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The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry


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This major anthology includes all of the major American poets--Anne Bradstreet, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Adrienne Rich--but also a broad sampling from voices that have not been widely heard--Native Americans, African Americans, women.

Table of Contents

IntroductionAnne Bradstreet (1612-1672) Contemplations Before the Birth of One of her Children To my Dear and Loving Husband The Author to Her Book In Memory of my Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet On my Dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet Her Follow some Verses upon the Burning of our House As Wear PilgrimMichael Wigglesworth (1631-1705) From the Day of DoomEdward Taylor (1642? - 1729) Let by Rain The Reflexion Meditation 8 (first series) ("I kenning through astronomy divine") Meditation 150 (second series) ("My Blessed Lord, how doth thy beautious spouse") Upon a Spider Catching a Fly Huswifery Upon Wedlock, and Death of ChildrenPhilip Freneau (1752-1832) On the Emigration to America The Wild Honey Suckle The Indian Burying Ground On Mr. Paine's Rights of Man To an Author On Observing a Large Red-Streak ApplePhillis Wheatley (1753-1784) On Being Brought from Africa to America On the Death of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield Thoughts on the Works of Providence To S.M., a young African Painter, On Seeing his WorksJoel Barlow (1754-1812) Advice to a Raven in RussiaRichard Henry Wilde (1789-1847) The Lament of the CaptiveLydia Huntley Sigourney (1791-1865) Indian Names The Stars To the First Slave ShipWilliam Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) To Cole, the Painter, Departing from Europe A Winter Piece The Prairies Thanatopsis To a Waterfowl The African ChiefJames Gates Percival (1795-1856) The Coral GroveLydia Maria Child (1802-1880) The New England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving DaySarah Helen Whitman (1803-1878) The Morning-Glory A November LandscapeRalph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Each and All Sea Shore Ode ("Though loath to grieve") Give all to Love Thine Eyes Still Shined Concord Hymn Brahma From the River DaysElizabeth Oakes-Smith (1806-1893) Ode to SapphoJohn Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) To my old Schoolmaster Telling the Bees Barbara Frietchie Snow-BoundHenry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) From The Song of Hiawatha (Introduction) Mezzo Cammin The Jewish Cemetery at Newport The Cross of Snow Seaweed Afternoon in February The Arrow and the Song Paul Revere's RideLucretia Davidson (1808-1825) AmericaOliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) The Chambered NautilusEdgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) To Helen The City in the Sea Sonnet-Silence The Raven El Dorado For Annie Annabel LeeFrances Sargent Osgood (1811-1850) Woman Ellen Learning to Walk Ah! Woman StillChristopher Pearse Cranch (1813-1892) Cnosis The Pines and the SeaJones Very (1817-1862) The Columbine I was sick and in Prison The Lament of the Flowers Nature The Sumach LeavesHenry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Inspiration I am a Parcel of Vain Strivings Tied Light-Winged Smoke, Icarian Bird Within the Circuit of this Plodding LifeWilliam Ellery Channing (1818-1901) From a Poet's HopeJames Russell Lowell (1819-1891) To the DandelionWalt Whitman (1819-1892) One's Self I Sing From Song of Myself I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing As Adam early in the Morning Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night The Wound-Dresser When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd A Noiseless Patient SpiderJulia Ward Howe (1819-1910) The Portent The March Into Virginia A Utalitarian View of the Monitor's Fight Shiloh Malvern Hill The Martyr The Maldive Shark The Berg ArtAlice Cary (1820-1871) The Sea-Side CaveFrederick Goddard Tuckerman (1821-1873) Sonnet ("The starry flower, the flower-like stars that fade") Sonnet ("And so, as this great sphere") The QuestionFrances E.W. Harper (1825-1911) The Slave Auction Bury Me in a Free Land The Slave MotherHenry Timrod (1828-1867) Charleston Ode ("Sleep Sweetly in your Humble Graves")Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) "Success is Counted Sweetest" "A Wounded deer leaps highest" "I felt a funderal in my brain" "There's a certain slant of light" "I can wade grief" "Pain has an element of blank" "A bird came down the walk" "He fumbles at your spirit" "I heard a fly buzz when I died" "I started early, took my dog" "Because I could not stop for death" "A narrow fellow in the grass" "The last night that she lived" "My life closed twice before its close" "Tell all the truth but tell it slant"Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) My Lighthouses Poppies on the WheatSidney Lanier (1842-1881) Song of the Chattahoochee A Ballad of Trees and the Master CloverSarah Orne Jewett (1849-1887) At Home from Church A Country Boy in Winter A Caged BirdEmma Lazarus (1849-1887) The New Ezekiel SouthLouise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920) The Wild Ride When on the Marge of EveningEdgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) The Hill Petit, the Poet The Lost OrchardEdwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) John Evereldown Richard Cory Miniver Cheevy Mr. Flood's PartyStephen Crane (1871-1900) From The Black Riders (In the Desert)James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) Oh Black and Unknown BardsPaul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) A Negro Love Song Ere SLeep Comes Down to Sooth the Weary Eyes Ships that Pass in the Night Lover's Lane The Debt The Haunted OakTrumbull Stickney (1874-1904) Age in Youth Pity Requiescam Quiet after the Rain of Morning In the Past In Ampezzo The DepartureAmy Lowell (1874-1925) Meeting-House Hill Music ChinoiseriesRobert Frost (1874-1963) Storm fear Mowing Home Burial The Wood-Pile Fire and Ice Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Nothing Gold Can Stay Spring Pools Design The Gift Outright The Silken Tent "Out, Out-" The Subverted Flower DirectiveCarl Sandburg (1878-1967) The Harbour Chicago Languages Bas-Relief Cool Tombs GrassVachel Lindsay (1879-1931) General William Booth Entern into HeavenWallace Stevens (1879-1955) The Snow Man Nomad Exquisite Of Modern Poetry Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Sunday Morning Ancedote of A Jar The Idea of Order at Key West From Notes Toward A Supreme Fiction (it must be abstract) To an Old Philosopher in Rome Final Soliloquy of the Interior ParamourWilliam Carlos Williams (1883-1963) Woman Walking It is a Small Plant To a Poor Old Woman The Sadness of the Sea Spring and all The Red Wheelbarrow The Young Housewife To Ford Madox Ford in Heaven Mists over the River From Paterson (The Falls)Sarah Teasdale (1884-1933) Open Windows Over the RoofsEzra Pound (1885-1972) Sestma: Altaforte The Virginal The Return The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter A Pact In a Station of the Metro From Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1: "The tea-rose tea-grown, etc.") (2: "These fought in any way") Canto I ("And then went down to the ship") Canto XLV ("With Usura")"H.D." (Hilda Doolittle) (1886-1961) Pear Tree Oread At Ithaca The Shrine Helen At BaiaRobinson Jeffers (1887-1962) To the Stone-Cutters Night Shine, Perishing Republic Hurt Hawks Rock and Hawk But I am Growing Old and IndolentElinor Wylie (1887-1928) Wild Peaches Let no Chantable Hope Malediction Upon Myself CastilianMarianne Moore (1887-1972) The Fish Poetry Marriage The Steeple-Jack In Distrust of Merits When I Buy PicturesJohn Crowe Ransom (1888-1974) Bells for John Ehiteside's Daughter Piazza Piece Blue Girls Janet WakingT.S. Eliot (1888-1965) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Gerontion The Waste LandConrad Aiken (1889-1973) Dear Uncle Stranger Hatteras Calling SolitaireClaude McKay (1890-1948) The Lynching If We Must Die Harlem ShadowsArchibald MacLeish (1892-1983) Ars Poetica You, Andrew MarvellEdna St.Vincent Millay (1892-1950) Renascence From: Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree (1:"So she came back into his house again") The Buck in the Snow From: Fatal Interview (36: "Hearing a word, and not a word among them") Ragged IslandCharles Reznikoff (1894-1976) From: TestimonyJean Toomer (1894-1967) Reapers November Cotton Flowere.e.cummings (1894-1962) "you shall above all things be glad and young" "anyone lived in a pretty how town" "i sing of Okaf glad and big" "my father moved through dooms of love"Louise Bogan (1897-1970) Winter Swan Men Loved Wholly beyond Wisdom M., SingingMelvin Beanearus Tolson (1898-1966) African China Dark SymphonyHart Crane (1899-1932) Repose of Rivers Voyages From: The Bridge (To Brooklyn Bridge) To Emily Dickinson Ther Broken TowerLeonie Adams (1899-1988) Lght at Equinox April MortallityAllen Tate (1899-1979) Ode to the Confederate Dead Mr. PopeYvor Winters (1900-1968) Summer Noon: 1941 The Slow Pacific SwellLaura Riding Jackson (1901-1991) Prisms Helen's Burning All Things he World and I Nothing so FarGwendolyn B. Bennett (1902-1981) To a Dark Girl Heritage HatredLangston Hughes (1902-1967) The Weary Blues The Negro Speaks of Rivers Jazzonia Cross Po' Boy Blues Esthete in Harlem As I grew Older Theme for English BArna Bontemps (1902-1973) A Black Man Talks Reaping Nocturne of the Wharves Blight God Give to MenCountee Cullen (1903-1946) Heritage From the Dark Tower Timed LoverLous Zukofsky (1904-1978) "A"-11 ("River that must turn full after I stop dying")Richard Eberhart (1904-) For a Lamb Ther Fury of Aerial Bombardment A Loon CallStanley Kunitz (1905-) The Science of the Night The Snakes of SeptemberRobert Penn Warren (1905-1989) Bearded Oaks Blow, West Wind Evenig Hawk Heart of Autumn Amazing Grace in the BAck Country What Voice at Moth-Hour Vermont Ballad: Change of SeasonTheodore Roethke (1908-1963) Cuttings ("Sticks-in-a-drowse droop over sugary loam") Cuttings (Later) ("This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks") Root Cellar Orchids Big Wind My Papa's Waltz Elegy for Jane The Far FieldCharles Olson (1910-1970) From: The Maximus Poems, Book III (Poem 143: The Festival Apect)Josephine Miles (1911-1985) Belief Conception AlbumElizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) Seascape A Cold Spring The Map Little Exercise In the Waiting Room The Armadillo Questions of TravelMuriel Rukeyser (1912-1980) Iris Then I Saw What the Calling WasRobert Hayden (1913-1980) Night, Death, Mississippi A Road in Kentucky Those Winter Sundays Middle PassageDelmore Schwartz (1913-1966) The Heavy Bear Who Goes With MeWilliam Stafford (1914-1993) Traveling through the Dark The Rescued Year At the Bomb Testing SiteJohn Berryman (1914-1972) From: Homage to Mistress Bradstreet From: The Dream Songs (1. "Huffy Henry hid the day") (4. "Filling her compact and delicious body') (5. "Henry sats in de bar & was odd") (14. "Life, friends, is boring") Henry's FateRandall Jarell (1914-1965) The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner The Knight, Death, and the Devil The Woman at the Washington ZooRobert Lowell (1917-1977) The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket Mr. Edwards and the Spider Grandparents Man and Wife Skunk Hour For the Union Dead HistoryGwendolyn Brooks (1917- ) Negro Hero Notes from the Childhood and the Girlhood Jessie Mitchell's Mother Of Robert Frost Langston HughesRobert Duncan (1919-1988) Often I Am Permitted to Return to Meadow Passage over WaterHoward Nemerov (1920-1991) Blue Suburban The Western Approaches The War in the AirAmy Clampitt (1920-1994) A Baroque SunburstMona Van Duyn (1921- ) Moose in the Morning. Northern MaineRichard Wilbur (1921- ) A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra Still, Citizen Sparrow Love Calls Us to the Things of this World MindJames Dickey (1923- ) The Heaven of Animals The Dusk of Horses Cherrylog RoadAnthony Hecht (1923- ) Jason The Gardens of the Villa D'EsteGalway Kinnell (1927- ) The Bear After Making Love We Hear footstepsJames Wright (1927-1980) Sparrwos in a Hillside Drift Milkweed Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio Lying in a Hammock at Wiliam Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota Beginning Anne Sexton (1928-1974) Music Swims Back to Me The Truth the Dead Know The Starry Night Wanting to DiePeter Davison (1928- ) Cross CutPhilip Levine (1928- ) Animals Are Passing From Our Lives Angel Butcher Later Still Bell Isle, 1949 Snow BeliefJohn Hollander (1929- ) The Great Bear Morning in the Islands The Mad PotterRobert Pack (1929- ) The Trasher in the Willow by the Lake Proton DecayAdrienne Rich (1929- ) Aunt Jennifer's Tigers In the Evening Diving into the Wreck Power Integrity Tattered KaddishGary Snyder (1930- ) Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout Axel Handles The Snow on Saddle MountainSylvia Plath (1932-1963) Morning Song Dadd Fever 103" AnelAnne Stevenson (1933- ) The Spirit Is Too Blunt an Instrument In the OrchardImamu Amiri Baraka (1934 - ) Return of the Native LegacyMark Strand (1934- ) The Kite The Garden Shooting WhalesN.Scoot Momaday (1934-1992) Carners of the Dream Whell Winter Holding odf the Coast of North AmericaAudre Lorde (1935- ) The Night-blooming JasmineMary Oliver (1935- ) Some Questios You Might Ask When Death ComesCharles Wright (1935- ) Virgo Descending Snow Stone Canyon Nocturne Sitting at Night on the Front Porch Porstriat of the Artist with La Po California SpringNancy Williard (1936- ) Angels in WinterCharles Simic (1838- ) Fork Against Whatever It is That's Encroaching Ancient Autumn Clouds GatheringRobert Pinsky (1940- ) First Early Mornings Together Serpent Knowledge The Questions ShirtErica Jong (1941- ) The Buddha in the WombRobert Hass (1941- ) Meditation at LagunitasSimon J. Ortiz (1941- ) The Creation: According to Coyote The Serenity in StonesDave Smith (1942- ) The Roundhouse Voices August, on the Rented FarmMarilyn Hacker (1942- ) Rondeau after a Transatlantic Telephone CallJames Tate (1942- ) The Lost PilotLouise Glueck (1943- ) The Pond The School Children Messengers Mount Ararat The Wild IrisAcknowledgments Index of Authors Index of Titles and First Lines

About the Author

JAY PARINI is Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College. A former Guggenheim Fellow and Visiting Fellow at Christ Church College, Oxford, Parini has written three volumes of poetry, four novels, a critical evaluation of Theodore Roethke's work, and a biography of John Steinbeck. He has written for The Columbia Literary History of the United States, and edited Gore Vidal: A Retrospective and The Columbia History of American Poetry, all published by Columbia University Press.


The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry interrogates the poetic tradition of the United States and dismantles it in a manner that encourages readers to reassemble that tradition in new and provocative ways. New York Times Book Review An essential volume that shows how poetry intersects with our lives and vice versa. Library Journal

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