Hot Best Seller

The Heart of American Poetry

Availability: Ready to download

An acclaimed poet and our greatest champion for poetry offers an inspiring and insightful new reading of the American tradition We live in unsettled times. What is America and who are we as a people? How do we understand the dreams and betrayals that have shaped the American experience? For poet and critic Edward Hirsch, poetry opens up new ways of answering these questions An acclaimed poet and our greatest champion for poetry offers an inspiring and insightful new reading of the American tradition We live in unsettled times. What is America and who are we as a people? How do we understand the dreams and betrayals that have shaped the American experience? For poet and critic Edward Hirsch, poetry opens up new ways of answering these questions, of reconnecting with one another and with what’s best in us. In this landmark new book from Library of America, Hirsch offers deeply personal readings of forty essential American poems we thought we knew—from Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” and Phillis Wheatley’s “To S.M. a Young African Painter, on seeing his Works” to Garrett Hongo’s “Ancestral Graves, Kahuku” and Joy Harjo’s “Rabbit Is Up to Tricks”—exploring how these poems have sustained his own life and how they might uplift our diverse but divided nation. “This is a personal book about American poetry,” writes Hirsch, “but I hope it is more than a personal selection. I have chosen forty poems from our extensive archive and songbook that have been meaningful to me, part of my affective life, my critical consideration, but I have also tried to be cognizant of the changing playbook in American poetry, which is not fixed but fluctuating, ever in flow, to pay attention to the wider consideration, the appreciable reach of our literature. This is a book of encounters and realizations.”


Compare

An acclaimed poet and our greatest champion for poetry offers an inspiring and insightful new reading of the American tradition We live in unsettled times. What is America and who are we as a people? How do we understand the dreams and betrayals that have shaped the American experience? For poet and critic Edward Hirsch, poetry opens up new ways of answering these questions An acclaimed poet and our greatest champion for poetry offers an inspiring and insightful new reading of the American tradition We live in unsettled times. What is America and who are we as a people? How do we understand the dreams and betrayals that have shaped the American experience? For poet and critic Edward Hirsch, poetry opens up new ways of answering these questions, of reconnecting with one another and with what’s best in us. In this landmark new book from Library of America, Hirsch offers deeply personal readings of forty essential American poems we thought we knew—from Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” and Phillis Wheatley’s “To S.M. a Young African Painter, on seeing his Works” to Garrett Hongo’s “Ancestral Graves, Kahuku” and Joy Harjo’s “Rabbit Is Up to Tricks”—exploring how these poems have sustained his own life and how they might uplift our diverse but divided nation. “This is a personal book about American poetry,” writes Hirsch, “but I hope it is more than a personal selection. I have chosen forty poems from our extensive archive and songbook that have been meaningful to me, part of my affective life, my critical consideration, but I have also tried to be cognizant of the changing playbook in American poetry, which is not fixed but fluctuating, ever in flow, to pay attention to the wider consideration, the appreciable reach of our literature. This is a book of encounters and realizations.”

59 review for The Heart of American Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    There's this: I intended to read this collection of essays on poets this way -- an essay a day only, as it didn't seem the type of book you read coast to coast. But then I started running stop signs like a good ole boy from Georgia. Cops set up barriers. Blew through those too. And it's not that I was 5-star ga-ga for the book. How can you be when it is one essay after another, each focusing on one particular poem by one particular poet Edward Hirsch deems important enough to be part (valve, cha There's this: I intended to read this collection of essays on poets this way -- an essay a day only, as it didn't seem the type of book you read coast to coast. But then I started running stop signs like a good ole boy from Georgia. Cops set up barriers. Blew through those too. And it's not that I was 5-star ga-ga for the book. How can you be when it is one essay after another, each focusing on one particular poem by one particular poet Edward Hirsch deems important enough to be part (valve, chamber, etc.) of the HEART of American poetry? Like any reader, you're going to enjoy some essays and some poems more than others. You're only human, after all, and the heart is a lonely hunter. So, which poets made the cut? Mostly familiar sorts, with a few surprises. They are, chronologically: Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville (a poet, too, people), Emily Dickinson (I mean, can you BELIEVE?), Emma Lazarus (Note: news to me), Edwin Arlington Robinson, Amy Lowell, Robert Frost (If you can believe Dickinson, you can believe this one), Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, T.S. Eliot, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, Sterling A. Brown (another unknown to both yours and truly), Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Johnson (all together now: Who?), Robert Hayden, Muriel Rukeyser, Julia De Burgos (Another new-to-me!), Gwendolyn Brooks, Anthony Hecht, Denise Levertov, Frank O'Hara, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, James Wright, Philip Levine, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, Lucille Clifton, C.K. Williams, Michael S. Harper (?), Louise Glück, Garrett Hongo (?), and Joy Harjo. A few surprises in that list, yes, but more surprising is how Hirsch doesn't always use a war horse poem as an example for analysis. For Bishop it's "In the Waiting Room" (vs., say, "The Fish"), for Frost it's "The Most of It" (vs., say, "The Road Not Taken"), for Allen Ginsberg it's "America" (vs., say, "Howl"). The drill goes like this: each chapter starts with the poem, then Hirsch launches into a mix of biography and analysis about the poet's overall work/impact on American literature, and finally Hirsch gets down to an analysis of the lead-off poem. It goes without saying some chapters were a lot of fun because, well, the POET is in your wheelhouse or the POEM is pretty cool in its dark-horse kind of way. For example, for O'Hara, Hirsch dips into that poet's wonderful collection Lunch Poems for this poem about the day Billie Holiday (nicknamed "Lady Day") died: The Day Lady Died It is 12:20 in New York a Friday three days after Bastille day, yes it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner and I don’t know the people who will feed me I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun and have a hamburger and a malted and buy an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets in Ghana are doing these days I go on to the bank and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard) doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine after practically going to sleep with quandariness and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT while she whispered a song along the keyboard to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing Then, in the chapter proper, you get a representative paragraph like so: "O'Hara was a poet of lived experience. He liked to mingle with Manhattan crowds and timed his poems to the pace of the metropolis at different hours, sometimes rapid and carefree, other times quieter. Some of them he wrote at parties after work, some of them he scrawled on napkins at the Cedar Tavern, where the abstract expressionists hung out, many of them he dashed off on his lunch hour in midtown. There are a lot of casual poems that read like jottings or diary entries, but even his throwaways have charisma. Allen Ginsberg noted that he had 'a common ear / for our deep gossip' ('City Midnight Junk Strains'). O'Hara's poetry is not confessional -- in fact, he disliked Robert Lowell's work and mocked the whole idea of the confessional poem -- and yet his personality shines so vividly that you feel as if he's still there. He's an extravagantly gay poet, but he's also an all-purpose seducer. You hear him talking and feel like ambling over with a drink. Maybe you'll start smoking again, just for the hell of it. It's hard not to believe that you're going to become friends. People tend to fall in love with O'Hara in the same irreparable way that they fall in love with Keats." That sort of thing. A mix of Hirsch being erudite and casual all at once. About poetry. The genre that scares the be-jesus out of so many readers. Can't be all THAT bad, then, can it? (Rhetorical question and cue to shake your head "no" like so... there you go!)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vesna

    Library of America is a venerable publisher in preserving the American literary heritage and when it publishes an anthology that suggests to go to “The Heart of American Poetry,” it raises the expectations and excites the lovers of the U.S. literary tradition. However, very soon it becomes clear that it should have been subtitled “Personal Anthology” for the anthology in many ways reflects Hirsch’s personal taste and choices. In his introduction, Hirsch sheds some light on his intimate understan Library of America is a venerable publisher in preserving the American literary heritage and when it publishes an anthology that suggests to go to “The Heart of American Poetry,” it raises the expectations and excites the lovers of the U.S. literary tradition. However, very soon it becomes clear that it should have been subtitled “Personal Anthology” for the anthology in many ways reflects Hirsch’s personal taste and choices. In his introduction, Hirsch sheds some light on his intimate understanding of what constitutes the American poetic tradition. He is also open that he worked on this anthology during the Covid-19 quarantine that prevented him from accessing his library and forced him to rely on his memory. I think that these two factors contributed to some of the weaknesses of this anthology. There are many strengths, above all in Hirsch’s perceptive readings of individual poems. Some essays are almost entirely his commentaries on the selected poems and a reader would not find much more about Robert Frost or Wallace Stevens as poets, for example, except for an astute analysis of a single poem (by each) of his choice. The strongest chapters, however, also discuss the poems in the context of the poet’s overall writings and life, literary influences, and general socio-cultural currents. While a number of major poets are well represented, there is evidently quite an idiosyncratic inclusion as well as exclusion of others. It is certainly welcome to present the so-called ”minor” poets whose valuable contribution is convincingly argued in his essays, such as Emma Lazarus, Robert Johnson or Julia de Burgos. But it is mystifying that Hirsch opted for a number of other lesser known poets without a broader justification except for essaying on his personal connections, while bypassing the acknowledged greats, someone like Robert Lowell, or, from the 19th century, Edgar Alan Poe and Emerson, all of whom have made an important imprint on the American canon. One of the noble guiding ideas is that Hirsch “tried to remain conscious of our diversiform ancestry and heritage” (p. xvi). And, in light of the recent rise of an anti-immigrant wave, Hirsch makes a powerful and commendable statement by including “The New Colossus” penned by Emma Lazarus and inscribed in the pedestal of The Statue of Liberty. But then the immigrant theme with its major bilingual representatives, such as Brodsky or Simic, both of whom were elected as US Poet Laurates, is mostly ignored. If Hirsch wanted to present different and complex social, historical, and cultural currents in America as reflected in its poetry, which is clear from his essays, then this project only partly succeeded as the poets from the West Coast, Midwest and the South are scarcely presented. There is also a certain measure of inconsistency. For example, Hirsch takes a refreshing approach to American poetry that “moves fluently between speech and song” in an included song by the blues singer Robert Johnson, but then it would have been apt to include Bob Dylan (even referred to in the context of the blues heritage, p. 229) or Lou Reed (also mentioned in the introduction with the quoted lyrics on p. xxv) who lent the same voice to a different generation. The choice of poems is also occasionally idiosyncratic, foregoing some of the greatest poems for lesser known ones and, as such, the anthology does not quite fit its description as a collection of “forty essential American poems.” Theodore Roethke’s “My Pappa’sWaltz”, one of his most anthologized poems, is arguably more “essential” for this poet than his “Cuttings.” Or Marianne Moore’s famous two versions of “The Poetry” are foregone for “The Steeple-Jack”, as good as it is. Overall, the anthology succeeds in those brilliant essays when Hirsch is less personal, but its idiosyncrasy still gets in the way to call it “The Heart of American Poetry.” My thanks to the publisher, Library of America, for an ARC via NetGalley. 3.5/5

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    I don't think this is accurately "the heart of American poetry" as much as Edward Hirsch's 40 favorite poets and a poem by each. He has a long essay following each poem where he talks about the poem and the poet's life, generally also going into a few lines of other works by the poet. The poems stretch through American history chronologically and have some representation of POC, women, etc. but it still feels very much like the poets you'd be required to read in Poetry 101. It's also frustrating I don't think this is accurately "the heart of American poetry" as much as Edward Hirsch's 40 favorite poets and a poem by each. He has a long essay following each poem where he talks about the poem and the poet's life, generally also going into a few lines of other works by the poet. The poems stretch through American history chronologically and have some representation of POC, women, etc. but it still feels very much like the poets you'd be required to read in Poetry 101. It's also frustrating that he often picked lesser-known poems that really don't seem like the poets' best works. Almost none of my favorite poets are included in this anthology, which is not surprising but is disappointing. Missing American poets whom I love include Anne Sexton, Edgar Allen Poe, Nicky Finney, e.e. cummings, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Rose Hartwick Thorpe, just to name a few. I also found that the essays tended to be so long and dry. There were a few cases where I learned interesting things about poets but in many cases I found myself skimming these sections because they felt so much like a droning college lecture. They will be illuminating and interesting to those who are very much like the author and his peers, but I don't think they will get anybody into poetry who wasn't already and certainly won't make poetry seem accessible to those who see it as dry and confusing. The book is still a good read and I found some new poems and poets, but I had hoped for more. I read a digital ARC of this book for review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This book presents forty poems from prominent American poets, interspersed with essays by Hirsch offering background on the poet, the poem, and how the poem reflects upon America. It’s a fine collection of poems, and a thoughtful discussion of them. There will be something new to most readers. While most of the poets are well-known and while there are a few highly anthologized poems: e.g. Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus,” Dickinson’s #479 [Because I Could Not Stop for Death,] and Eliot’s “The L This book presents forty poems from prominent American poets, interspersed with essays by Hirsch offering background on the poet, the poem, and how the poem reflects upon America. It’s a fine collection of poems, and a thoughtful discussion of them. There will be something new to most readers. While most of the poets are well-known and while there are a few highly anthologized poems: e.g. Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus,” Dickinson’s #479 [Because I Could Not Stop for Death,] and Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” there are many more off the beaten path selections to be discovered. As for whether the selection captures the heart of American poetry, on that wouldn’t necessarily agree. That said, it’s presented as Hirsch’s personal selection; the pieces in it are great poems, and he has as much right to his views as anyone. The anthology does capture many elements of the American poetic voice. It does a fine job of capturing the many strains of dissent, critique, and resistance from the Harlem Renaissance (e.g. Langston Hughes) to that of the indigenous peoples (e.g. Joy Harjo) to the Beats (e.g. Allen Ginsberg.) What Hirsch seems less comfortable with is the Whitmanian voice of affection and admiration for the country. In writing about Whitman and Frost, Hirsch makes comments about their lack of appeal to him, apparently their respective unbridled positivity and folksiness were found unbecoming of a poet. I felt the fact that Hirsch had to search out one of Whitman’s more angsty and dark compositions in order to be happy with Whitman’s inclusion was telling (Hirsch could hardly leave Whitman out and present the book as capturing the essence of American poetry.) The anthology reflects much of the cultural and artistic diversity seen in America, but it eschews the middle America voice (i.e. 70% of the poems are from New Jersey and northward up the Atlantic coast, and while New York may be the country’s cultural and publishing capital, skilled poets from South of the Mason-Dixon and more than 150 miles from the Atlantic coast aren’t as much rare flukes as this anthology would suggest.) I enjoyed reading this anthology, and I learned a great deal from the essays that went along with each poem. The book is definitely worth reading. Mopey Plath-loving New Yorkers are more likely to find it representative of the voice of American poetry than sanguine Whitman-loving Hoosiers, but it’s an enlightening read, either way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book opened my eyes to many of the different poets who made an important mark on poetry. Hirsch made an effort to highlight contributions from female and IPOC poets as weel, which was completely refreshing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Floyd

    Edward Hirsch has compiled an eclectic collection of poetry written by Americans, some well-known and some less so. The poems are accompanied with essays which help the reader understand the environment within which the authors were writing. Though I only recently found a new appreciation for poetry, I think if this book had been the first I had stumbled upon to refresh my exposure to this genre, I would have said, “No, thank you.” There is little to unite the pieces included except (as indicated Edward Hirsch has compiled an eclectic collection of poetry written by Americans, some well-known and some less so. The poems are accompanied with essays which help the reader understand the environment within which the authors were writing. Though I only recently found a new appreciation for poetry, I think if this book had been the first I had stumbled upon to refresh my exposure to this genre, I would have said, “No, thank you.” There is little to unite the pieces included except (as indicated in the title) it is American Poetry. As I read, I felt as if I were back in my very unsatisfying freshman literature class. As I did, so many years ago, I would walk away and say, “No more!” Some of the poems were engaging, but many were not. The result is a collection, a book, that receives only three stars from this reader. ______________ This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Library of America for an advanced copy of this collection of American poetry and song. Poetry speaks to both the heart and the soul, and even more to the mind. A poem or a song ca stir up thoughts of longing, remorse, remiss, want and desire which feeds or batters the soul, but can also make the mind long for more, a better life, a better place, just to be better. Poems speak to the now, and are a reflection of the now a still of the past told in wo My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Library of America for an advanced copy of this collection of American poetry and song. Poetry speaks to both the heart and the soul, and even more to the mind. A poem or a song ca stir up thoughts of longing, remorse, remiss, want and desire which feeds or batters the soul, but can also make the mind long for more, a better life, a better place, just to be better. Poems speak to the now, and are a reflection of the now a still of the past told in words that show what life was like, what the poet longs it to be, to be looked at in our now, and see how little has changed, or even become worse. Writer, educator and biographer of poems Edward Hirsch in his book The Heart of American Poetry collected works that he feels describe America, how it was and how it has changed, with works by various poets and songwriters. The book starts with an introduction by Hirsch about himself and how he came to find and adore poetry and poems. This is followed by a brief discussion about poetry in America and how it has been looked at, reviewed and sometimes taught. This collection came together during the start of COVID, so choices, and even discussions might reflect those odd times, that looking back seem like the last glimpse of a sane country. 40 poems presented in order of the poet's birth are presented, from Anne Bradstreet to Joy Harjo complete with essays featuring both commentary and biography. Songs are included, such as Robert Johnson's Crossroads, a song covered by many a bar act and famous British singers. The book is actually a class on poetry in book form, complete with a syllabus of works and lots of discussion. Hirsch in his essays roams all over, covering the poems, the way they were presented, history around them and and the effect on others. Analysis of musical history and the keys that a song would be played in, plus biographical sketches about the poet, and what the poems mean to him. This is more of a personal choice than a study of poetry in America. These were chosen by him, for him for readers to learn from. People might be surprised by those that are absent, or even the poems that were opted for as representation of the writers. However as much can be learned and shared by the essays, and frankly there are no real dud works in the book, his choices tend to make sense. Definitely a book for literature students and fans of poetry. A good overview of American works, with excellent commentary that gives a reader much to agree with, or to argue with. That is the great thing about these kind of books. A great gift for poets and songwriters also to see what works, what does not, and what might touch someone's soul a hundred years from now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    J Earl

    The Heart of American Poetry by Edward Hirsch is both an analysis of various poems that have spoken to Hirsch as well as a glimpse at how many different ways there are to read and understand poetry. On the surface, this is an inclusive collection of forty poems, each accompanied by a brief essay on Hirsch's reading. Don't be mislead by any reviewer who only names those part of the traditional canon as being in this book. In the introduction and in his selection, Hirsch is far more inclusive. Mayb The Heart of American Poetry by Edward Hirsch is both an analysis of various poems that have spoken to Hirsch as well as a glimpse at how many different ways there are to read and understand poetry. On the surface, this is an inclusive collection of forty poems, each accompanied by a brief essay on Hirsch's reading. Don't be mislead by any reviewer who only names those part of the traditional canon as being in this book. In the introduction and in his selection, Hirsch is far more inclusive. Maybe some readers only want to mention those usually included in such anthologies, but that says more about them than about this book. I think what makes this volume so much more important, especially for those who like poetry but often feel they don't "read it right," is that these readings show many different ways into poetry. Yes, Hirsch is a poet himself and is very knowledgeable, but his approaches are very personal in nature. The ways he might approach a poem are ways we might also do so. Just because we have less knowledge in some areas doesn't mean the poem will speak to us any less. When we begin to trust our reading of poetry we can then look deeper, whether into the mechanics of poetry or the historical context of certain poems and poets. Our readings will be different from Hirsch's, but so what. We take from each poem what we can, and learning both method and specific information through this book will only enrich our future reading of poetry. I am going to suggest another book that would make a great companion to this one. My intention is not to have it look like an either/or but as complementary volumes. The other book is The Difference is Spreading edited by Al Filreis and Anna Strong Safford. The similarity is that each book consists of a poet commenting on a specific poem. The contrast, and why I think they go so well together, is that while The Heart of American Poetry has one poet commenting on forty poems The Difference is Spreading has fifty different contemporary poets each commenting on a poem of their choosing. Between these books a reader can see many ways, both technical and personal, into a poem. I will also add that the Filreis/Safford book is based loosely on their wonderful ModPo MOOC. Highly recommended for both those who read poetry often as well as those who like poetry but might not read it very often. Don't let Hirsch's knowledge of poetry intimidate you, appreciate what he offers as commentary and also look at how he approaches each poem and adapt that for your own level of knowledge. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

  9. 4 out of 5

    joyce w. laudon

    Edward Hirsch is surely qualified to author this title. He has authored a number of books of both poetry and prose. I previously reviewed his 100 Poems to Break Your Heart. This is an erudite, personal, well-edited collection of poetry ranging from Phyllis Wheatley through Joy Harjo. Just some of the poets whose works are here include Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Amy Lowell, Marianne Moore, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Muriel Rukeyser, Gwendolyn Brooks and, John Ashbery among many others. This is Edward Hirsch is surely qualified to author this title. He has authored a number of books of both poetry and prose. I previously reviewed his 100 Poems to Break Your Heart. This is an erudite, personal, well-edited collection of poetry ranging from Phyllis Wheatley through Joy Harjo. Just some of the poets whose works are here include Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Amy Lowell, Marianne Moore, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Muriel Rukeyser, Gwendolyn Brooks and, John Ashbery among many others. This is truly a college level poetry class in a book. I highly recommend it. The Heart of American Poetry is a title to which I will return again and again. Many thanks to NetGalley and the Library of America for this title. All opinions are my own. Note that all profits from this title will be used to support the mission of the nonprofit Library of America. This title will be published on 19 Apr 2022

  10. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Edward Hirsch's new book The Heart of American Poetry satiated my longing to study poetry and literature in an academic setting. Each chapter dives into a different well loved poem, such as Emma Lazrus's "New Colussus", Dickenson's "Because I Did Not Stop For Death" and Edwin Robinsons "Eros Turannos," to offer an analysis of the poem. Each analysis dives into the use of different poetic devices and biographical tidbits of the poets lives to contextualize each poem. Personally it was challenging Edward Hirsch's new book The Heart of American Poetry satiated my longing to study poetry and literature in an academic setting. Each chapter dives into a different well loved poem, such as Emma Lazrus's "New Colussus", Dickenson's "Because I Did Not Stop For Death" and Edwin Robinsons "Eros Turannos," to offer an analysis of the poem. Each analysis dives into the use of different poetic devices and biographical tidbits of the poets lives to contextualize each poem. Personally it was challenging to set aside; however the short essays could easily be savored over time. Hirsch's other books helped me expand my knowledge of poetry and this one followed suit. Scholars and lovers of poetry will want to have this book on their shelves. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced readers copy! This review can also be found on my blog: http://glamorousbookgal.blogspot.com/...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emm H

    This was a lovely collection, well-curated. Hirsch's introducrtion set the right tone, and remains accessible to students and long-time poetry lovers alike. He notes that he has "found it heartening to write this book about American poetry at a disheartening time in our republic, a time of broken promises. These poems hold us to a standard and remind us of the sacredness of the individual life, the single testamentary". Each poem is followed by a commentary and meditation on why it is representa This was a lovely collection, well-curated. Hirsch's introducrtion set the right tone, and remains accessible to students and long-time poetry lovers alike. He notes that he has "found it heartening to write this book about American poetry at a disheartening time in our republic, a time of broken promises. These poems hold us to a standard and remind us of the sacredness of the individual life, the single testamentary". Each poem is followed by a commentary and meditation on why it is representative of American culture. I also appreciate that he's taken care to include female poets and poets of color, in addtion to more canonical poets.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    An essential guide for devotees of poetry-greats such as Dickinson, Eliot, Frost, Hayden, Hughes, Melville, and Plath. Hirsch offers original reflections, insights, and revelations of some of their most compelling work – a single poem from each of their respective canons. Each poem offers a statement on American culture and society that truly resonates. Thanks to NetGalley and Library of America for granting this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    mary

    this is an anthology of what the author's view of poetry via his essay and chosen works of poetry which he likes, it was not the mainstream poets we love and have come to know from many books but more a different list of poets and their works. that wet your interest to not stay stale but to try out other poets, I love poetry and certainly this author is an educator of the poetry and the how to look at it. I highly recommend this book for the not so faint of heart poetry lovers. this is an anthology of what the author's view of poetry via his essay and chosen works of poetry which he likes, it was not the mainstream poets we love and have come to know from many books but more a different list of poets and their works. that wet your interest to not stay stale but to try out other poets, I love poetry and certainly this author is an educator of the poetry and the how to look at it. I highly recommend this book for the not so faint of heart poetry lovers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    At 480 pages, this book is a semester class on how to read certain American poems. It is a lecture series by professor Hirsch as he first "reads" the original poems then gives his personal and academic essay/lecture on the reading of that particular poem from his lens. At 480 pages, this book is a semester class on how to read certain American poems. It is a lecture series by professor Hirsch as he first "reads" the original poems then gives his personal and academic essay/lecture on the reading of that particular poem from his lens.

  15. 4 out of 5

    BookishlyWise

    A wonderful addition to the poetry shelf. Cant wait to share it with friends who are studying poetry!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex Joyner

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Gallegos

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kira May

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marty

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ben Groner III

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth S

  22. 4 out of 5

    jen8998

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Taylor

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robert J. Tiess

  25. 4 out of 5

    Richard Katz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Travis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Max

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meg

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maja Lukic

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve Miller

  31. 5 out of 5

    Tess Marie

  32. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  33. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  34. 5 out of 5

    Nee

  35. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Lane

  36. 5 out of 5

    Edward

  37. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  39. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Huddleston

  40. 5 out of 5

    Alandrea

  41. 4 out of 5

    Julie Oxendale

  42. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  43. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Trenary

  44. 4 out of 5

    Linda Shields

  45. 5 out of 5

    Flori

  46. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Garcia

  47. 5 out of 5

    Kye Cantey

  48. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  49. 5 out of 5

    Desiree Garcia

  50. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

  51. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Smith

  52. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

  53. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Garcia

  54. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  55. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Stone

  56. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Skye

  57. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  58. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

  59. 4 out of 5

    Denise

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...