American Poetry : The Twentieth Century, Volume 2 : E.E. Cummings to May Swenson

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9781883011789: American Poetry : The Twentieth Century, Volume 2 : E.E. Cummings to May Swenson

This landmark anthology, part of a series that will eventually cover the entire century, gathers nearly 1500 poems by over 200 poets to restore American poetry's most brilliant era in all its beauty, explosive energy, and extraordinary diversity. Included are generous selections of the century's great poets -- Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes; and undervalued poets like Witter Bynner, Mina Loy, Louis Zukofsky, Ogden Nash, Dorothy Parker, Robert Johnson; and a wealth of talented and overlooked poets, experimentalists, formal innovators, popular and humorous versifiers, poets of social protest, and accomplished songwriters.

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Review :

If the first three decades of the 20th century mark the real birth of American poetry, then the following three might be considered a long and sometimes contentious adolescence. Not that there's anything juvenile about the work of Hart Crane, Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, or Theodore Roethke--quite the opposite. But after the fireworks of early modernism, there's a sense of American poetry finally coming into its own, multifarious identity. And the editors of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Volume Two: E.E. Cummings to May Swenson--i.e., the same Gang of Five that compiled the stellar first volume--have done very handsomely by the era.

Again there are generous servings of the indisputable giants, from Hughes to Roethke to the underrated Louise Bogan. Perhaps the editors have been too generous with Cummings's lowercase frolics, but there is a historical argument to be made in his favor: who else gave modernism such a human (not to say antic) face? Hart Crane certainly gets his due, with nearly 40 pages devoted to the linguistic spans of "The Bridge," and Elizabeth Bishop's section alone is worth the price of admission--indeed, I'd push cash on the barrelhead simply to read the exquisite conclusion to "Over 2000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance":

...Why couldn't we have seen
this old Nativity while we were at it?
--the dark ajar, the rocks breaking with light,
an undisturbed, unbreathing flame,
colorless, sparkless, freely fed on straw,
and, lulled within, a family with pets,
--and looked and looked our infant sight away.
As they did in the first volume, the editors have included a smattering of song lyrics, from Blind Lemon Jefferson to Frank Loesser. And while purists may sniff at these confections from Tin Pan Alley, you won't find any more memorable, slang-slinging light verse in this century. There's also the organizational principle of the book to reckon with. The poets have been arranged according to date of birth, with the cutoff year fixed at 1913--which explains the absence of Randall Jarrell (b. 1914) or Robert Lowell (b. 1917), who certainly ran with Elizabeth Bishop's poetic pack. Still, this strictly chronological system has produced some delightful surprises. What other anthology would slot country-blues avatar Robert Johnson between Paul Goodman and Josephine Miles? Or John Cage between Tennessee Williams and William Everson? These are miniature lessons in cultural border-busting, which is what the entire volume accomplishes on a larger and infinitely pleasurable scale. --James Marcus

Review :

Buckroe, After The Season, 1942 by Virginia Hamilton Adair
Exit Amor by Virginia Hamilton Adair
The Huntsman by Helen Douglas Adam
Mune Rune by Helen Douglas Adam
Shallow-water Warning by Helen Douglas Adam
April Mortality by Leonie Adams
The Figurehead by Leonie Adams
Fragmentary Stars by Leonie Adams
Ghostly Tree by Leonie Adams
Grapes Making by Leonie Adams
The Horn by Leonie Adams
The Moon And Spectator by Leonie Adams
The Rounds And Garlands Done by Leonie Adams
Not Met And Marred With The Year's Whole Turn Of Grief by James Agee
Now Stands Our Love On That Still Verge Of Day by James Agee
So It Begins. Adam Is In His Earth by James Agee
This Little Time The Breath And Bulk Of Being by James Agee
To Walker Evans by James Agee
Wake Up Threeish by James Agee
Advice To A Man Who List A Dog by Howard Wilson Baker
Sappho's Leap by Howard Wilson Baker
The Field by Mary Barnard
Lethe by Mary Barnard
Logging Trestle by Mary Barnard
The Pleiades by Mary Barnard
Probably Nobody by Mary Barnard
Shoreline by Mary Barnard
The Solitary by Mary Barnard
Static by Mary Barnard
Kites: Ars Poetica by Ben Belitt
The Orange Tree by Ben Belitt
American Muse by Stephen Vincent Benet
American Names by Stephen Vincent Benet
Cotton Mather by Stephen Vincent Benet
Daniel Boone by Stephen Vincent Benet
Metropolitan Nightmare by Stephen Vincent Benet
The Armadillo; For Robert Lowell by Elizabeth Bishop
At The Fishhouses by Elizabeth Bishop
The Bight by Elizabeth Bishop
Crusoe In England by Elizabeth Bishop
The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop
In The Waiting Room by Elizabeth Bishop
The Man-moth by Elizabeth Bishop
The Map by Elizabeth Bishop
One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
Over 2000 Illustrations And A Complete Concordance by Elizabeth Bishop
The Prodigal by Elizabeth Bishop
Roosters by Elizabeth Bishop
Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop
Sestina by Elizabeth Bishop
The Shampoo by Elizabeth Bishop
Sleeping On The Ceiling by Elizabeth Bishop
Song For The Rainy Season by Elizabeth Bishop
Sonnet by Elizabeth Bishop
Twelfth Morning; Or What You Will by Elizabeth Bishop
The Communiques From Yalta by Richard Palmer Blackmur
Mirage by Richard Palmer Blackmur
Redwing by Richard Palmer Blackmur
Sea Island Miscellany: 5 by Richard Palmer Blackmur
Seas Incarnadine by Richard Palmer Blackmur
Since There's No Help. . . by Richard Palmer Blackmur
Sunt Lacrimae Rerum Et Mentem Mortalia Tangunt by Richard Palmer Blackmur
The Alchemist by Louise Bogan
Baroque Comment by Louise Bogan
Cassandra by Louise Bogan
Dark Summer by Louise Bogan
The Dragonfly by Louise Bogan
Evening-star by Louise Bogan
Heard By A Girl by Louise Bogan
Kept by Louise Bogan
Knowledge by Louise Bogan
Late by Louise Bogan
Medusa by Louise Bogan
Men Loved Wholly Beyond Wisdom by Louise Bogan
Morning: 1 by Louise Bogan
Morning: 2 by Louise Bogan
Musician by Louise Bogan
My Voice Not Being Proud by Louise Bogan
Night by Louise Bogan
Roman Fountain by Louise Bogan
Several Voices Out Of A Cloud by Louise Bogan
Short Summary by Louise Bogan
Song by Louise Bogan
Sub Contra by Louise Bogan
Winter Swan by Louise Bogan
Women by Louise Bogan
Zone by Louise Bogan
A Black Man Talks Of Reaping by Arna Bontemps
Dark Girl by Arna Bontemps
Reconnaissance by Arna Bontemps
Southern Mansion by Arna Bontemps
Lamentations by Alter Brody
Winter Nocturne: The Hospital by Alter Brody
Cabaret by Sterling Allen Brown
Children's Children by Sterling Allen Brown
Chillen Get Shoes by Sterling Allen Brown
Long Gone by Sterling Allen Brown
Ma Rainey by Sterling Allen Brown
Memphis Blues by Sterling Allen Brown
Old Lem by Sterling Allen Brown
Scotty Has His Say by Sterling Allen Brown
Sister Lou by Sterling Allen Brown
Slim In Atlanta by Sterling Allen Brown
Southern Road by Sterling Allen Brown
Sporting Beasley by Sterling Allen Brown
Bread by Stanley Burnshaw
End Of The Flower-world (a.d. 2300) by Stanley Burnshaw
2 Pages, 122 Words On Music And Dance by John Cage
From Composition In Retrospect by John Cage
Almost A God by Emanuel Carnevali
Kiss by Emanuel Carnevali
Serenade by Emanuel Carnevali
Sermon by Emanuel Carnevali
Clause For A Covenant by Constance Virginia Carrier
Elegy by Constance Virginia Carrier
Helianthus by Constance Virginia Carrier
Laudare by Constance Virginia Carrier
A Point Of View by Constance Virginia Carrier
Ernest by Malcolm Cowley
Winter Tenement by Malcolm Cowley
At Melville's Tomb by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 1. Ave Maria by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 2. Powhatan's Daughter: Indiana by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 2. Powhatan's Daughter: The Dance by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 2. Powhatan's Daughter: The Harbor Dawn by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 2. Powhatan's Daughter: The River by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 2. Powhatan's Daughter: Van Winkle by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 3. Cutty Sark by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 4. Cape Hatteras by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 5. Three Songs: National Winter Garden by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 5. Three Songs: Southern Cross by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 5. Three Songs: Virginia by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 6. Quaker Hill by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 7. The Tunnel by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: 8. Atlantis by Harold Hart Crane
The Bridge: Proem. To Brooklyn Bridge by Harold Hart Crane
The Broken Tower by Harold Hart Crane
Chaplinesque by Harold Hart Crane
For The Marriage Of Faustus And Helen by Harold Hart Crane
O Carib Isle! by Harold Hart Crane
Repose Of Rivers by Harold Hart Crane
Voyages: 1 by Harold Hart Crane
Voyages: 2 by Harold Hart Crane
Voyages: 3 by Harold Hart Crane
Voyages: 4 by Harold Hart Crane
Voyages: 5 by Harold Hart Crane
Voyages: 6 by Harold Hart Crane
The Wine Menagerie by Harold Hart Crane
Photoheliograph by Harry Sturgis Crosby
Vision by Harry Sturgis Crosby
Atlantic City Waiter by Countee Cullen
Epitaph: For My Grandmother by Countee Cullen
For A Lady I Know by Countee Cullen
For Hazel Hall, American Poet by Countee Cullen
For One Who Gayly Sowed His Oats by Countee Cullen
From The Dark Tower by Countee Cullen
Heritage by Countee Cullen
Incident by Countee Cullen
Yet Do I Marvel by Countee Cullen
&: Seven Poems: 3 by Edward Estlin Cummings
1x1 (one Times One): 13 by Edward Estlin Cummings
1x1 (one Times One): 14 by Edward Estlin Cummings
50 Poems: 25 by Edward Estlin Cummings
50 Poems: 29 by Edward Estlin Cummings
50 Poems: 34 by Edward Estlin Cummings
73 Poems: 25 by Edward Estlin Cummings
All In Green Went My Love Riding, by Edward Estlin Cummings
Babylon Slim / -ness Of by Edward Estlin Cummings
Between Green / Mountains by Edward Estlin Cummings
Buffalo Bill's / Defunct by Edward Estlin Cummings
Chanson Innocente: 1, Fr. Tulips by Edward Estlin Cummings
Four: 5 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Four: 7 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Humanity I Love You by Edward Estlin Cummings
Lis / -ten / You Know What I Mean When by Edward Estlin Cummings
No Thanks: 44 by Edward Estlin Cummings
O Sweet Spontaneous by Edward Estlin Cummings
One: 19 by Edward Estlin Cummings
One: 22 by Edward Estlin Cummings
One: 27. Memorabilia by Edward Estlin Cummings
Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by Edward Estlin Cummings
R-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r by Edward Estlin Cummings
Sonnet - Realities: 1 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Sonnets - Realities: 11 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Sonnets - Realities: 20 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Stinging/ Gold Swarms by Edward Estlin Cummings
Ta / Ppin /g / Toe by Edward Estlin Cummings
Three: 2 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Tumbling-hair / Picker Of Buttercups by Edward Estlin Cummings
Two: 10 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Two: 3 by Edward Estlin Cummings
W (viva): 30 by Edward Estlin Cummings
W (viva): 51 by Edward Estlin Cummings
W (viva): 52 by Edward Estlin Cummings
Conception by Waring Cuney
The Death Bed by Waring Cuney
No Images by Waring Cuney
Dream Vision by James Vincent Cunningham
For My Contemporaries by James Vincent Cunningham
Montanta Pastoral by James Vincent Cunningham
A Moral Poem by James Vincent Cunningham
Selected Epigrams by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 1 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 10 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 11 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 12 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 13 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 14 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 2 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 3 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 4 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 5. The Pick-up by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 6 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 7 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 8 by James Vincent Cunningham
To What Strangers, What Welcome: 9 by James Vincent Cunningham
February Ground: 1 by Edward Dahlberg
February Ground: 2 by Edward Dahlberg
Walt Whitman by Edward Dahlberg
Christ Is A Dixie Nigger by Frank Marshall Davis
Sam Jackson by Frank Marshall Davis
Proud Riders by Harold Lenoir Davis
The Girl By The River by Alton Delmore
I Heard It's A Fight. At The First Clammy Touch by Edwin Denby
A New York Face by Edwin Denby
Smelling Or Feeling Of The Several Holes by Edwin Denby
The Subway by Edwin Denby
Creatures In The Zoo: Ape by Babette Deutsch
Creatures In The Zoo: Black Panther by Babette Deutsch
Creatures In The Zoo: Lioness Asleep by Babette Deutsch
Creatures In The Zoo: Young Gazelle by Babette Deutsch
To An Amiable Child by Babette Deutsch
Take My Hand, Precious Lord by Thomas Andrew Dorsey
Newsreel Liii by John Dos Passos
The Evening Of The Sixth Day by Rose Drachler
The Fury Of Aerial Bombardment by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
Gnat On My Paper by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
The Groundhog by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
I Walked Over The Grave Of Henry James by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
La Crosse At Ninety Miles An Hour by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
On A Squirrel Crossing The Road In Autumn, In New England by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
This Fevers Me by Richard Ghormley Eberhart
A Canticle To The Waterbirds by William Everson
The Glyph Of God: 1. The Masks Of Drought: Stone Face Falls by William Everson
Man-fate: 1. Rite Of Passage: Gale At Dawn by William Everson
Muscat Pruning by William Everson
Tor House by William Everson
The Year's Declension: Rainy Easter by William Everson
1933 by Kenneth Fearing
4 A.m. by Kenneth Fearing
American Rhapsody (4) by Kenneth Fearing
Art Review by Kenneth Fearing
Beware by Kenneth Fearing
Bryce & Tomilins by Kenneth Fearing
Dirge by Kenneth Fearing
Escape by Kenneth Fearing
Evening Song by Kenneth Fearing
Green Light by Kenneth Fearing
How Do I Feel? by Kenneth Fearing
Literary by Kenneth Fearing
Portrait: 2 by Kenneth Fearing
Reception Good by Kenneth Fearing
Noon by Thomas Hornsby Ferril
Something Starting Over by Thomas Hornsby Ferril
Waltz Against The Mountains by Thomas Hornsby Ferril
I Can't Give You Anything But Love by Dorothy Fields
'ya Se Van Los Pastores' by Dudley Fitts
Et Quidquid Aspiciebam Mors Erat by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Farewell by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
History by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Horae: 1 by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Horae: 2 by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Horae: 3 by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Manuscript With Illumination by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Mutations: 1 by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Mutations: 2 by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Souls Lake by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
South Side by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Spring Shade by Robert Stuart Fitzgerald
Dumb by Hildegarde Flanner
Fern Song by Hildegarde Flanner
Frog Song by Hildegarde Flanner
Moment by Hildegarde Flanner
True Western Summer by Hildegarde Flanner
The Fox With The Blue Velvet Band by Charles Henri Ford
I Wouldn't Put It Past You by Charles Henri Ford
The Overturned Lake by Charles Henri Ford
As Easily As Trees by Robert Francis
A Broken View by Robert Francis
By Night by Robert Francis
The Curse by Robert Francis
Cypresses by Robert Francis
Earthworm by Robert Francis
Farm Boy After Summer by Robert Francis
Museum Vase by Robert Francis
Onion Fields by Robert Francis
Pitcher by Robert Francis
Slow by Robert Fra...

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Robert Hass (Compiler), John Hollander (Compiler), Carolyn Kizer (Compiler), Nathaniel Mackey (Compiler), Marjorie Perloff (Compiler)
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