The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry

Rita Dove - Editor

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ISBN 9780143106432 | 656 pages | 25 Oct 2011 | Penguin | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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Penguin proudly presents an unparalleled survey of the best poems of the past century.

Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U .S. Poet Laureate, introduces readers to the most significant and compelling poems of the past hundred years. Selecting from the canon of American poetry throughout the twentieth century, Dove has created an anthology that represents the full spectrum of aesthetic sensibilities-from styles and voices to themes and cultures-while balancing important poems with significant periods of each poet. Featuring poems both classic and contemporary, this collection reflects both a dynamic and cohesive portrait of modern American poetry and outlines its trajectory over the past century.

Introduction by Rita Dove

Edward Lee Masters (1868-1950)
FROM Spoon River Anthology
The Hill
Fiddler Jones
Petit, the Poet

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
Miniver Cheevy
Mr. Flood’s Party

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)
The Creation

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
The Poet
Life’s Tragedy

Robert Frost (1874-1963)
The Death of the Hired Man
Mending Wall
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Tree at My Window

Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
Susie Asado
FROM Tender Buttons:
A Box
A Plate

Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935)
I Sit and Sew

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Peter Quince the Clavier
Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Anecdote of the Jar
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
Of Mere Being

Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958)

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Danse Russe
The Red Wheelbarrow
The Yachts
FROM Asphodel, That Greeny Flower (Book I, lines 1-92)

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
There Will Come Soft Rains

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance
The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter
In a Station of the Metro
Hugh Selwyn Mauberley
FROM Canto LXXXI (Libretto: “Yet / Ere the season died a-cold”)

Hilda Doolittle (H.D)> (1886-1961)
Sea Rose
FROM The Walls Do Not Fall:
(An incident here and there”)
FROM Hermetic Definition: “Red Rose and a Beggar”:
(“Why did you come”)
(“Take me anywhere…”)

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)
Gale in April
Shine, Perishing Republic
Clouds at Evening

Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
The Fish

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Waste Land

Claude McKay (1889-1948)
If We Must Die
The Harlem Dancer

Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)
Ars Poetica

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
First Fig

E.E. Cumming (1894-1962)
in Just-
Buffalo Bill’s
the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls
next to of course god america i
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

Jean Toomer (1894-1967)
November Cotton Flower
Portrait in Georgia

Louise Bogan (1897-1970)
New Moon

Melvin B. Tolson (1898-1966)
Dark Symphony
FROM Harlem Gallery: Psi (“Black boy, / let me get up from the white man’s Table…”)

Hart Crane (1899-1932)
FROM The Bridge [excerpts]:
Proem: To Brooklyn Bridge
FROM II: Powahatan’s Daughter: The River

Robert Francis (190-1987)
Silent Poem

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
I, Too
Dream Boogie

Countee Cullen (1903-1946)
To John Keats, Poet, at Spring Time
Yet I Do Marvel
From the Dark Tower

Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006)
Father and Son
The Portrait
Touch Me

W.H Auden (1907-1973)
Musée des Beaux Arts
Epitaph on a Tyrant

Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
My Papa’s Waltz
The Waking
In a Dark Time

Charles Olson (1910-1970)
FROM The Maximus Poems: I, Maximus of Gloucester, to You
The Distances

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)
The Fish
First Death in Nova Scotia
Visits to St. Elizabeths
One Art

Robert Hayden (1913-1980)
Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday
Those Winter Sundays
Frederick Douglass
Middle Passage

Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)
Effort at Speech Between Two People
Then I Saw What the Calling Was
The Poem as Mask

Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966)
The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me

John Berryman (1914-1972)
FROM The Dream Songs:
4 (“Filling her compact & delicious body”)
14 (“Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so”)
29 (“There sat down, once”)
149 (“This world is gradually becoming a place”)
Henry’s Understanding

Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)
90 North
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
The Woman at the Washington Zoo
Next Day

Weldon Kees (1914-1955)
For My Daughter

Dudley Randall (1914-2000)
A Different Image

William Stafford (1914-1993)
Traveling through the Dark
At the Bomb Testing Site

Ruth Stone (1915- )

Margaret Walker (1915-1998)
For My People

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
The Mother
A Song in the Front Yard
The Bean Eaters
The Lovers of the Poor
We Real Cool
The Blackstone Rangers

Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
“To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage”
Skunk Hour
For the Union Dead

Robert Duncan (1919-1988)
Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow
My Mother Would Be a Falconress

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919- )
Populist Manifesto

William Meredith (1919-2007)

Howard Nemerov (1920-1991)
Because You Asked About the Line Between Prose and Poetry

Hayden Carruth (1921-2008)
The Hyacinth Garden in Brooklyn
August 1945

Richard Wilbur (1921- )
Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
Cottage Street, 1953
The Writer

James Dickey (1923-1997)
The Sheep Child

Alan Dugan (1923-2003)
Love Song: I and Thou

Anthony Hecht (1923-2004)
“More Light! More Light!”

Richard Hugo (1923-1982)
Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg
The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field

Denise Levertov (1923-1997)
The Poem Unwritten
Swan in Falling Snow

Louis Simpson (1923- )
American Poetry

Carolyn Kizer (1925- )
A Muse of Water

Kenneth Koch (1925-2002)
Fresh Air

Maxine Kumin (1925- )
Morning Swim
How It Is

Gerald Stern (1925- )
Behaving Like a Jew
The Dancing
Another Insane Devotion

A.R. Ammons (1926-2001)
The City Limits
Corsons Inlet

Robert Bly (1926- )
Snowfall in the Afternoon
Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter
Waking from Sleep

Robert Creeley (1926-2005)
The Flower
I Know a Man
The Language
The Rain
Bresson’s Movies

James Merrill (1926-1995)
The Victor Dog

Frank O’Hara (1926-1966)
Poem (“Lana Turner has collapsed!”)
The Day Lady Died

John Ashbery (1927- )
Some Trees
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
What Is Poetry

Galway Kinnell (1927- )
The Bear
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
Saint Francis and the Sow

W.S. Mervin (1927- )
For the Anniversary of My Death

James Wright (1927-1980)
A Blessing
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
In Response to a Rumor That the Oldest Whorehouse in Wheeling, West Virgina, Has Been Condemned

Donald Hall (1928- )
My Son My Executioner

Philip Levine (1928- )
Animals Are Passing From Our Lives
They Feed They Lion
You Can Have It
The Simple Truth

Anne Sexton (1928-1974)
Her Kind
The Abortion
Wanting to Die
In Celebration of My Uterus

Adrienne Rich (1929- )
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
FROM Twenty-One Love Poems: XIII (“The rules break like a thermometer…”)

Gregory Corso (1930-2001)

Gary Snyder (1930- )
Hay for the Horses
Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Derek Walcott (1930- )
A Far Cry from Africa
Sea Grapes
FROM The Schooner: Flight (part 11, After the Storm: “There’s a fresh light that follows…”)
The Light of the World
FROM Omeros, Book VII, LXIV, I (“I sang of quiet Achille, Afolabe’s son…”)

Miller Williams (1930- )
Let Me Tell You

Etheridge Knight (1931-1991)
The Idea of Ancestry

Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) (1934- )
Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
An Agony.As Now.
Black Art

Ted Berrigan (1934-1983)
Wrong Train
A Final Sonnet

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)

Sonia Sanchez (1934- )
poem at thirty

Mark Strand (1934- )
The Prediction
The Night, the Porch

Russell Edson (1935- )
A Stone is Nobody’s

Mary Oliver (1935- )
The Summer Day

Charles Right (1935- )
Dead Color
California Dreaming

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)
homage to my hips
[at last we killed the roaches]
the death of fred clifton
to my last period

June Jordan (1936-2002)
Poem About My Rights

Frederick Seidel (1936- )

C.K. Williams (1936- )
From My Window

Diane Wakoski (1937- )
The Mechanic

Michael S. Harper (1938- )
Dear John, Dear Coltrane
Last Affair: Bessie’s Blues Song
Nightmare Begins Responsibility

Charles Simic (1938- )
Classic Ballroom Dances

Paula Gunn Allen (1939-2008)

Frank Bidart (1939- )
Ellen West

Carl Dennis (1939- )
Spring Letter
Two or Three Wishes

Stephen Dunn (1939- )
Allegory of the Cave

Robert Pinsky (1940- )
History of My Heart
The Questions
Samurai Song

James Welch (1940-2003)
Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat

Billy Collins (1941- )
Introduction to Poetry
The Dead

Toi Derricotte (1941- )
Allen Ginsberg
The Weakness

Stephen Dobyns (1941- )
How to Like It

Robert Hass (1941- )
The Pornographer
The Return of Robinson Jeffers

Lyn Hejinian (1941- )
From My Life: A name trimmed with colored ribbons

B.H. Fairchild (1942- )
The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano

Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) (1942- )
But He Was Cool or: he even stopped for green lights
A Poem to Complement Other Poems

William Matthews (1942-1997)
In Memory of the Utah Stars
The Accompanist

Sharon Olds (1942- )
The Language of the Brag
The Lifting

Henry Taylor (1942- )
Barbed Wire

Tess Gallagher (1943- )
Black Silk
Under Stars

Michael Palmer (1943- )
I Do Not

James Tate (1943- )
The Lost Pilot

Norman Dubie (1945- )
Elizabeth’s War with the Christmas Bear
The Funeral

Carol Muske-Dukes (1945- )
August, Los Angeles, Lullaby

Kay Ryan (1945- )

Larry Levis (1946-1996)
Childhood Ideogram
Winter Stars

Adrian C. Louis (1946- )
Looking for Judas

Thomas Lux (1946- )
The People of the Other Village

Marilyn Nelson (1946- )
The Ballad of Aunt Geneva

Ron Silliman (1946- )

Ai (1947-2010)
Cuba, 1962
The Kid

Yusef Komunyakaa (1947- )
Tu Do Street
Facing It
Nude Interrogation

Nathaniel Mackey (1947- )
Song of the Andoumboulou: 21

Gregory Orr (1947- )
Gathering the Bones Together
Two Lines from the Brothers Grimm
Origin of the Marble Forest

Roberta Hill Whiteman (1947- )
Reaching Yellow River

Albert Goldbarth (1948- )

Heather McHugh (1948- )
Language Lesson 1976
What He Thought

Leslie Marmon Silko (1948- )
In Cold Storm Light

Olga Broumas (1949- )

Victor Hernández Cruz (1949- )
Latin & Soul

Jane Miller (1949- )
Miami Heart

David St. John (1949- )

C.D. Wright (1949- )
Why Ralph Refuses to Dance
Girl Friend Poem #3

Carolyn Forché (1950- )
Taking Off My Clother

Jorie Graham (1950- )
San Sepolcro

Marie Howe (1950- )
What the Living Do

Joy Harjo (1951- )
She Had Some Horses
My House is the Red Earth

Garrett Hongo (1951- )
The Legend

Andrew Hudgins (1951- )
We Were Simply Talking

Brigit Pegeen Kelly (1951- )
Imagining Their Own Hymns

Paul Muldoon (1951- )
Meeting the British
The Throwback

Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952- )

Rita Dove (1952- )
After Reading Mickey in the Night Kitchen for the Third Time Before Bed
Claudette Colvin Goes to Work

Alice Fulton (1952- )
Our Calling

Barbara Hamby (1952- )
Thinking of Galileo

Mark Jarman (1952- )
Unholy Sonnet 13

Naomi Shihab Nye (1952- )
The Traveling Onion
Wedding Cake

Alberto Ríos (1952- )
England Finally, Like My Mother Always Said We Would

Laurie Sheck (1952- )
Nocturne: Blue Waves
The Unfinished

Gary Soto (1952- )
Field Poem
Black Hair

Susan Stewart (1952- )
Yellow Stars and Ice
The Forest

Mark Doty (1953- )
Esta Noche
Bill’s Story

Harryette Mullen (1953- )
Black Nikes

Franz Wright (1953- )

Lorna Dee Cervantes (1954- )
To My Brother
“Love of My Flesh, Living Death”

Sandra Cisneros (1954- )
My Wicked Wicked Ways
Little Clown, My Heart

Cornelius Eady (1954- )
Jack Johnson Does the Eagle Rock
Crows in a Strong Wind
I’m a Fool to Love You

Louise Eldrich (1954- )
Indian Boarding School: The Runaways

David Mason (1954- )

Marilyn Chin (1955- )
How I Got That Name
Composed Near the Bay Ridge
The Survivor

Cathy Song (1955- )
The Youngest Daughter

Annie Finch (1956- )
Another Reluctance

Li-Young Lee (1957- )
The Gift
Eating Together

Carl Phillips (1959- )
Our Lady
As from a Quiver of Arrows

Nick Flynn (1960- )
Bag of Mice
Cartoon Physics, part 1

Elizabeth Alexander (1962- )
The Venus Hottentot
Affirmative Action Blues (1993)

Reetika Vazirani (1962-2003)
FROM White Elephants:
A Million Balconies
Train Windows

Sherman Alexie (1966- )
What the Orphan Inherits
The Powwow at the End of the World

Natasha Trethewey (1966- )
Hot Combs
Amateur Fighter

A.E. Stallings (1968- )
The Tantrum

Joanna Klink (1969- )

Brenda Shaughnessy (1970- )
Your One Good Dress

Kevin Young (1970- )
Quivira City Limits
Everywhere is Out of Town
Whatever You Want

Terrance Hayes (1971- )
At Pegasus
Lady Sings the Blues

"Former U.S. Poet Laureate Dove takes a fresh look at the canon of 20th century American poetry in this hefty anthology [...] This book is sure to become an important resource for those interested in poetry, and especially students, for decades to come."
-Publishers Weekly [Starredreview]

"Selecting poets and poems to represent a century of poetry, especially the riotous twentieth century in America, is a massive undertaking fraught with peril and complication. Poet Rita Dove-a Pulitzer Prize- winning former U.S. poet laureate, professor, and presidential scholar- embarked on what became a consuming four-year odyssey. She reports on obstacles and discoveries in an exacting and forthright introduction, featuring striking quotes, vivid profiles, and a panoramic view of the evolution of poetic visions and styles that helped bring about social as well as artistic change [...] Dove's incisive perception of the role of poetry in cultural and social awakenings infuses this zestful and rigorous gathering of poems both necessary and unexpected by 180 American poets. This landmark anthology will instantly enhance and invigorate every poetry shelf or section."
-Donna Seaman for Booklist

"At last, 20th century poetry itself! Rita Dove's [anthology] is intelligent, generous, surprising, and altogether thrilling to read- literally, a heart-thumping collection. In her editorial hands the 20th century is broad but sharply contoured. Most other poetry anthologies give us schools, corners, clubs, and identities, but this one gives us something beyond representative that gets at the extraordinary accomplishment and range of multi-vocal American poetry in the century. Dove's selection-and this book-will long stand as the definitive anthology of American poetry."
-Elizabeth Alexander

"The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry has the solid, respectable, upright feel of a book bound for the syllabuses of myriad college courses. But it also has enough surprises to make it ideal for the rest of us too. It belongs on the bedside table as well as in a backpack."

-The Chicago Tribune

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