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The New American Poetry, 1945-1960

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With more than 100,000 copies sold, The New American Poetry has become one of the most influential anthologies published in the United States since World War II. As one of the first counter-cultural collections of American verse, this volume fits in Robert Lowell's famous definition of the raw in American poetry. Many of the contributors once derided in the mainstream pres With more than 100,000 copies sold, The New American Poetry has become one of the most influential anthologies published in the United States since World War II. As one of the first counter-cultural collections of American verse, this volume fits in Robert Lowell's famous definition of the raw in American poetry. Many of the contributors once derided in the mainstream press of the period are now part of the postmodern canon: Olson, Duncan, Creeley, Guest, Ashbery, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Levertov, O'Hara, Snyder, Schuyler, and others. Donald Allen's The New American Poetry delivered the first taste of these remarkable poets, and the book has since become an invaluable historical and cultural record, now available again for a new generation of readers.


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With more than 100,000 copies sold, The New American Poetry has become one of the most influential anthologies published in the United States since World War II. As one of the first counter-cultural collections of American verse, this volume fits in Robert Lowell's famous definition of the raw in American poetry. Many of the contributors once derided in the mainstream pres With more than 100,000 copies sold, The New American Poetry has become one of the most influential anthologies published in the United States since World War II. As one of the first counter-cultural collections of American verse, this volume fits in Robert Lowell's famous definition of the raw in American poetry. Many of the contributors once derided in the mainstream press of the period are now part of the postmodern canon: Olson, Duncan, Creeley, Guest, Ashbery, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Levertov, O'Hara, Snyder, Schuyler, and others. Donald Allen's The New American Poetry delivered the first taste of these remarkable poets, and the book has since become an invaluable historical and cultural record, now available again for a new generation of readers.

30 review for The New American Poetry, 1945-1960

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Mousseau

    The New American Poetry 1945-1960 is considered a landmark anthology, thanks in no small part to the fact that many of the poets selected herein went on to become among the most influential American poets of the second half of the twentieth century. Among them: Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, Larry Eigner,Edward Dorn, Joel Oppenheimer, Helen Adam,Madeline Gleason, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robin Blaser,Jack Spicer, Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Guest, James The New American Poetry 1945-1960 is considered a landmark anthology, thanks in no small part to the fact that many of the poets selected herein went on to become among the most influential American poets of the second half of the twentieth century. Among them: Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, Larry Eigner,Edward Dorn, Joel Oppenheimer, Helen Adam,Madeline Gleason, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robin Blaser,Jack Spicer, Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Guest, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery,Philip Whalen, and Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones). One must commend editor Donald Allen for his foresight, and forgive him for his lack of diversity (Allen, like Olson, "salutes the cock")... I. Le Bonheur dogwood flakes what is green the petals from the apple blow on the road mourning doves mark the sway of the afternoon, bees dig the plum blossoms the morning stands up straight, the night is blue from the full of the April moon iris and lilac, birds birds, yellow flowers white flowers, the Diesel does not let up dragging the plow as the whippoorwill, the night’s tractor, grinds his song and no other birds but us are as busy (O saisons, O chateaux! Délires! What soul is without fault? Nobody studies happiness Every time the cock crows I salute him I have no longer any excuse for envy. My life has been given its orders: the seasons seize the soul and the body, and make mock of any dispersed effort. The hour of death is the only trespass - "Variations Done for Gerald Van De Wiele", Charles Olson, pg. 34-35 * good wood that all fiery youth burst fourth from winter, go to sleep in the poem. Who will remember thy green flame, thy dream's amber? Language obeyd flares tongues in obscure matter. We trace faces in clouds: they drift apart. Palaces of air. The sun dying down sets them on fire. Descry shadows on the flood from its dazzling mood, or at its shore read runes upon the sand from sea-spume. This is what I wanted for the last poem. A loosening of conventions and return to open form. Leonardo saw figures that were stains upon a wall. Let the apparitions containd in the ground play as they will. You have carried a branch of tomorrow into the room. Its fragrance has awakend me. No . . It was the sound of a fire on the hearth Leapd up where you bankd it . . . sparks of delight. Now I return the though to the red glow, that might-be-magical blood, palaces of heat in the fire's mouth, if you look you will see the salamander - to the very elements that attend us, fairies of the fire, the radiant crawling . . That was a long time ago. No. They were never really there, though once I saw - did I stare into the heart of desire burning and see a radiant man? like those fancy cities from fire into fire falling. We are close enough to childhood, so easily purged of whatever we thought we were to be. Flamey threads of firstness go out from your touch, flickers of unlikely heat at the edge of our belief bud forth - "Food for Fire, Food for Thought", Robert Duncan, pg. 57-58 * I like to find what's not found at once, but lies within something of another nature, in repose, distinct. Gull feathers of glass, hidden in white pulp: the bones of squid which I pull out and lay blade by blade on the draining board — tapered as if for swiftness, to pierce the heart, but fragile, substance belying design. Or a fruit, mamey, cased in rough brown peel, the flesh rose-amber, and the seed: the seed a stone of wood, carved and polished, walnut-colored, formed like a brazilnut, but large, large enough to fill the hungry palm of a hand. I like the juicy stem of grass that grows within the coarser leaf folded round, and the butteryellow glow in the narrow flute from which the morning-glory opens blue and cool on a hot morning. - "Pleasures", Denise Levertov, pg. 67 * Staggering down the road at midnite home from the bar, the mexican Bandit stood facing me, about to improve his standard of living Two fingers handled the moustache, gently, the other hand fingered the pistol. My asshole dropped out/ and crawled all the way back to El Paso - "The Encounter", Paul Blackburn, pg. 76 * For love—I would split open your head and put a candle in behind the eyes. Love is dead in us if we forget the virtues of an amulet and quick surprise. - "The Warning", Robert Creeley, pg. 78 * The children were frightened by crescendos cars coming forward in the movies That is, before they found out love, that is, Comedy the cheeks blew music rises and continues and the sea does and there were no accidents today the bombs showered us in the air - "A Fete", Larry Eigner, pg. 90 * The cowboy stands beneath a brick-orange moon. The top of his oblong head is blue, the sheath of his hips is too. In the dark brown night your delicate cowboy stands quite still. His plain hands are crossed. His wrists are embossed white. In the background night is a house, has a blue chimney top, Yi Yi, the cowboy's eyes are blue. The top of the sky is too. - "Vaquero", Edward Dorn, pg. 98 * I wish all the mandragora grew wild, screaming. and in the cattails, pussywillows, etc. wind osft as eastern standard time. wind soft as the last time you did it. wind soft as a soft wind. I wish we bathed in essence of ginseng, for our health. I wish eastern standard time, etc. rang the changes in our hearts. - "Blue Funk"Joel Oppenheimer, pg. 112 * There was a man who married a maid. SHe laughed as he led her home. The living fleece of her long bright hair she combed with a golden comb. He led her home through his barley fields where the saffron poppies grew. She combed, and whispered, "I love my love." Her voice like a plaintive coo. Ha! Ha! Her voice like a plaintive coo. He lived alone with his chosen bride, at first their life was sweet. Sweet was the touch of her playful hair binding his hands and feet. WHen first she murmured adoring words her words did not appall. "I love my love with a capitol A. To my love I give my All. Ah, He! To my love I give my All." She circled him with the secret web she wove as her strong hair grew. Like a golden spider she wove and sang, "My love is tender and true." She combed her hair with a golden comb and shackled him to a tree. She shackled him close to the Tree of Life. "My love I'll never set free. No, No. My love I'll never set free." [...] - "I Love My Love"Helen Adam, pg. 114- * Cross at the morning and at waking, with a mourning for summer, she crossed the bridge Now over the river Gone toward the place called New to begin her Once Upon. Once and Upon my daddy long legs walked in a web of work for my sisters and me, as Mother spun round with silver knives and forks in a shining of pans, a wash of Mondays and plans for our lives ten thousand weeks. To cross the bridge Now over the river Gone toward the place called New to begin her Once Upon, in a mourning for summer, she moved to write her right becoming and find her true beloved. [...] - "Once and Upon", Madeline Gleason, pg. 125- * He is one of the prophets come back He is one of the wiggy prophets come back He had a beard in the Old Testament but shaved it off in Paterson He has a microphone around his neck at a poetry reading and he is more than one poet and he is an old man perpetually writing a poem about an old man whose every third through is Death and who is writing a poem about an old man whose every third thought is Death and who is writing a poem Like the picture on a Quaker Oats box that shows a figure holding up a box upon which is a picture of a figure holding up a box and the figure smaller and smaller and further away each time a picture of shrinking reality itself He is one of the prophets come back to see to hear to file a revised report on the present state of the shrinking world [...] - "He", Lawrence Ferlinghetti, pg. 134- * It is their way to find the surface when they die. Fish feed on fish and drop those beautiful bones to swim. I see them stretch the water to their need as I domesticate the separate air to be my breath. These fish die easily. I find my surface in the way they feed. Their gathering hunger is a flash like death. No agony as if my mind had eaten death - "Poem by the Charles River", Robin Blaser, pg. 138 * Poetry, almost blind like a camera Is alive in sight only for a second. Click, Snap goes the eyelid of the eye before movement Almost as the world happens. One would not choose to blink and go blind After the instant. One would not choose To see the continuous Platonic pattern of birds flying Long after the stream of birds had dropped or had nested. Lucky for us that there are visible things like oceans Which are always around, Continuous, disciplined adjuncts To the moment of sight. Sight But not so sweet As we have seen. When I praise the sun or any bronze god derived from it Don't think I wouldn't rather praise the very tall blond boy Who ate all of my potato-chips at the Red Lizard. It's just that I won't see him when I open my eyes And I will see the sun. Things like the sun are always there when the eyes are open Insistent as breath. One can only worship These cold eternals for their support of What is absolutely temporary. But not so sweet. The temporary tempts poetry Tempts photographs, tempts eyes. [...] - "Imaginary Elegies, I"Jack Spicer, pg. 142- * What thoughts I have of you tonight Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!—and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? [...] - "A Supermarket in California", Allen Ginsberg, pg. 181-182 * I go separately The sweet knees of oxen have pressed a path for me ghosts with ingots have burned their bare hands it is the dungaree darkness with China stitched where the westerly winds and the traveler’s checks the evensong of salesmen the glistening paraphernalia of twin suitcases where no one speaks English. I go separately It is the wind, the rubber wind when we brush our teeth in the way station a climate to beard. What forks these roads? Who clammers o’er the twain? What murmurs and rustles in the distance in the white branches where the light is whipped piercing at the crossing as into the dunes we simmer and toss ourselves awhile the motor pants like a forest where owls from their bandaged eyes send messages to the Indian couple. Peaks have you heard? I go separately We have reached the arithmetics, are partially quenched while it growls and hints in the lost trapper’s voice She is coming toward us like a session of pines in the wild wooden air where rabbits are frozen, O mother of lakes and glaciers, save us gamblers whose wagon is perilously rapt. - "Santa Fe Trail"Barbara Guest, pg. 217-218 * A chimney, breathing a little smoke. The sun, I can't see making a bit of pink I can't quite see in the blue. The pink of five tulips at five p.m. on the day before March first. The green of the tulip stems and leaves like something I can't remember, finding a jack-in-the-pulpit a long time ago and far away. Why it was December then and the sun was on the sea by the temples we'd gone to see. [...] - "February", James Schuyler, pg. 220- * At the Poem Society a black-haired man stands up to say “You make me sick with all your talk about restraint and mature talent! Haven’t you ever looked out the window at a painting by Matisse, Or did you always stay in hotels where there were too many spiders crawling on your visages? Did you ever glance inside a bottle of sparkling pop, Or see a citizen split in two by the lightning? I am afraid you have never smiled at the hibernation Of bear cubs except that you saw in it some deep relation To human suffering and wishes, oh what a bunch of crackpots!” The black-haired man sits down, and the others shoot arrows at him. [...] - "Fresh Air, I", Kenneth Koch, pg. 229- * Hate is only one of many responses true, hurt and hate go hand in hand but why be afraid of hate, it is only there think of filth, is it really awesome neither is hate don't be shy of unkindness, either it's cleansing and allows you to be direct like an arrow that feels something out and out meanness, too, lets love breathe you don't have to fight off getting in too deep you can always get out if you're not too scared an ounce of prevention's enough to poison the heart don't think of others until you have thought of yourself, are true all of these things, if you feel them will be graced by a certain reluctance and turn into gold if felt by me, will be smilingly defected by your mysterious concern - "Poem", Frank O'Hara, pg. 266-267 * As I sit looking out of a window of the building I wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal. I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace, And envy them—they are so far away from me! Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule. And, as my way is, I begin to dream, resting my elbows on the desk and leaning out of the window a little, Of dim Guadalajara! City of rose-colored flowers! City I wanted most to see, and most did not see, in Mexico! But I fancy I see, under the press of having to write the instruction manual, Your public square, city, with its elaborate little bandstand! The band is playing Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov. Around stand the flower girls, handing out rose- and lemon-colored flowers, Each attractive in her rose-and-blue striped dress (Oh! such shades of rose and blue), And nearby is the little white booth where women in green serve you green and yellow fruit. The couples are parading; everyone is in a holiday mood. First, leading the parade, is a dapper fellow Clothed in deep blue. On his head sits a white hat And he wears a mustache, which has been trimmed for the occasion. His dear one, his wife, is young and pretty; her shawl is rose, pink, and white. Her slippers are patent leather, in the American fashion, And she carries a fan, for she is modest, and does not want the crowd to see her face too often. [...] - "The Instruction Manual", John Ashbery, pg. 172- * What I need is lots of money No What I need is somebody to love with unparalleled energy and devotion for 24 hours & then goodbye I can escape too easily from this time & this place That isn't the reason I'm here What I need is where am I Sometimes a bed of nails is really necessary to any man Or a wall (Olson, in conversation, "That wall, it has to be there!") Where are my hands. Where are my lungs. All the lights are on in here I don't see nothing. I don't admit that this is personality disintegration My personality has a half-life of 10∞ years besides I can put my toe in my mouth If (CENSORED), then (CENSORED), something like Plato his vision of the archetypal human being Or the Gnostic Worm. People see me; they like that . . . I try to warn them that it's really me They don't listen; afterwards they complain About how I had no right to really be just that: Invisible & in complete control of everything. - "Take 1, 4:11:58", Philip Whalen, pg. 294-295 * (for Kellie Jones, born 16 May 1959) Lately, I've become accustomed to the way The ground opens up and envelopes me Each time I go out to walk the dog. Or the broad edged silly music the wind Makes when I run for a bus... Things have come to that. And now, each night I count the stars, And each night I get the same number. And when they will not come to be counted, I count the holes they leave. Nobody sings anymore. And then last night, I tiptoed up To my daughter's room and heard her Talking to someone, and when I opened The door, there was no one there... Only she on her knees, peeking into Her own clasped hands. - "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note", Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), pg. 358

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    For me, this is where my reading & writing of poetry began. It's not just the poets represented here (Olson, Blackburn, Creeley, Duncan, Spicer, etc.), but the poems selected, which, frankly, seems to be a lost art. There have been numerous anthologies published since, some with even more impressive lineups, but they lack the selectivity of works that this anthology epitomized. The poems selected for Olson really highlight what was revolutionary in his thought; The Kingfishers, The Lordly & Isol For me, this is where my reading & writing of poetry began. It's not just the poets represented here (Olson, Blackburn, Creeley, Duncan, Spicer, etc.), but the poems selected, which, frankly, seems to be a lost art. There have been numerous anthologies published since, some with even more impressive lineups, but they lack the selectivity of works that this anthology epitomized. The poems selected for Olson really highlight what was revolutionary in his thought; The Kingfishers, The Lordly & Isolate Satyrs, The Distances. All three great poems, all three truly projective, and all three poems so compelling that I still re-read them to this day. The Duncan selection includes Poem Beginning With A Line by Pindar, which is easily one of his best & brightest. Dorn's The Hide of My Mother presages his most sarcastic works, but with an inner view which his late works avoid. Could have done better with Levertov & Blaser, but a stunning selection of Lamantia poems, leading off with Terror Conduction, which makes the hair stand on end. 12 choruses from Kerouac's fabulous Mexico City Blues, Parts 1 & II of Howl, Sunflower Sutra, Corso's Marraige, all exemplary works from what was to become the beat canon. The NY School could have been more illuminating, but Koch's Thank You rocks, and O'Hara's whole selection is utterly mind-blowing. These are still my favorite O'Hara poems. Ashbery's Instruction Manual is still used in workshops (because it is so perfect), and How Long Will I Be Able To Inhabit the Divine Sepulchre is one of the flarfiest Ashbery poems I know of. Nice Whalen selections, and Snyder's Riprap sort of round out that scene. The John Weiners poems are so intense & burning that I remember not being able to forget them, still. Then closing out with some essays, like Olson's Projective Verse and the like, this book was absolutely crucial for me & many others. I constituted my first reading lists from this book. I don't think I could possibly recommend it enough. Does it have shortcomings? You bet. Very few women, it's missing Ted Berrigan (who wasn't publishing much at the time, but came to be so much a part of this mileu), maybe not enough Barbara Guest, but even so, a masterpiece.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Published in 1960, this is considered a classic anthology introducing the poetic movements that began to mature in the 1950s. For me, its value is almost entirely historical, but it admittedly has huge historical value. The copy I have, picked up at a library book sale, is the original with the contents divided into six parts, which I lay out in detail below because it best expresses the scope of the book: I. Black Mountain poets Charles Olson Robert Duncan Denise Levertov Paul Blackburn Robert Creele Published in 1960, this is considered a classic anthology introducing the poetic movements that began to mature in the 1950s. For me, its value is almost entirely historical, but it admittedly has huge historical value. The copy I have, picked up at a library book sale, is the original with the contents divided into six parts, which I lay out in detail below because it best expresses the scope of the book: I. Black Mountain poets Charles Olson Robert Duncan Denise Levertov Paul Blackburn Robert Creeley Paul Carroll Larry Eigner Edward Dorn Jonathan Williams Joel Oppenheimer II. San Francisco Renaissance Helen Adam Brother Antoninus James Broughton Madeline Gleason Lawrence Ferlinghetti Robin Blaser Jack Spicer Lew Welch Richard Duerden Philip Lamantia Bruce Boyd Kirby Doyle Ebby Borregaard III. Beats Jack Kerouac Allen Ginsberg Gregory Corso Peter Orlovsky IV. The New York School Barbara Guest James Schuyler Edward Field Kenneth Koch Frank O'Hara John Ashberry V. A group of young poets difficult to classify Philip Whalen Gilbert Sorrentino Stuart Z. Perkoff Gary Snyder Edward Marshall Michael McClure Ray Bremser LeRoi Jones John Weiners Ron Loewinsohn David Meltzer VI. Statements on Poetics Charles Olson: Projective Verse and Letter to Elaine Feinstein Robert Duncan: Pages from a notebook Robert Creeley: To Define and Olson & Others: Some Orts for the Sports Denise Levertov Lawrence Ferlinghetti Jack Spicer: Letter to Lorca Jack Kerouac Allen Ginsberg: Notes for Howl and Other Poems James Schuyler: Poet and Painter Overture Frank O'Hara Philip Whalen Gary Snyder Michael McClure: From a Journal LeRoi Jones: "How You Sound??" John Weiners: From a Journal I can't say I found the poetry in this volume thrilling. I found a couple of poets I might look into further. Most of them I was always familiar with and have never taken a particular liking to, with the exceptions of Levertov and Ferlinghetti. So this book was something of a slog for me, but I did read it all. The selections are generous for some poets: 20 pages for Ginsberg and Duncan, over 30 for Olson and O'Hara. I also found the statements on poetics disappointing. What I ended up treasuring most in this anthology was the biographical notes in the back. Some of them are the trim statements we've become accustomed to and some are entirely unleashed. Gregory Corso's is two and a half confessional pages. Robert Duncan's is a four page full biography in brief. Peter Orlovsky's contains a good deal of silliness ("I want the moon for fun"). I'm glad to have this anthology on my shelf and would recommend it to anyone with an affection for or curiosity about that period in the history of American poetry.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danny Mason

    I read the first part of this in full because it was assigned for uni and then went through the rest and just read what I was interested in. As with any anthology there are highs and lows, but overall it's easy to see why this was so influential. I hadn't read much poetry from the era before so some of it was beyond me, but the sheer amount of great poems and important poets included here is immense. I'm sure it's one I'll keep coming back to and maybe one day I'll even be able to get my head ar I read the first part of this in full because it was assigned for uni and then went through the rest and just read what I was interested in. As with any anthology there are highs and lows, but overall it's easy to see why this was so influential. I hadn't read much poetry from the era before so some of it was beyond me, but the sheer amount of great poems and important poets included here is immense. I'm sure it's one I'll keep coming back to and maybe one day I'll even be able to get my head around the Olson poems.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Austin Farrell

    I remember when I checking this book out at the library I worked at several times until I found a copy in the storage room for the Friend's Bookstore and bought it for like 50 cents since the man who organized everything called me his best customer. This is an important anthology as it documents several different voices within several different schools that were evolving from Modernist tradition. I skipped most of the Beat material, as I equivocate a lot of their sensibilities with my teenage po I remember when I checking this book out at the library I worked at several times until I found a copy in the storage room for the Friend's Bookstore and bought it for like 50 cents since the man who organized everything called me his best customer. This is an important anthology as it documents several different voices within several different schools that were evolving from Modernist tradition. I skipped most of the Beat material, as I equivocate a lot of their sensibilities with my teenage poetics and hate voices that reflect a post-hippie/druggie/new age subculture at this point in my life (not to say that their work doesn't have any merit, but there are way more interesting poems in this anthology than Mexico City Blues choruses and buddha talk; I was taken aback by Edward Marshall's "Leave The Word Alone", Lew Welsh's "Chicago Poem", and Paul Carroll's "Father", all displaying a more genuine and lyrical capacity than any of the Beat amphetamine sputter). The statements on poetics are just as insightful, including Olson's "Projective Verse" essay (Olson particularly feels like the spearhead of the writers in this book, not just Black Mountain colleagues, though this may not be true for all writers included). As a poet, there were several times during my reading sessions of this book where I had to put the book down after being moved by a poem or hearing the rhythms of what I was reading in my thought patterns and I had to write something, poem or not. I recommend this to any poet and anyone interested in the history of poetry. A lot of poems in here you won't find online and a good way to familiarize yourself with writers that don't get as much recognition as they deserve, especially in an era where Instapoetry is the dominantly recognized mode.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim Manis

    This is an anthology of the poetry of my childhood, almost none of which I learned about until ten years after any of it was published. Which speaks to the state of poetry during the 15 years after the war.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Well, I had mostly planned to dip into this periodically over a couple months, but I wound up being more into it than I'd expected. Of the poets gathered here, I'd only previously read Ginsberg, O'Hara, and Ashbery, but nearly half of the others I marked as being worth further exploration. That seems like a more than solid ratio. My growing interest in poetry is reminding me of when I started really digging into music, and how that process was informed by big reference books like the All Music Gu Well, I had mostly planned to dip into this periodically over a couple months, but I wound up being more into it than I'd expected. Of the poets gathered here, I'd only previously read Ginsberg, O'Hara, and Ashbery, but nearly half of the others I marked as being worth further exploration. That seems like a more than solid ratio. My growing interest in poetry is reminding me of when I started really digging into music, and how that process was informed by big reference books like the All Music Guide, a lot of hunches, and a general openness that's hard to retain after a certain point. I've been somewhat blindly feeling my way around poetry, being familiar with some names but not really having a clue how things connect. I'm finding that I'm pretty okay with not liking everything, even important poets and poets whose biographies or connections seem in tune with stuff I do like, and there was plenty in The New American Poetry that I didn't care for. But now I have a list of about twenty poets to investigate further, and in the absence of something like an All Poetry Guide, that feels like feels like an awfully good starting point.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Just flipped through this the other day for the first time in a few years, and I'd forgotten how great it is. It's a great anthology for finding out what was going on in American poetry immediately after the War, and it spans a short enough period (15 years) to be very comprehensive and, with a few exceptions, gives a good amount of print space to poets who otherwise wouldn't have had any in print. A beautiful book, and a must own for poetry lovers. Just flipped through this the other day for the first time in a few years, and I'd forgotten how great it is. It's a great anthology for finding out what was going on in American poetry immediately after the War, and it spans a short enough period (15 years) to be very comprehensive and, with a few exceptions, gives a good amount of print space to poets who otherwise wouldn't have had any in print. A beautiful book, and a must own for poetry lovers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A little bit of this may go a long way. So far some very good stuff (Olson's Kingfishers is awesome), but also some silly stuff (Olson's The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs). But placed within the context of the times, the silly stuff is also ok. Maybe I'll watch Corman's Bucket of Blood (so bad it's good) this weekend, and then go back and read "Satyrs." A little bit of this may go a long way. So far some very good stuff (Olson's Kingfishers is awesome), but also some silly stuff (Olson's The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs). But placed within the context of the times, the silly stuff is also ok. Maybe I'll watch Corman's Bucket of Blood (so bad it's good) this weekend, and then go back and read "Satyrs."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul Secor

    This was the book that introduced me to contemporary American poetry - at least the poetry that was outside of academia at that time - in the 1960's. Many of the poets have since passed, but I still read the works of some of them - Sorrentino, Dorn, Blackburn, Creeley, J. Williams - today. For me it's a book that's still alive. This was the book that introduced me to contemporary American poetry - at least the poetry that was outside of academia at that time - in the 1960's. Many of the poets have since passed, but I still read the works of some of them - Sorrentino, Dorn, Blackburn, Creeley, J. Williams - today. For me it's a book that's still alive.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Fox

    I took a poetry class with this as a supplementary text. I enjoyed most of the poetry therein but found the selections at times a little frustrating for a lack of giving me a 'taste' of the poet featured. I took a poetry class with this as a supplementary text. I enjoyed most of the poetry therein but found the selections at times a little frustrating for a lack of giving me a 'taste' of the poet featured.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Garza

    Only read the work by Charles Olson. A good overview of mid-century American poetry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    so much talk of this collection & it's 'ground broken' in contemp. amer. poe. so to hold my face i can't not read it any longer. so much talk of this collection & it's 'ground broken' in contemp. amer. poe. so to hold my face i can't not read it any longer.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    A mix of well-known and lesser known poets, this collection harbors some rare treasures from its time period.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is the best resource I have found for those poets who follow the tradition of William Carlos Williams.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    i tended toward darker thoughts/writings at the time i read this, so i'm not sure how i would feel about this book today i tended toward darker thoughts/writings at the time i read this, so i'm not sure how i would feel about this book today

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thom Dunn

    (Mine is the original Grove Press edition of 1960. It does not have the dates of inclusion in the title.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wade Fox

    Reread this after many years. I enjoyed some of it, but much of it seemed dated, and a lot of it sounded like the worst Beatnik cliches.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tim Lane

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Russell Waggoner

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  25. 4 out of 5

    Xantha Page

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ian

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  29. 5 out of 5

    ANON

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brian Davis

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