The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry

( 2 )

Overview

Dazzling in its range, exhilarating in its immediacy and grace, this collection gathers together, from every region of the country and from the past forty years, the poems that continue to shape our imaginations. From Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery and Adrienne Rich, to Robert Haas and Louise Gluck, this anthology takes the full measure of our poetry's daring energies and its tender understandings.

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Overview

Dazzling in its range, exhilarating in its immediacy and grace, this collection gathers together, from every region of the country and from the past forty years, the poems that continue to shape our imaginations. From Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery and Adrienne Rich, to Robert Haas and Louise Gluck, this anthology takes the full measure of our poetry's daring energies and its tender understandings.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poetry devotees will be familiar with much of the work in this fine collection, which focuses on the period from WW II until the present. Sixty-five poets, including such well-known writers as Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg, Theodore Roethke, Anne Sexton, James Dickey, Denise Levertov and Gary Snyder, are represented by anywhere from one to a dozen poems each, as well as a brief biography that touches on the writer's aesthetic ideas. McClatchy, himself a poet and critic, has done an exceptional job of selecting works that typify the poets' styles and beliefs. Standouts are Elizabeth Bishop's ``In the Waiting Room,'' about the poet's first perception of herself in relation to others; Randall Jarrell's ``The Woman at the Washington Zoo,'' which deals with the dull, emotionless routine of modern life; Frank O'Hara's ``Having a Coke with You,'' a dizzy declaration of love during a visit to a New York museum; and Mark Strand's ``Keeping Things Whole,'' in which the poet sees his presence in the world as subtracting from the whole of reality. Unfortunately, the poems are not dated, giving the reader no sense of the writers' chronological development. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Alluding to the anthology wars of a generation ago, McClatchy writes in his introduction that his choices are strictly nonpartisan (neither ``Paleface or Redskin, or Academic and Avant-Garde''). But from the 65 poets he has selected to represent the course of American poetry over the last half century--beginning with Robert Lowell and ending with Jorie Graham--it is clear his preferences are formalistic and academic. The typical poem a reader will encounter in these pages is urbane, finely honed, and smoothly accomplished. As in all anthologies, the omissions and inclusions are telling. Where are Rexroth, Kees, and Rukeyser? Why Cunningham, Bowers, Feldman, and Garrigue and not Ignatow, Brooks, Blackburn, and Bly? While it is a delight to have many of the poets McClatchy has chosen collected together in a reasonably priced edition, a greater variety of voice and aesthetic would have made this anthology a livelier survey of the state of contemporary American poetry. Still, it is a useful addition to most collections. For the 100 most anthologized poems in English, see review of The Concise Columbia Book of Poetry, p. 74.--Ed.-- Christine Sten strom, New York Law Sch. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400030934
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/8/2003
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 362,800
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

J. D. McClatchy is the author of five collections of poems: Scenes From Another Life, Stars Principal, The Rest of the Way, Ten Commandments, and Hazmat. He has also written two books of essays: White Paper and Twenty Questions. He has edited many other books, including The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, Poets on Painters, and Horace: The Odes. In addition, he edits The Voice of the Poet series for Random House AudioBooks, and has written seven opera libretti. He is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has taught at Princeton, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins, and is now a professor at Yale, where since 1991 he has edited The Yale Review. He lives in Stonington, Connecticut.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
A NOTE ON THE SECOND EDITION, 2003

ROBERT LOWELL

The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket
Memories of West Street and Lepke
Man and Wife
Skunk Hour
The Mouth of the Hudson
For the Union Dead
Waking Early Sunday Morning
History
The Nihilist as Hero
Reading Myself
Obit
Fishnet
Dolphin
Epilogue

ELIZABETH BISHOP
The Bight
Over 2,000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance
At the Fishhouses
The Shampoo
Brazil, January 1, 1502
Under the Window: Ouro Prêto
The Armadillo
Filling Station

In the Waiting Room
One Art
Poem

THEODORE ROETHKE
Cuttings
Root Cellar
The Shape of the Fire
The Waking
I Knew a Woman
In a Dark Time


JOHN BERRYMAN
The Moon and the Night and the Men
from The Dream Songs (1, 4, 5, 14, 29, 46,
76, 77, 143, 257, 384)

RANDALL JARRELL
90 North
Eighth Air Force
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
The Woman at the Washington Zoo
Cinderella
Next Day
Well Water

ROBERT PENN WARREN
Masts at Dawn
Birth of Love
Rattlesnake Country
Evening Hawk

CHARLES OLSON
The Kingfishers

J. V. CUNNINGHAM
For My Contemporaries
To My Wife
from ACentury of Epigrams (29, 53, 55, 62, 76)

ROBERT HAYDEN
Night, Death, Mississippi
Frederick Douglass
Middle Passage

JEAN GARRIGUE
Amsterdam Letter
Cracked Looking Glass
After Reading The Country of the Pointed Firs

MAY SWENSON
Teleology
Unconscious Came a Beauty
Stone Gullets
Staying at Ed’s Place
Strawberrying

ROBERT DUNCAN
APoem Beginning with a Line by Pindar
Styx

WILLIAM MEREDITH
The Illiterate
Thoughts on One’s Head
Consequences
Country Stars
The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhi

HOWARD NEMEROV
Storm Windows
Writing
Money
The Dependencies
Learning the Trees
Because You Asked About the Line
Between Prose and Poetry
The War in the Air

RICHARD WILBUR
ABaroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra
Looking into History
Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
Mind
Advice to a Prophet
Walking to Sleep
Hamlen Brook

MONA VAN DUYN
Homework
Into Mexico
The Twins
AView
The Stream

HOWARD MOSS
The Pruned Tree
The Wars
Ménage à Trois
Elegy for My Sister
Rules of Sleep
Einstein’s Bathrobe

JAMES DICKEY
The Heaven of Animals
The Hospital Window
The Sheep Child
The Strength of Fields

ANTHONY HECHT
AHill
Third Avenue in Sunlight
“More Light! More Light!”
Peripeteia
The Feast of Stephen

JAMES SCHUYLER
The Crystal Lithium
Shimmer
Korean Mums


DENISE LEVERTOV
Clouds
The Ache of Marriage
Intrusion
Seeing for a Moment
Prisoners

RICHARD HUGO
Graves at Elkhorn
The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir
Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg
The River Now

EDGAR BOWERS
An Afternoon at the Beach
Amor Vincit Omnia
from Autumn Shade (3, 6, 8, 9)

CAROLYN KIZER
AMuse of Water
Amusing Our Daughters
from Pro Femina (I, II)

DONALD JUSTICE
The Evening of the Mind
Men at Forty
The Tourist from Syracuse
Variations on a Text by Vallejo
The Assassination
Mule Team and Poster

FRANK O’HARA
To the Harbormaster
A Step Away from Them
Meditations in an Emergency
Why I Am Not a Painter
The Day Lady Died
Having a Coke with You
Ave Maria

DAVID WAGONER
The Best Slow Dancer
The Naval Trainees Learn How to Jump Overboard
The Excursion of the Speech and Hearing Class
Five Dawn Skies in November
Making Camp
The Source

ROBERT CREELEY
I Know a Man
The Rescue
Air: “The Love of a Woman”
For Friendship
For Love
Again
The World

ALLEN GINSBERG
from Howl (I)
Sunflower Sutra
My Sad Self
Wales Visitation

W. D. SNODGRASS
April Inventory
from Heart’s Needle (2, 6)
Mementos, 1
ALocked House

JAMES MERRILL
A Renewal
Voices from the Other World
Days of 1964
Willowware Cup
Lost in Translation

W. S. MERWIN
The Animals
Some Last Questions
The River of Bees
For the Anniversary of My Death
The Asians Dying
For a Coming Extinction
The Night of the Shirts
Bread
St Vincent’s

A. R. AMMONS
He Held Radical Light
Gravelly Run
Corsons Inlet
Reflective
Terrain
The City Limits

JOHN ASHBERY
Glazunoviana
Soonest Mended
As One Put Drunk into the Packet-Boat
Pyrography
And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name
Syringa
My Erotic Double

JAMES WRIGHT
At the Executed Murderer’s Grave
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
Beginning
ABlessing
In Response to a Rumor That the Oldest
Whorehouse in Wheeling, West Virginia,
Has Been Condemned
AWinter Daybreak Above Venice

GALWAY KINNELL
Vapor Trail Reflected in the Frog Pond
Last Songs
The Bear
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
The Man Splitting Wood in the Daybreak
The Vow
The Man on the Hotel Room Bed

ANNE SEXTON
Her Kind
Music Swims Back to Me
The Truth the Dead Know
The Starry Night
With Mercy for the Greedy
Wanting to Die
The Room of My Life

PHILIP LEVINE
The Horse
They Feed They Lion
Belle Isle, 1949
You Can Have It
Rain Downriver
Sweet Will

IRVING FELDMAN
Family History
The Dream
from All of Us Here

JOHN HOLLANDER
The Night Mirror
from Powers of Thirteen (3, 29, 69, 82, 87, 130)
Swan and Shadow
The Mad Potter

RICHARD HOWARD
Venetian Interior, 1889
At the Monument to Pierre Louÿs

ADRIENNE RICH
Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law
Planetarium
The Burning of Paper Instead of Children
Paula Becker to Clara Westhoff
For the Record
For an Album

GARY SNYDER
Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout
Riprap
Burning Island
The Bath
I Went into the Maverick Bar
Axe Handles

SYLVIA PLATH
The Colossus
The Hanging Man
Morning Song
Daddy
Fever 103°
Ariel
Lady Lazarus
Edge
Words

MARK STRAND
Keeping Things Whole
Coming to This
The Prediction
“The Dreadful Has Already Happened”
The Story of Our Lives
Where Are the Waters of Childhood?

CHARLES WRIGHT
Stone Canyon Nocturne
Spider Crystal Ascension
Clear Night
Homage to Paul Cézanne
The Other Side of the River

AUDRE LORDE
Coal
Movement Song
Afterimages
MARY OLIVER
Rain
When Death Comes
Whelks
Hawk

JAY WRIGHT
The Homecoming Singer
Benjamin Banneker Sends His Almanac to Thomas Jefferson
Journey to the Place of Ghost
s

C. K. WILLIAMS
It Is This Way with Men
The Gas Station
Tar
Alzheimer’s: The Wife

CHARLES SIMIC
Tapestry
My Shoes
Concerning My Neighbors, the Hittites
Watermelons
Eyes Fastened with Pins
Empire of Dreams
Prodigy
from The World Doesn’t End

MICHAEL S. HARPER
Dear John, Dear Coltrane
Grandfather
Nightmare Begins Responsibility
The Militance of a Photograph in the Passbook of a Bantu Under Detention

FRANK BIDART
Another Life
Happy Birthday
The Sacrifice

ROBERT PINSKY
Poem About People
Dying
The Hearts
Shirt

ROBERT HASS
Heroic Simile
Meditation at Lagunitas
Between the Wars
Misery and Splendor

AMY CLAMPITT
Beach Glass
Imago
Stacking the Straw
Medusa

DAVE SMITH
Elegy in an Abandoned Boatyard
The Roundhouse Voices
Lake Drummond Dream

MARILYN HACKER
from Taking Notice (7, 11, 14, 25)
Ballad of Ladies Lost and Found
Nights of 1964—66: The Old Reliable

WILLIAM MATTHEWS
Nabokov’s Blues
Onions
107th and Amsterdam
Dire Cure

SHARON OLDS
You Kindly
The Promise
The Glass
The Feelings

LOUISE GLÜCK
Messengers
The Drowned Children
The Garden
Palais des Arts
Mock Orange
Eros

SANDRA MCPHERSON
Black Soap
The Microscope in Winter
Streamers

MICHAEL PALMER
H
“or anything resembling it”
Erolog
The White Notebook

ELLEN BRYANT VOIGT
The Spire
The Lotus Flowers
Song and Story
Winter Field

KAY RYAN
Paired Things
Mirage Oases
ACat/A Future
The Old Cosmologists
That Will to Divest
Drops in the Bucket

YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA
Providence
Camouflaging the Chimera
Facing It
Ode to the Maggot
Día de los Muertos

HEATHER MCHUGH
The Typewriter’s the Kind
From 20,000 Feet
Numberless
Auto

EDWARD HIRSCH
Fast Break
AShort Lexicon of Torture in the Eighties
My Father’s Back

JORIE GRAHAM
Over and Over Stitch
San Sepolcro
Orpheus and Eurydice
Ebbtide

RITA DOVE
Adolescence–II
Parsley
Canary

MARK DOTY
Broadway
Brilliance
A Display of Mackerel
Door to the River

GJERTRUD SCHNACKENBERG
The Paperweight
Signs
Supernatural Love

HENRI COLE
Chiffon Morning
Peonies
You Come When I Call You
Black Mane

LI-YOUNG LEE
This Hour and What Is Dead
Pillow
One Heart
Dwelling

CARL PHILLIPS
The Compass
No Kingdom
From the Devotions
Revision

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    Almost perfect.

    One can quibble about the inclusion or exclusion of certain poets, but this book is a great overview of later 20th C. American poets. It serves as a great reading club book also, because the selections for most of the poets are sufficiently long to provide an adequate introduction. Many of the sections here inspired me to seek out individual books by the poets, among them: Galway Kinnell, Delmore Schwartz, Jorie Graham and David Wagoner. To me, that is the mark of a good anthology. <BR><BR> I too am annoyed by the lack of dates on the poems, but one can argue that a good poem is timeless. <BR><BR> I regret that VBCAP is not available hardbound; it deserves to be a permanent addition to any Poetry lover's library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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