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The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of America's Most Distinguished Verse Magazine

Overview

“The history of poetry and of Poetry in America are almost interchangeable, certainly inseparable,” wrote A. R. Ammons. Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine established its reputation immediately by printing T. S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago Poems,” Wallace Stevens’s “Sunday Morning,” and the first important poems of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and many other then unknown, now classic authors. Publishing monthly without interruption, Poetry has become
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Overview

“The history of poetry and of Poetry in America are almost interchangeable, certainly inseparable,” wrote A. R. Ammons. Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine established its reputation immediately by printing T. S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago Poems,” Wallace Stevens’s “Sunday Morning,” and the first important poems of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and many other then unknown, now classic authors. Publishing monthly without interruption, Poetry has become America’s most distinguished magazine of verse, presenting, often for the very first time, virtually every notable poet of the last nine decades—an unprecedented record. Decade by decade, this bountiful ninetieth-anniversary anthology from Poetry includes the poems of the major talents—along with several lesser known—in all their variety: William Butler Yeats, Edgar Lee Masters, Sara Teasdale, D. H. Lawrence, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Vachel Lindsay, Robert Graves, May Sarton, Langston Hughes, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Hart Crane, Robert Penn Warren, Dylan Thomas, e. e. cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Merrill, John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Robinson Jeffers, Theodore Roethke, Karl Shapiro, Anne Sexton, Thom Gunn, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Maxine Kumin, Ted Hughes, Adrienne Rich, and Galway Kinnell. In recent decades, Poetry has presented Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Kay Ryan, Eavan Boland, Stephen Dunn, Mary Oliver, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jane Kenyon, James Tate, Sharon Olds, Louise Glück, Marilyn Hacker, and many, many others. T. S. Eliot called Poetry “an American institution.” The Poetry Anthology is sure to be an American keepsake.
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Editorial Reviews

Times-Dispatch
For the LOVER of poetry there is much to savor here...
— Ron Smith
Philadelphia Inquirer
This modest Chicago monthly has featured not only many of the 20th century's greatest poets, but also many of their famous poems. It is pleasant to think, given everything that Poetry has meant to literature in the last 100 years and everything it may yet mean to generations of readers that it will not have such troubles in the future.
— David Yezzi
Seattle Times
It is a fitting collection that not only features their work, but helped place them in the pantheon.
— Richard Wakefield
San Diego Union-Tribune
This anthology makes clear that American poetry is as powerful, diverse, and vibrant as ever.
Contemporary Poetry Review
The two kinds of anthology—that of summary and that of advocacy—will suffice to define the type of Parisi's book.
— James Matthew Wilson
The Seattle Times
It is a fitting collection that not only features their work, but helped place them in the pantheon.
— Richard Wakefield
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Yezzi
This modest Chicago monthly has featured not only many of the 20th century's greatest poets, but also many of their famous poems. It is pleasant to think, given everything that Poetry has meant to literature in the last 100 years and everything it may yet mean to generations of readers that it will not have such troubles in the future.
The Seattle Times - Richard Wakefield
It is a fitting collection that not only features their work, but helped place them in the pantheon.
Times-Dispatch - Ron Smith
For the LOVER of poetry there is much to savor here...
Starred Review Booklist
Superb and invaluable...comprehensive and thrilling...a veritable history of twentieth-century poetry in English.... A tremendous resource.
Contemporary Poetry Review - James Matthew Wilson
The two kinds of anthology—that of summary and that of advocacy—will suffice to define the type of Parisi's book.
AVATAR REVIEWS
...Give[s] a complex and comprehensive look at the magazine's influence during the last century...
San Diego Union-Tribune
This anthology makes clear that American poetry is as powerful, diverse, and vibrant as ever.
Ron Smith
For the lover of poetry there is much to savor here...
TIMES-DISPATCH
David Yezzi
...Feature[s] not only many of the 20th century's greatest poets, but also many of their famous poems.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Richard Wakefield
It is a fitting collection that not only features their work, but helped place them in the pantheon.
SEATTLE TIMES
FOLSOM TELEGRAPH
...Include[s] virtually every significant poet of the twentieth century.
Publishers Weekly
While the above collection wisely confines itself to the first 50 of Poetry's ninety years, this anthology tries to take in the whole sweep of the magazine's existence, and ends up playing down its most important early years at the expense of its much less illustrious recent ones. Of the 487 pages of verse here, 94 are devoted to the period 1912-1936, or the term of Harriet Monroe's founding editorship. Readers looking for the entire set of Stevens "Pecksniffiana" poems will find some, but not all of them. T.S. Eliot's print debut, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is here, but Pound's Cantos are not (though "In a Station of the Metro" is). These authors are heavily anthologized though, and what proves most interesting are the years between Moeroe and current editor Joseph Parisi's tenures, particularly the '60s editorship of Henry Rago: Ashbery, Baraka (then Jones), Betjeman, Creeley, Hollander, Lowell, Plath, Rich, Snyder, can be found together, and one suspects the work printed during the period went even further out than represented here. Parisi's introduction includes a short bio of Harriet Monroe (calling her "the aging entrepreneur" as she starts the magazine at 51) and points to a perceived lack of "authentic avant-gardes" as a reason for the magazine's recent reactionary emphasis on traditional verse-craft. Nearly 40% of the poems here come from Parisi's watch, and some are excellent. But they fail to represent the explosive range and variety of poetry in English from the last quarter century. (Oct. 25) Forecast: Poetry magazine currently gets 90,000 submissions a year from all over the world. If even a fraction of those sending in their own work seek out this volume, sales should be notable. Given the lack of a scholarly basis for the selections, campus use may be slight, but expect consistent bookseller sales after a big bump at pub. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
This new anthology from Poetry Magazine veritably contains some of the greatest poems written over the last century. Boasting the likes of W.B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, Seamus Heaney, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop and many more, this extraordinary collection is proof that, as it is worded in the introduction, "Poetry has presented, often for the first time, virtually every poet of note in the twentieth century." The poems in this anthology are arranged in chronological order, which gives you the sense that you are flipping through a sort of history book of modern American verse when reading it. It is a great catch for poetry aficionados as well as for those who have just begun to lend an ear to what some of the most gifted voices in the literary world have to say. I so thoroughly enjoy this book that every time I lay eyes on it I can't help picking it up—even if it is for the hundredth time. It always proves to be an informative treat. Read it. KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Ivan R. Dee, 509p. index., Ages 15 to adult.
—Beth Lizardo
Library Journal
Individual voices, fresh perspectives, interesting ideas, verbal panache, striking imagery, and perceptive metaphors: these are the qualities editors Parisi and Young look for when choosing work for Poetry, America's most influential poetry magazine. Here, they've collected 600 poems that best mirror the magazine's standards. A Who's Who of American verse, this landmark collection is arranged in chronological order, opening with a poem by Ezra Pound, adviser to founding editor Harriet Monroe, and closing with one by major 20th-century poet W.S. Merwin. Both poems ably comment on the collection. There's groundbreaking work, which first appeared in Poetry and later became part of the canon (e.g., Wallace Stevens's "Sunday Morning"), as well as work by lesser-known poets (e.g., William Dickey's "The Poet's Farewell to His Teeth"). Readers will also find surprises like Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" from 1913, which has a poetic echo in Tom Disch's "Poems" for Joyce Kilmer from 1978. Including both formal and free verse, these poems range from Chris Wallace-Crabbe's philosophical "The Dead Cartesian" to Billy Collins's playful "Marginalia," which ends "Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love"-a final line suggesting that like the editors, Collins knows a poem when he finds one. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566634687
  • Publisher: Ivan R Dee
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Parisi joined Poetry in 1976 and served as its tenth editor from 1983–2003. Among his books are Marianne Moore: The Art of a Modernist and, with Stephen Young, Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, and is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Mr. Parisi has also edited a definitive modern poetry collection, 100 Essential Modern Poems published with Ivan R. Dee in 2005. Stephen Young, former senior editor of Poetry, is program director of the Poetry Foundation. He was educated at Dartmouth and joined the magazine in 1988. Messrs. Parisi and Young live in Chicago.
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