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The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry

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"The most acute rendering of an era's sensibility is its poetry," wrote the editors in their preface to the first edition. Thirty years later, this thorough and sensitive revision freshly renders the remarkable range of styles, subjects, and voices in English-language poetry, from Walt Whitman and Thomas Hardy in the late nineteenth century to Carol Ann Duffy and Sherman A "The most acute rendering of an era's sensibility is its poetry," wrote the editors in their preface to the first edition. Thirty years later, this thorough and sensitive revision freshly renders the remarkable range of styles, subjects, and voices in English-language poetry, from Walt Whitman and Thomas Hardy in the late nineteenth century to Carol Ann Duffy and Sherman Alexie in the twenty-first century. With 195 poets and 1,596 poems, The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry richly represents the major figures—Yeats, Frost, Stevens, Williams, Hughes, Olson, Bishop, Larkin, Plath, Rich, Heaney, and Walcott, among others. It also gives full voice to postcolonial and transnational poets, ethnic American poetries, experimental traditions, and the long poem. Each volume concludes with a Poetics section that provides essential contexts for reading the poems. With substantially new introductions, headnotes, annotations, and bibliographies by the award-winning scholar and teacher Jahan Ramazani, this anthology is indispensable for all who love poetry. Two volumes, slipcased.


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"The most acute rendering of an era's sensibility is its poetry," wrote the editors in their preface to the first edition. Thirty years later, this thorough and sensitive revision freshly renders the remarkable range of styles, subjects, and voices in English-language poetry, from Walt Whitman and Thomas Hardy in the late nineteenth century to Carol Ann Duffy and Sherman A "The most acute rendering of an era's sensibility is its poetry," wrote the editors in their preface to the first edition. Thirty years later, this thorough and sensitive revision freshly renders the remarkable range of styles, subjects, and voices in English-language poetry, from Walt Whitman and Thomas Hardy in the late nineteenth century to Carol Ann Duffy and Sherman Alexie in the twenty-first century. With 195 poets and 1,596 poems, The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry richly represents the major figures—Yeats, Frost, Stevens, Williams, Hughes, Olson, Bishop, Larkin, Plath, Rich, Heaney, and Walcott, among others. It also gives full voice to postcolonial and transnational poets, ethnic American poetries, experimental traditions, and the long poem. Each volume concludes with a Poetics section that provides essential contexts for reading the poems. With substantially new introductions, headnotes, annotations, and bibliographies by the award-winning scholar and teacher Jahan Ramazani, this anthology is indispensable for all who love poetry. Two volumes, slipcased.

30 review for The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Crockett

    I think I read half this book in one night on cocaine in an OK Motor Inn. I'll never do that again. But there's no reason to keep you from doing it better. It's a pricy book, about $100, and closer to five weeknights put together. Caveat Emptor!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This is a truly wonderful anthology-- Nortons are the best. I got this for a class last semester and kept it. It is a two volume set, with one volume of modern poetry (from late 1800's to 1980's) and one volume of contemporary poetry (from 1940's to present). I know the dates overlap, but 'modern' and 'contemporary' are two different poetic idioms that overlapped quite a bit in transition. Modern poetry-- think Ezra Pound, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Butler Yeats. Contemporary-- think Gwend This is a truly wonderful anthology-- Nortons are the best. I got this for a class last semester and kept it. It is a two volume set, with one volume of modern poetry (from late 1800's to 1980's) and one volume of contemporary poetry (from 1940's to present). I know the dates overlap, but 'modern' and 'contemporary' are two different poetic idioms that overlapped quite a bit in transition. Modern poetry-- think Ezra Pound, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Butler Yeats. Contemporary-- think Gwendolyn Brooks, W. S. Merwin, Sylvia Plath. Some especially good things about this anthology are the sheer number of poets represented, the section of poetics (writings about poetry by poets), and the thoughtful and enlightening biographical material (much better than in most anthologies).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    I'm not actually "finished" with this, but I keep it handy and flip through it regularly and I love it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Anthologies are mostly worthless (unless edited by Rothenberg and in a few other cases). I chose this one for my poetry lit course mostly for the price of a new edition and availability of used editions, but also because it includes decent selections of Loy, Riding, Zukofsky, Oppen, Olson, Duncan, Brathwaite, Lorde, Hejinian, and Susan Howe, to go along with the predictable standards. Also, I like the prose excerpts at the back. I'd like to use something more daring, such as Revolution of the Wo Anthologies are mostly worthless (unless edited by Rothenberg and in a few other cases). I chose this one for my poetry lit course mostly for the price of a new edition and availability of used editions, but also because it includes decent selections of Loy, Riding, Zukofsky, Oppen, Olson, Duncan, Brathwaite, Lorde, Hejinian, and Susan Howe, to go along with the predictable standards. Also, I like the prose excerpts at the back. I'd like to use something more daring, such as Revolution of the Word or volume one of Poems for the Millennium, but for an intro class I'm going to ease in with this one. I tried the Oxford and other anthologies in my intro to creative writing classes, but they all seem more politically-motivated than this one--as far as the less daring, large-print run anthologies go.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Young

    I'd recommend it as a must for any poetry lover's bookshelf. It starts with a selection of Walt Whitman and traverses through many greats of English and American modern literature and is nicely balanced with postcolonial and feminist contributions as well. I found lots of poets I knew and loved (Eliot, Yeats, Thomas, cummings, Hughes, Dickinson, Plath) and found a few new ones I'd never read before and loved (Roethke, Crane, Graves). There are 2000-odd pages across two volumes and it's only about I'd recommend it as a must for any poetry lover's bookshelf. It starts with a selection of Walt Whitman and traverses through many greats of English and American modern literature and is nicely balanced with postcolonial and feminist contributions as well. I found lots of poets I knew and loved (Eliot, Yeats, Thomas, cummings, Hughes, Dickinson, Plath) and found a few new ones I'd never read before and loved (Roethke, Crane, Graves). There are 2000-odd pages across two volumes and it's only about $50-60 on Amazon. Definitely worth the investment! My favourite book purchase I've made in ages.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I'm not usually taken with Norton anthologies. They have too many footnotes and the biographical information they provide tends to be on the boring side. But I love this anthology. My only qualm with it is that it features William Carlos Williams, but does not include his poem "This is Just to Say." However, I can't think of another anthology that has both "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas and Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric." It's an excellent mix of the old and t I'm not usually taken with Norton anthologies. They have too many footnotes and the biographical information they provide tends to be on the boring side. But I love this anthology. My only qualm with it is that it features William Carlos Williams, but does not include his poem "This is Just to Say." However, I can't think of another anthology that has both "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas and Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric." It's an excellent mix of the old and the new.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Read this in English 50 taught by Professor Bill Cook. We studied: Dickinson, Whitman, Hardy, Hopkins, Yeats, Kipling, Masters, Sandburg, Millay, Stein, Cummings, Robinson, Frost, Sassoon, Rosenberg, Owen, Eberhart, Jarrell, Lawrence, Jeffers, Williams, H.D., Pound, Crane, Harper, Dunbar, Spencer, McKay, Toomer, Hughes, Cullen, Moore, Bogan, Bishop, W. Stevens, Eliot, Auden, Larkin, Roethke, Thomas, Rukeyser, Levertov, Plath, Rich, Lowell, Berryman, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Hayden, Brooks, Randal Read this in English 50 taught by Professor Bill Cook. We studied: Dickinson, Whitman, Hardy, Hopkins, Yeats, Kipling, Masters, Sandburg, Millay, Stein, Cummings, Robinson, Frost, Sassoon, Rosenberg, Owen, Eberhart, Jarrell, Lawrence, Jeffers, Williams, H.D., Pound, Crane, Harper, Dunbar, Spencer, McKay, Toomer, Hughes, Cullen, Moore, Bogan, Bishop, W. Stevens, Eliot, Auden, Larkin, Roethke, Thomas, Rukeyser, Levertov, Plath, Rich, Lowell, Berryman, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Hayden, Brooks, Randall, Baraka.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Rudder

    A good selection as far as I could tell. The footnotes are unobtrusive yet informative. I found the author biographies and introductory essays I read to be well-written and much more interesting than I'm accustomed to finding in these anthologies.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Xio

    I haven't looked that hard but the contempory poetry hasn't interested me at all. But the modern collection is good for those who are trying to travel light while retaining access to a variety of poetic voices.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    The text for 20th Century American Poetry at UR. Physically, my Volume One is not looking too well: B+ = beating up book. Volume Two wasn't discussed until the last week or two of class but I've read a number of these poets, as suggested by Tomaz. Trying to devour it during this summer.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janaree Nore

    I still have my college copy given to me by my great friend, Pam Lah. We would read these poems aloud sitting on new spring grass outside our dorm.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Third Edition by Richard Ellman (2003)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    When I was in the hospital, this was all I wanted with me. Enough said.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Done with the modern anthology, on to contemporary. Enjoyed most of both. A good selection of poetry from the most influential poets.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    This a compendium of poems from some of the greatest authours from the 20th century. Great book! Comes in a set of two books one is modern the other is contemporary.

  16. 5 out of 5

    SJ Loria

    Good stuff.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bailey

    I particularly enjoyed poems by Rich, Cummings, and Berryman.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    for class.. but ive really come to appreciate the massive amount of footnotes

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This is a really good collection of works. I have been reading the usual Great Poets and was looking for something more contemporary. This works! Right now I'm reading the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my anthology of modern poetry!! All of the great classics in one stop. Beautiful!

  21. 5 out of 5

    deven

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Davidson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Spry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Zabeth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Devereaux Library SDSM&T

  28. 4 out of 5

    teece303

  29. 4 out of 5

    Oytun

  30. 5 out of 5

    Topi

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