101 Great American Poems Paperback – Jan 21 1998
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This little anthology covers more than 350 years of American poetry. It includes poets who were famous in their own time such as Edgar Allen Poe, and poets whose talents weren't realized until after their death, such as Emily Dickinson. It displays American patriotism in poems such as Walt Whitman's, "I Hear America Singing", and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride." Poems such as, "Dream Deferred (Harlem)" by Langston Hughes, and "Incident" by Countee Cullen, explore themes of racial prejudice and African American culture. War, loneliness, nature, children, all the many issues and emotions we as human beings find ourselves dealing with today, are all included in this small, yet well-comprised anthology.
Many of my personal favorites include poems about poetry itself. These poets and writers give serious, and not so serious, contemplation to the art of writing. On page 65, the teacher and library assistant Marianne Moore begins her poem, "Poetry" with these lines:
I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
this fiddle.Read more ›
Also Recommended: Quotes, Poems, and Words That Flow by Kevin Grommersch
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To My Dear and Loving Husband
"From To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth"
William Cullen Bryant
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Arrow and the Song
The Children's Hour
The Day is Done
Paul Revere's Ride
Edgar Allan Poe
The Conqueror Worm
My Childhood's Home I see Again
"Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr."
I Hear America Singing
I Sit and Look Out
A Noiseless Patient Spider
O Captain! My Captain!
From Song of Myself
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
Frances E. W. Harper
Bury Me in a Free Land
Songs for the People
Because I could not stop for Death'
Death sets a thing significant'
Hope is the thing with feathers'
I died for beauty'
If I can stop one heart from breaking'
I'm nobody! Who are you?'
My life closed twice before its close'
Success is counted sweetest'
There is no frigate like a book'
This is my letter to the world'
The New Colossus
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ernest Lawrence Thayer
Casey at the Bat
Edgar Lee Masters
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Mr. Flood's Party
I saw a man pursuing the horizon'
War Is Kind
James Weldon Johnson
Sence You Went Away
Paul Laurence Dunbar
We Wear the Mask
Acquainted with the Night
Fire and Ice
Nothing Gold Can Stay
The Road Not Taken
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Two Tramps in Mud Time
"I am the People, the Mob"
Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
William Carlos Williams
The Great Figure
The Red Wheelbarrow
This is Just To Say
The Widow's Lament in Springtime
In a station of the Metro
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
"Shine, Perishing Republic"
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
After the Winter
If We Must Die
The Tropics in New York
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The End of the World
since feeling is first
Her Lips Are Copper Wire
Dream Deferred (Harlem)
Little Old Letter
Mother to Son
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
For Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Unknown Citizen
Most of its poems are the shorter poems of great poetic masters , for instance for Wallace Stevens, " Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird' and the 'Emperor of Ice- Cream' but not the 'Idea of Order at Key West' for Eliot, " Prufrock" but not the "Wasteland " or the "Quartets".
A wonderful collection most highly recommended.
When considering whether to buy this book, it is important to note that the title is *not* _The 101 Greatest American Poems_. It is more modestly, _101 Great American Poems_, which were selected for a variety of reasons.
These are mostly old favorites, which is to be expected because the back of the book reads, "selected for both popularity and literary quality..."
The publishers appear to have tried to include poems from blacks and other people that historically had a hard time publishing. There are 35 poets, ten of whom are women, and four are black. Only William Carlos Williams represents anyone of Hispanic descent. Historically, in terms of poems that have been appreciated and loved by the majority of Americans, this is a fair representation. On the other hand, we know now that many other great poems were not published or publicized because of the color of the author's skin, or her sex. Therefore, depending on what you are looking for, you may or may not be happy with this compilation. Our family is happy with it as an introduction to well-known poems but we'll probably supplement with less-known poetry using other collections.
The poems are arranged in chronological order. If you are looking to introduce a child to poetry, they are generally of quite manageable length. There are several which are appropriate for recitation, reading at the dinner table, or reading at bedtime.
Many of the poems deal with death so it might not be the ideal introduction for the very sensitive child who is reading on her own.
Perhaps you will enjoy this book more if you are new to poetry; my advice is to choose a poem you like, then read more by that author. On the other hand, for a dollar you can hardly go wrong adding this book to another order. You might buy a couple and hand them around just to raise awareness of poetry, which isn't read in schools as it was a hundred years ago.
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