Unlike most other poetry anthologies, arranged only chronologically or limited to the exploration of one type of poem, Jay Parini's WADSWORTH ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY collects 24 smaller, more accessible anthologies in one volume. With the guidance of an editorial board of pre-eminent literary scholars and world-renown poets, Parini has managed to offer a meaningful structure to an ambitious collection, spanning from Beowulf to Jorie Graham. Perhaps more a teaching and learning text than a definitive body of work, Parini's arrangement of poetry by form, content, and context offers a new way of learning poetry.
Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, and biographer. He is Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. Among his books are THE LAST STATION (Holt, 1990), BENJAMIN'S CROSSING (Holt, 1997), THE ART OF SUBTRACTION: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Braziller, 2005), and WHY POETRY MATTERS (Yale, 2008). He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner. He has edited numerous books, including THE OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN LITERATURE (Oxford, 2004) and THE WADSWORTH ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY (Wadsworth, 2006).
INTRODUCTION. Part I: THE SHAPE OF THE POEM. 1. "Sing, heavenly muse" (Milton): An Anthology of Epic Poetry. 2. "The Forgetful Kingdom of Death" (Ransom): An Anthology of The Elegy. 3. "Once Upon a Midnight Dreary" (Poe): An Anthology of Narrative Poetry. 4. "O blessed rage for order" (Stevens): An Anthology of The Ode. 5. "Let me tell you a little story" (Auden): An Anthology of The Ballad. 6. "Speak to me, speak. Why do you never speak?" (T.S. Eliot): An Anthology of Monologue and Dramatic Poetry. 7. "My own voice, orotund sweeping and final" (Whitman): An Anthology of The Short Lyric. 8. "When I see birches bend from left to right" (Frost): An Anthology of Blank Verse. 9. "Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk" (Pope): An Anthology of Heroic Couplets 10. "The proud full sail of this great verse" (Shakespeare): An Anthology of The Sonnet. 11. "Against the Dying of the Light" (Thomas): An Anthology of The Villanelle. 12. "The Undecoded Messages" (Ashbery): An Anthology of The Sestina. 13. "The mass and majesty of this world" (Auden): An Anthology of Stanzas. 14. "I chant a new chant" (Whitman): An Anthology of Free Verse. Part II: THEMES. 15. "Love''s austere and lonely offices" (Haydon) An Anthology Of Poems About Family. 16. "Be Not Afraid of My Body" (Whitman): An Anthology of Poems on Love and Longing. 17. "If I should die, think only this of me" (Brooke): An Anthology of Poems about Wars and Rumors of Wars. 18. "What is possible" (Rich): An Anthology of Poetry and Politics. 19. "Batter my heart, three-personed God" (Donne): An Anthology of Poems about First and Last Things. 20. "Earth''s the right place for love" (Frost): An Anthology of Poems on The Nature of Nature. 21. "Thy Fearful Symmetry" (Blake): An Anthology of Poems on Animals and Beasts. 22. "The poet''s eye in a fine frenzy rolling" (Shakespeare): An Anthology of Poems on Poets and Poetry. Part III: CONTEXTS. 23. "Doom Is Dark and Deeper" (Auden): An Anthology of Alliterative Verse. 24. "Behold her, splendid in the field!" (Wordsworth): An Anthology of Meditative Poetry. 25. "This is just to say" (Williams): An Anthology of Poets in Dialogue. Glossary. Chronological Table of Contents. Index of First Lines. Index of Titles and Authors.