and Dickinson co-exist beside Lucille Clifton, Sandra Cisneros, and Naomi Shihab Nye. This poetry is to be chewed and digested slowly; there are no fast-food poems here. Secondary English teachers will find in this volume an ample supply of work to supplement their textbooks during National Poetry Month each April. The only drawback from the teen reader's perspective is that many of the poems require life experiences beyond their ken. Indeed, many teens have suffered from the pangs that lead to revenge; many have also found a way to forgiveness in difficult circumstances. But the depth of teen emotions is not the focus of this collection. Rather, many poems take an adult stance, one that might be foreign to younger readers. Recommend that educators begin slowly with this anthology, sharing a few poems aloud and leading discussions about the language, style, and content of the works. Better yet, introduce readers to the collections edited by Betsy Franco that contain poems from teen writers, You Hear Me? (Candlewick, 2000/VOYA December 2000) and Things I Have to Tell You (2001/VOYA October 2001). VOYA Codes 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Henry Holt, 160p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Teri S. Lesesne
Children's Literature
Born out of a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, this stirring compilation of poems about revenge and forgiveness will challenge readers to ask hard questions about their own natures. In the editor's introduction, she states, "revenge and forgiveness are both the result of something else—a wrong committed or perceived" and "each is a way of responding." How we move "through sorrow and pain, and on to the other side" is key. The poems span ages and cultures, from a Quechan myth to Emily Dickinson, from Shakespeare to Sandra Cisneros. Some, like "The Minefield" by Diane Thiel, cover war situations. The poem "What They Wanted" explores the effects of the Vietnam War on one man. Other poems explore the risks of love, whether romantic or familial. The collection ends with Lucille Clifton's poem "Let There be New Flowering," which closes with "let love be at the end." Detailed biographical notes give readers greater insight into the poets and their works. Our need to grapple with vengeful feelings and to move beyond them is universal and has never been greater. This excellent anthology is both timely and timeless. 2004, Henry Holt, Ages 12 up.
—Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Inspired by the events of September 11, this excellent anthology illustrates how people deal individually with grief and anger of all types. While subjects range from lovers, friends, parents, and strangers to politics, terrorism, slavery, and war, all of the poems speak to the natural human urge to respond to a wrong whether by forgiving or by taking revenge. Beginning with a song from a Native American myth, "My Heart, You Might Pierce It and Take It," which sets the tone for this collection, the volume ends on a hopeful note with Lucille Clifton's "Let There Be New Flowering." The range of authors included is vast, from the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus through Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, and contemporary poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, and Vecchione herself. The introduction is thoughtful in its discussion of revenge and forgiveness in their various forms. The biographical notes at the end are fascinating and often include quotes from the poets themselves about the works presented in the collection. Each entry includes additional titles for those who want more exposure to a particular writer. Vecchione's goal for this book, to help readers to see themselves and others more clearly, to guide them past pain to understanding, has been beautifully and intelligently reached.-Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The editor of engaging poetry anthologies for young adults, Vecchione has produced an accessible, stimulating, and timely collection. The poems cross time, from Catullus's "Grief reached across the world to get me" to poet laureate Louise Gluck's " . . . I thought / that pain meant / I was not loved. / It meant I loved." Most are by contemporary English language poets, mainly lyric and narrative free verse, though entries from the "cannon" (Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare) broaden the tone. Contemporary selections like Stephen Dunn's "To a Terrorist," Naomi Shihab Nye's "Jerusalem," or Alison Luterman's "Another Vigil at San Quentin" bring the themes to bear on today's political situations; while Sandra Cisneros's "You Called Me Coraz-n," Ellen Bass's "Why People Murder," or Lucille Clifton's "Let there be new flowering," show how we as individuals bring these themes to bear in our own lives. Extensive comments, biographies, and reading lists from each poet round out this first-choice anthology for today's teens. (Nonfiction. 12 )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805073768
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrice Vecchione is the editor of The Body Eclectic and Truth and Lies: An Anthology of Poems, both for young adults, as well as several adult anthologies, and is the author of a collection of poems. She lives in Del Rey Oaks, California.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
"My heart, you might pierce it and take it" 11
Only Cherries? 12
Dogs 13
Enemies 15
Say You Love Me 16
Sugarmother's Daughter Dreams 19
First Memory 20
Revenge Fable 21
Grief 22
Mine Enemy Is Growing Old 23
Revenge 24
A Curse on a Thief 25
"I will write songs against you" 27
A Curse on Mine-Owners 28
Sonnet XC 29
"Envenomed are my songs" 30
Revenge 31
Bitter Fruit of the Tree 32
Hygiene 34
Envy 36
A Ritual to Read to Each Other 38
Catch 39
Sea of Faith 40
To a Bad Heart 42
Blink 44
Stronger Lessons 45
A Pact 46
Poem 47
To a Terrorist 48
The Minefield 50
What They Wanted 51
Becoming Milton 52
Hero 54
From Henry V, Act IV, Scene I 55
No Sorry 56
Another Vigil at San Quentin 58
Prayer 61
Why People Murder 64
Kissie Lee 66
Poison 68
"Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back" 69
Electrocuting an Elephant 70
Malediction 72
The Apparition 73
Note from a Loving Wife 74
"I had never seen her so angry" 76
Wheels 77
Any Lover to Any Beloved 78
You Called Me Corazon 79
Quatrain: Forgive Me Not 80
Jerusalem 81
Forgiveness 83
The Jewish Time Bomb 84
Mending Wall 85
Sonnet XXXV 87
Love After Love 88
Let there be new flowering 89
Biographical Notes 91
Permissions 139
Index of Authors 143
Index of Titles 145
Index of First Lines 147
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