Cover image for Americans' favorite poems : the Favorite Poem Project anthology
Americans' favorite poems : the Favorite Poem Project anthology
Pinsky, Robert.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2000]

Physical Description:
xix, 327 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6101 .A46 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The selections in this anthology were chosen form the personal letters of thousands of Americans who responded to Robert Pinsky's invitation to write to him about their favorite poems. Some poems are memories treasured in the mind since childhood; some crystallize the passion of love or recall the trail of loss and sorrow. The poems and poets in this anthology--from Sappho to Lorca, from Shakespeare and Chaucer to Gwendolyn Brooks, Louise Bluck, and Allen Ginsberg--are poems to be read aloud and memorized, poems to be celebrated as part of our nation's cultural inheritance. Accompanying the poems are comments by people who speak not as professional critics but as passionate readers of various ages, professions and regions. This anthology, in a manner unlike any other, discloses the rich and vigorous presence of poetry in American life at the millennium and provides a portrait of the United States through the lens of poetry.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Poet laureate Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project was a stroke of genius. Americans were invited to share by letter a poem they treasured; then many were recorded reading their chosen poems for inclusion in a national video and audio archive. The response was tremendous, and as Pinsky notes, many of the matches between reader and poem defy stereotypes, and all attest to the vital role that poetry plays in more lives than seems possible in a country that appears to pay scant attention to this quiet art form. Here each poem is introduced in extraordinarily moving personal disclosures by the reader who chose it. Teenagers and octogenarians, a social worker, a farmer, a nurse, a truck driver, a commodities trader, a librarian, a judge, and an alcoholic who memorizes poetry to test her sobriety selected poems by Lucille Clifton, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Haki R. Madhubuti, W. S. Merwin, Sylvia Plath, and Dylan Thomas. No one person, however well read, could have created this resounding collection, which may well become a favorite in its own right. --Donna Seaman

Table of Contents

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)A. R. Ammons (B. 1926)Archilochos (Seventh Century B.C.E.)Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)John Ashbery (B. 1927)Margaret Atwood (B. 1939)Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) (B. 1934)Black Elk (1863-1950)Eavan Boland (B. 1944)Rupert Brooke (1886-1915)Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)Robert Browning (1812-1889)Julia De Burgos (1914-1953)Robert Burns (1759-1796)George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)Willa Cather (1876-1947)Catullus (84-54 B.C.E.)C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933)Paul Celan (1920-1970)Geoffrey Chaucer (CA. 1342-1400)Sandra Cisneros (B. 1954)Lucille Clifton (B. 1936)Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)Countee Cullen (1903-1946)E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)Robert Desnos (1900-1945)James Dickey (1923-1997)Mark Doty (B. 1953)Rita Dove (B. 1952)Michael Drayton (1563-1631)Alan Dugan (B. 1923)Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906)Hussein Elhami (Twentieth Century)Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)Louise Gluck (B. 1943)Thom Gunn (B. 1929)Donald Hall (B. 1928)Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)Robert Hass (B. 1941)Seamus Heaney (B. 1939)William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)Zbigniew Herbert (B. 1924)Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963)Hugo Von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929)Homer (Mid Ninth Century B.C.E)A. E. Housman (1859-1936)Richard Hugo (1923-1982)Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)James Joyce (1882-1941)Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)Galway Kinnell (B. 1927)Yusef Komunyakaa (B. 1947)Stanley Kunitz (B. 1905)Lao Tzu (Ca. Fourth to Third Centuries B.C.E)D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)Denise Levertov (1923-1997)Philip Levine (B. 1928)Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)Amy Lowell (1874-1925)James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)Robert Lowell (1917-1977)Haki R. Madhubuti (B. 1942)Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)Herman Melville (1819-1891)W. S. Merwin (B. 1927)A. A. Milne (1882-1956)Czeslaw Milosz (B. 1911)John Milton (1608-1674)William Vaughn Moody (1869-1910)Thomas Moore (1779-1852)Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)Jacob Nibenegenasabe (1900-1977)Frank O'Hara (1926-1966)Mary Oliver (B. 1953)Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)Pham Tien Duat (B. 1941)Carl Phillips (B. 1959)Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962)Alexander Pope (1688-1744)Ezra Pound (1885-1972)Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)Francisco de Quevedo (1580-1645)Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)Henry Reed (1914-1986)Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)Yannis Ritsos (1909-1990)Jalal Al-Din Rumi (1207-1273)Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)Sappho (612 B.C.E.)George Seferis (1900-1971)Stevie Smith (1902-1971)William Stafford (B. 1914)Mark Strand (B. 1934)Wislawa Szymborska (B. 1923)Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)Ernest Lawrence Thayer (1863-1940)Chidiock Tichborne (CA. 1558-1586)Derek Walcott (B. 1930)Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989)Richard Wilbur (B. 1921)C. K. Williams (B. 1936)Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639)James Wright (1927-1980)Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)Sone No Yoshitada (Late Tenth Century)Adam Zagajewski (B. 1945)Zawgee (1907-1990)
Introductionp. 3
The Sentencep. 5
Mansionp. 6
Will, lost in a sea of troublep. 8
Dover Beachp. 9
The Improvementp. 11
Variation on the Word Sleepp. 12
In Memory of W. B. Yeats
Refugee Blues
Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Notep. 18
One Art
At the Fishhouses
Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circlep. 23
The Ecchoing Green
The Little Black Boy
The Emigrant Irishp. 27
Before the Birth of one of her Children
To my Dear and loving Husband
The Soldierp. 30
We Real Cool
The Bean Eaters
Sonnet 43 (How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.p. 33
My Last Duchessp. 34
Ay, Ay, Ay of the Kinky-Haired Negressp. 36
Address to a Haggisp. 38
She Walks in Beauty from Manfredp. 40
Jabberwockyp. 44
Grandmither, Think Not I Forgetp. 46
31p. 48
The Cityp. 49
from Zeitgehoftp. 50
from The General Prologue to The Canterbury Talesp. 51
You Called Me Corazonp. 52
The Lost Baby Poemp. 53
from The Rime of the Ancient Marinerp. 54
Proem: To Brooklyn Bridge
Voyages (III)
The Rain
I Know a Man
Yet Do I Marvelp. 63
I sing of Olaf glad and bigp. 64
Last Poemp. 66
The Beep. 67
I'm Nobody! Who are you? (288)
I never saw a Moor--(1052)
A little Madness in the Spring (1333)
"Hope" is the thing with Feathers--(254)
A Bird came down the Walk--(328)
The Flea
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
The Embracep. 77
Daystarp. 78
Since ther's no helpe, Come let us kisse and part (10)p. 80
Love Song: I And Thoup. 81
We Wear the Maskp. 82
A Lyric in Exilep. 83
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Dry Salvages (II)
The Rhodorap. 91
The Road Not Taken
Acquainted with the Night
A Hillside Thaw
"Out, Out--"
The Terms in Which I Think of Realityp. 99
The Queen of Carthagep. 101
Baby Songp. 102
Names of Horsesp. 103
The Darkling Thrushp. 105
Meditation at Lagunitasp. 107
Those Winter Sundays
Monet's "Waterlilies"
Mid-Term Breakp. 112
Invictusp. 114
The pebblep. 118
Things I Didn't Know I Lovedp. 119
Do you see the town?p. 123
from the Iliad (Book Six, lines 439-79)p. 124
God's Grandeur
Pied Beauty
The Windhover
Diffugere Nivesp. 129
Minstrel Man
Mother to Son
Driving Montanap. 134
Next Day
The Purse-Seinep. 140
The Creationp. 142
Song To Celia
On My First Son
Ecce Puerp. 148
Ode to a Nightingale
Sonnet VII (O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell)
This Living Hand
Otherwisep. 153
St. Francis and the Sowp. 154
Facing Itp. 156
Hornworm: Autumn Lamentationp. 157
from Tao te Chingp. 159
Snakep. 160
The New Colossusp. 163
Come into Animal Presencep. 164
You Can Have Itp. 166
A Psalm of Lifep. 168
The Moon Sails Out
Song of the Barren Orange Tree
Patternsp. 173
The First Snow-Fallp. 177
Waking in the Bluep. 179
Big Mommap. 181
To His Coy Mistressp. 183
Artp. 185
Strawberriesp. 186
Sonnet XXIV (When you, that at this moment are to me)
Dirge Without Music
Happinessp. 189
On Pilgrimagep. 190
Lycidasp. 191
Harmonicsp. 196
I May, I Might, I Must
The Time I've Lost in Wooingp. 199
Ode to My Socksp. 200
Quiet Until the Thawp. 203
A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Islandp. 204
The Summer Dayp. 207
Dulce et Decorum Estp. 208
To Return to the Urges Unconscious of Their Beginningsp. 210
Luncheon on the Grassp. 211
The Night Dances
Lady Lazarus
Polly's Tree
Cancer and Novap. 219
from Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnotp. 220
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letterp. 222
I loved youp. 224
Love Constant Beyond Deathp. 225
The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherdp. 226
Naming of Partsp. 227
To the Days
Prospective Immigrants Please Note
Entrancep. 231
Romancep. 232
Our Landp. 234
Eros Turannos
Mr. Flood's Party
My Papa's Waltz
Night Journey
The Waking
Who Says Words with My Mouthp. 243
Chicagop. 244
Equal to the godsp. 246
An Old Man on the River Bankp. 247
Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?)
Sonnet 29 (When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes)
Sonnet 138 (When my love swears that she is made of truth)
Not Waving But Drowningp. 252
Scarsp. 253
The Idea of Order at Key West
The Snow Man
Tea at the Palaz of Hoon
Girl in a Nightgown
Block City
Home No More Home to Me, Whither Must I Wander?
Pot Roastp. 261
Notes from a Nonexistent Himalayan Expeditionp. 263
Giftp. 265
Ulyssesp. 267
Casey at the Batp. 270
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
In My Craft or Sullen Art
Fern Hill
Tichborne's Elegyp. 277
A Far Cry from Africap. 278
Arizona Midnightp. 280
An Old Man's Thought of School
from Song of the Open Road (1, 4, and 8)
To a Certain Cantatrice
from Song of Myself (46 and 52)
Love Calls Us to the Things of This Worldp. 287
My Flyp. 289
To Elsie
Danse Busse
from The Prelude (Book IV, lines 354-70)
Lines (Tintern Abbey)
On a Bank As I Sat Fishingp. 301
A Blessingp. 302
Forget Not Yetp. 303
When You Are Old
Sailing to Byzantium
The lower leaves of the treesp. 307
To Go to Lvovp. 308
The Way of the Water-Hyacinthp. 311
Permissionsp. 313
Indexp. 321