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The Norton Anthology of Poetry

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The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian American poets. There are 26 new poets representing the Commonwealth literature tradition: now included are more than 37 poets from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Caribbean, South Africa and India.


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The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian American poets. There are 26 new poets representing the Commonwealth literature tradition: now included are more than 37 poets from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Caribbean, South Africa and India.

30 review for The Norton Anthology of Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I am more familiar with earlier editions, and while Margy Ferguson* is an excellent and perceptive scholar-editor, she cannot repell the publisher's usual bowing to sell books. My riveting memory of such an event was in a freshman literature anthology, ground-breaking in its day. It included Tom Thumb, had an entire section of songs and the prosody of songs, and many other things, which because they were unique, I tended to teach. Next edition, they were all cut. And I dumped the anthology. Evi I am more familiar with earlier editions, and while Margy Ferguson* is an excellent and perceptive scholar-editor, she cannot repell the publisher's usual bowing to sell books. My riveting memory of such an event was in a freshman literature anthology, ground-breaking in its day. It included Tom Thumb, had an entire section of songs and the prosody of songs, and many other things, which because they were unique, I tended to teach. Next edition, they were all cut. And I dumped the anthology. Evidently, all the freshman lit-comp teachers in the country were pretty used to doing what they did, could not use the wonderful innovations. You'd think frosh comp would be generally staffed by the younger and more flexible teachers, but perhaps when you include all the adjunct and experienced teachers who missed tenure, you have a group of fairly careful people unwilling to take risks. Well, if that was the way it was fifteen years ago, think how that will be reinforced by the scrutiny of the classroom by those who think of it as a factory. Or by those who know nothing of teaching, like the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who only taught for two years--gym. Your production line's doing WHAT? Song prosody? Where will the standardized test examine that? *M Ferguson joined my SAA seminar on Shakepseare and Oral Culture in Seattle, and is a supporter of my latest, Parodies Lost, on Tom Weiskel, Harold Bloom's favorite young colleague at Yale in the early 70's. MF also knew Tom at Yale; and H Bloom wrote me, "I think of Tom every day. I still grieve him."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Wright

    More than four months in the reading. Worth every day.

  3. 5 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    This book is huge, so I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. I just flipped through, reading a poem here, another one there. I didn't even buy this book for a class. I had some extra scholarship book money, so I bought myself a copy. Unfortunately, my copy of this book disappeared many years ago. I think a no good roommate stole it. The funny thing is that he considered himself a Christian. I hope he still has this book and feels guilty whenever he sees it on his bookshelf. I hope he's This book is huge, so I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. I just flipped through, reading a poem here, another one there. I didn't even buy this book for a class. I had some extra scholarship book money, so I bought myself a copy. Unfortunately, my copy of this book disappeared many years ago. I think a no good roommate stole it. The funny thing is that he considered himself a Christian. I hope he still has this book and feels guilty whenever he sees it on his bookshelf. I hope he's worried about what God thinks about him stealing the book. (He tried to steal my cat to, but didn't get away with it.) Anyway, this book is chock full of poems. It could keep a poetry lover happy for many years.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Walter

    At the end of the end of the 1960 film, The Time Machine, the hero, George Wells, returns to the future taking three books from his library with him. Viewers are left to ponder which three books he takes - it's never revealed. If it had been me, this would be one of the books. The Norton Anthology is a part of who I am. It opened - and continues to open - doors into some of the great literary minds of our culture. A starting point from which you can go on and learn more (i.e., don't stop with th At the end of the end of the 1960 film, The Time Machine, the hero, George Wells, returns to the future taking three books from his library with him. Viewers are left to ponder which three books he takes - it's never revealed. If it had been me, this would be one of the books. The Norton Anthology is a part of who I am. It opened - and continues to open - doors into some of the great literary minds of our culture. A starting point from which you can go on and learn more (i.e., don't stop with this book!). If there is any doubt about its greatness, let me show you that it contains as much of both the sacred and the profane as the Bible: Alexander Pope: "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
 The proper study of mankind is Man.
 Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
 A being darkly wise and rudely great:
 With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
 With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
 He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
 In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
 In doubt his mind or body to prefer; 
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err; 
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
 Whether he thinks too little or too much;
 Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; 
Still by himself abused or disabused;
 Created half to rise, and half to fall: 
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; 
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
 The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!" Ogden Nash: "The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other, milk." Genius, sheer genius.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Alvarez

    I began reading this book as a detour to fill in some missing breadth between volumes of Jerome Rothenberg's Poems for the Millennium. I was waiting tables and apartment living with my girlfriend and two cats in Seattle. That was seven years ago. Today I finished the final page in my house while my wife, the same girlfriend from before, held our baby daughter and watched Beetlejuice with our son and two dogs. The cats are around but less interested in television than the aquarium. I'm not saying I began reading this book as a detour to fill in some missing breadth between volumes of Jerome Rothenberg's Poems for the Millennium. I was waiting tables and apartment living with my girlfriend and two cats in Seattle. That was seven years ago. Today I finished the final page in my house while my wife, the same girlfriend from before, held our baby daughter and watched Beetlejuice with our son and two dogs. The cats are around but less interested in television than the aquarium. I'm not saying seven years of Milton and Auden and Hart Crane caused a life compounded with living beings but I'm not saying it didn't. This procreant era of my life happened with these poems and without them. Long stretches of not reading were as significant as the moments I would dive back in, remembering myself when I had forgotten crucial goals. My copy is worn - reinforced with packing tape along the spine and cloudy white on the front and back pages where my hands held while I soaked in a bath; I do my best reading in water. So I lived through all these poems and I hardly remember them now but I didn't read them to have read them. My only takeaway is that I chose to live with poetry and I still like the choice. What I loved about this volume was how it generated a great to-read list of poets.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joe Sacksteder

    In college my Great Books professor put this whole anthology on our 100 Greatest Books list. The idea of this class is that you read as many of the 100 during the semester as you can; then you're supposed to read the remnant over the course of your life. This anthology was a real cop out on the professors' part - along with the complete works of William Shakespeare. It was setting us up for failure. I started the anthology in 2005 when I was in music composition grad school in Baton Rouge Louisi In college my Great Books professor put this whole anthology on our 100 Greatest Books list. The idea of this class is that you read as many of the 100 during the semester as you can; then you're supposed to read the remnant over the course of your life. This anthology was a real cop out on the professors' part - along with the complete works of William Shakespeare. It was setting us up for failure. I started the anthology in 2005 when I was in music composition grad school in Baton Rouge Louisiana, August 18, 2012. I read one poet a day, or up to three poems, both silently and out loud. I missed days/weeks/months, but I persevered. It is now February 23, 2012, and I read the last poet today. And I still know nothing about what's going on in contemporary poetry. Overall, a little light on formal innovation.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Stanford

    I'm reading through this -- what is probably my 4th or so copy -- different/updated edition, though. Seems like it gets bigger and bigger each year! Thing is, this is a damn good anthology far as anthologies go. Thing is, though, I prefer the original collections. Kinda like the difference between a "Best of" album and the original deal. Yada yada yada. I'm reading through this -- what is probably my 4th or so copy -- different/updated edition, though. Seems like it gets bigger and bigger each year! Thing is, this is a damn good anthology far as anthologies go. Thing is, though, I prefer the original collections. Kinda like the difference between a "Best of" album and the original deal. Yada yada yada.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Harper Curtis

    The Norton Anthology is a rich resource, a great starting point for young readers and poets, and a great place to go to find new poets to read. That being said, it really is just a starting point. Moreover, it is limited to poetry written originally in English. You will want to supplement with international anthologies, consider The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, for example.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Velma

    Eighty bucks? Really? I need a Biblio-Fairy Godparent.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Quintin Zimmermann

    An anthology of endless delights and a celebration of the beauty of the English language.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    This review is for the 2018 edition. I quite liked Norton's Anthology of Poetic Forms but I was left craving something more comprehensive. Enter, this gem. Every poetry aficionado needs a copy of this in their library. It's a weighty tome (trust me, you'll want to set it down when you read from it) but it's something you'll go back to time and time again. The "usual suspects" are all accounted for here and there are also some more esoteric choices, making it a greatly varied volume. It's also ar This review is for the 2018 edition. I quite liked Norton's Anthology of Poetic Forms but I was left craving something more comprehensive. Enter, this gem. Every poetry aficionado needs a copy of this in their library. It's a weighty tome (trust me, you'll want to set it down when you read from it) but it's something you'll go back to time and time again. The "usual suspects" are all accounted for here and there are also some more esoteric choices, making it a greatly varied volume. It's also arranged chronologically so if you're looking to see how poetry has evolved over the centuries, it's fantastic. There are also mini biographies for each author and an exceptionally comprehensive glossary of poetic forms. I saw reviews on other sites where people weren't happy with the thinness of the pages, so I thought it was something worth mentioning here. Those reviews didn't exaggerate, the paper is exactly like Bible paper; waxy and very thin. Personally, I love that sort of paper but it can be a point of contention for some people.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Manaswita

    3.5 stars Wonderful book. I got a second-hand copy for a few hundred bucks, since the original copies were ridiculously expensive for a student (8k for one book?!) I am also a little disappointed that there are only 3 poems of Dorothy Parker when she should have had at least 5 pages dedicated to her. (Like c'mon, even E. E Cummings has got 9 poems!) Other than that, I am pretty much satisfied with the book. There are a total of 1823 poems, which I am fairly certain will keep me satisfied for the n 3.5 stars Wonderful book. I got a second-hand copy for a few hundred bucks, since the original copies were ridiculously expensive for a student (8k for one book?!) I am also a little disappointed that there are only 3 poems of Dorothy Parker when she should have had at least 5 pages dedicated to her. (Like c'mon, even E. E Cummings has got 9 poems!) Other than that, I am pretty much satisfied with the book. There are a total of 1823 poems, which I am fairly certain will keep me satisfied for the next few months.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate O'Hanlon

    I'm marking as read although I didn't make it through even half of the poems while it formed the backbone of my reading list through college. Outrageously expensive (for an 18 year old student anyway) I borrowed a copy from a guy who had just graduated and gave it to his little brother who was starting college the year I finished up. My flatmate has a copy though, and I'm glad to have it around again for reference. I'm marking as read although I didn't make it through even half of the poems while it formed the backbone of my reading list through college. Outrageously expensive (for an 18 year old student anyway) I borrowed a copy from a guy who had just graduated and gave it to his little brother who was starting college the year I finished up. My flatmate has a copy though, and I'm glad to have it around again for reference.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Covers the history and evolution of poetry in English, however I'd suggest the Norton Anthology of Post-Modern American Poetry as a supplement since this book really doesn't cover many of the influential poets writing today. However, English majors or anyone interested in poetry should have a copy of this book in their library. Covers the history and evolution of poetry in English, however I'd suggest the Norton Anthology of Post-Modern American Poetry as a supplement since this book really doesn't cover many of the influential poets writing today. However, English majors or anyone interested in poetry should have a copy of this book in their library.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    What can I say - I love poetry

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ela

    I may not have read it cover to cover but this is a pretty awesome and comprehensive anthology of poetry.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam Neve

    I've owned this book for a long time and I've never read it cover to cover. But I do love to open it to random pages and scan poems for a little while. I've been doing that a lot lately, at the expense of my reading challenge, so I'm including it here. I've owned this book for a long time and I've never read it cover to cover. But I do love to open it to random pages and scan poems for a little while. I've been doing that a lot lately, at the expense of my reading challenge, so I'm including it here.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gigi Tate

    Lovely copy with very a useful annotations. This books is legitimately the spice of life, you get everything. I’d recommend this book to anyone starting out with poetry to figure who and what you like, or do not like, and who t buy more of. Also this book is a behemoth. And i hate Margaret Atwood.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Essential

  20. 5 out of 5

    connie

    5/5 stars I mean, I'm not finished finished, but I'm done with it for my module at university and will continue to use it. Very helpful (albeit expensive). 5/5 stars I mean, I'm not finished finished, but I'm done with it for my module at university and will continue to use it. Very helpful (albeit expensive).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nessya

    Brilliant amalgamation of so many different poets!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    I read it from back to front in reverse chronological order and the segue from familiar English to Old English is really cool.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Moore

    Interesting collection of poems.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Earling-Hopson

    This is a wonderful anthology of poetry and how to write a poem in many styles is also included. I am so happy with this book. Do Read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Anthologies are like an "all-you-can-eat" buffet. You discover tantalizing desserts, nutritious entres and often, if you're lucky, delectable surprises. Anthologies are like an "all-you-can-eat" buffet. You discover tantalizing desserts, nutritious entres and often, if you're lucky, delectable surprises.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jason Perlman

    Whew, almost four years on and off -- I feel a bit bereft!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Cullen

    Extremely dense with everything a student could need.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ronja

    for ’Poetry: Reading and Interpretation’; not cover to cover

  29. 4 out of 5

    Staretsi

    My companion at uni. Almost all the classic poetry you need.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark Underwood

    Great on a per-pound basis, though my personal interests tend to the more recent in my post-academia era.

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