Cover image for Poems of New York
Poems of New York
Schmidt, Elizabeth.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [2002]

Physical Description:
256 pages ; 17 cm.
General Note:
"This is a Borzoi book."
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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PN6110.P7 N43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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New York City has always been a larger-than-life, half-mythical place, and this collection offers an appropriately stunning mosaic of its many incarnations in poetry-ranging from Walt Whitman's exuberant celebrations to contemporary poets' moving responses to the September 11 attack on the city.

All the icons of this greatest of cities swirl and flash through these pages: taxis and subways, bridges and skyscrapers, ghettos and roof gardens and fire escapes, from the South Bronx to Coney Island to Broadway to Central Park, and from Langston Hughes's Harlem to James Merrill's Upper East Side. Wallace Stevens, e. e. cummings, W. H. Auden, Dorothy Parker, Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, and Audre Lorde are just a few of the poets gathered here, alongside a host of new young voices.

Encompassing as many moods, characters, and scenes as this multifaceted, ever-changing metropolis has to offer, Poems of New York will be treasured by literary lovers of New York everywhere.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, a former poetry editor at the New York Times Book Review , is the editor of the acclaimed anthology Poems of New York and The Poets Laureate Anthology . She lives in New York City and currently teaches American literature at Sarah Lawrence College.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

From Walt Whitman's "Mannahatta" to Ted Berrigan's "Whitman in Black" and beyond to Hettie Jones's "Dust A Survival Kit, Fall 2001," Poems of New York collects poetic responses to Gotham's many facets. Selected and edited by Open City contributing editor and New York Times Book Review poetry reviewer Elizabeth Schmidt, the more than 125 poems here tend toward less familiar works from familiar names. Instead of Frank O'Hara's "A Step Away from Them" we get "Steps" ("all I want is a room up there/ and you in it") though Auden's "September 1, 1939" and Williams's famous "The Great Figure" the figure `5' glimpsed on a fire truck are here. As Schmidt notes in her introduction, "Poets who have written about New York are masters at preserving, and allowing us to cherish, moments of life in this theater of chance and change." (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



If I Should Learn by Edna St. Vincent Millay If I should learn, in some quite casual way, That you were gone, not to return again-- Read from the back-page of a paper, say, Held by a neighbor in a subway train, How at the corner of this avenue And such a street (so are the papers filled) A hurrying man--who happened to be you-- At noon to-day had happened to be killed, I should not cry aloud--I could not cry Aloud, or wring my hands in such a place-- I should but watch the station lights rush by With a more careful interest on my face, Or raise my eyes and read with greater care Where to store furs and how to treat the hair. Excerpted from Poems of New York All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Mannahatta Broadway
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Herman Melville (1819-1891)
The House-Top: A Night Piece
Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
The Taxi Anticipation
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Arrival at the Waldorf
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
The Great Figure
Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
Union Square Broadway
Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
New York
Claude Mckay (1889-1948)
The Tropics in New York The City's Love A Song of the Moon
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
Recuerdo 'If I should learn'
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)
"Taxis toot whirl people moving"
Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976)
"Walk about the subway station"
Federico GarcÍa Lorca (1898-1936)
Hart Crane (1899-1933)
To Brooklyn Bridge The Harbor Dawn The Tunnel
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
The Weary Blues Good Morning Harlem Juke Box Love Song Subway Rush Hour
Helene Johnson (1906-1995)
The Street to the Establishment
W. H. Auden (1907-1973)
Refugee Blues September 1, 1939
George Oppen (1908-1984)
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)
The Man-Moth Letter to N.Y.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)
Seventh Avenue
May swenson (1913-1989)
Staying at Ed's Place At the Museum of Modern Art
Karl Shapiro (1913-2000)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919- )
"The Pennycandystore beyond the El"
Amy Clampitt (1920-1994)
Dancers Exercising
Grace Paley (1922- )
The Nature of This City Fear On Mother's Day
Howard Moss (1922-1987)
The Building The Roof Garden
Denise Levertov (1923-1997)
The Cabdriver's Smile
James Schuyler (1923-1991)
This Dark Apartment An East Window on Elizabeth Street March Here
Wislawa Szymborska (1923- )
Photograph from September 11
Kenneth Koch (1925- )
Girl and Baby Florist Sidewalk Pram Nineteen Seventy Something
Gerald Stern (1925- )
96 Vandam Let Me Please Look Into My Window
Frank O'Hara (1926-1966)
Steps Gamin
James Merrill (1926-1995)
An Urban Convalescence 164 East 72nd Street
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
I am a Victim of Telephone My Sad Self
W. S. Merwin (1927- )
St. Vincent's
Galway Kinnell (1927- )
Room of Return Running on Silk
John Ashbery (1927- )
A Sendentary Existence So Many Lives
Charles Tomlinson (1927- )
All Afternoon
Philip Levine (1928- )
Get Up
Richard Howard (1929- )
209 Canal Among the Missing
L. E. Sissman (1929-1976)
Tears at Korvette's Visiting Chaos
Adrienne Rich (1929- )
Upper Broadway
Gregory Corso (1930-2001)
Eastside Incidents The Whole Mess . . . Almost
Derek Walcott (1930- )
The Bridge
Amiri Baraka (1934- )