Cover image for The poetry anthology, 1912-2002 : ninety years of America's most distinguished verse magazine
The poetry anthology, 1912-2002 : ninety years of America's most distinguished verse magazine
Parisi, Joseph, 1944-
Publication Information:
Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, [2002]

Physical Description:
lv, 509 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Uniform Title:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS613 .P643 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"The history of poetry and of Poetry in America are almost interchangeable, certainly inseparable," wrote A. R. Ammons. Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine established its reputation immediately by printing T. S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," Carl Sandburg's "Chicago Poems," Wallace Stevens's "Sunday Morning," and the first important poems of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and many other then unknown, now classic authors. Publishing monthly without interruption, Poetry has become America's most distinguished magazine of verse, presenting, often for the very first time, virtually every notable poet of the last nine decades--an unprecedented record. Decade by decade, this bountiful ninetieth-anniversary anthology from Poetry includes the poems of the major talents--along with several lesser known--in all their variety: William Butler Yeats, Edgar Lee Masters, Sara Teasdale, D. H. Lawrence, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Vachel Lindsay, Robert Graves, May Sarton, Langston Hughes, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Hart Crane, Robert Penn Warren, Dylan Thomas, e. e. cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Merrill, John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Robinson Jeffers, Theodore Roethke, Karl Shapiro, Anne Sexton, Thom Gunn, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Maxine Kumin, Ted Hughes, Adrienne Rich, and Galway Kinnell. In recent decades, Poetry has presented Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Kay Ryan, Eavan Boland, Stephen Dunn, Mary Oliver, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jane Kenyon, James Tate, Sharon Olds, Louise Gl ck, Marilyn Hacker, and many, many others. T. S. Eliot called Poetry "an American institution." The Poetry Anthology is sure to be an American keepsake.

Author Notes

Joseph Parisi joined Poetry in 1976 and served as its tenth editor from 1983-2003. Among his books are Marianne Moore: The Art of a Modernist and, with Stephen Young, Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, and is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Mr. Parisi has also edited a definitive modern poetry collection, 100 Essential Modern Poems published with Ivan R. Dee in 2005. Stephen Young, former senior editor of Poetry, is program director of the Poetry Foundation. He was educated at Dartmouth and joined the magazine in 1988. Messrs. Parisi and Young live in Chicago.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Poetry is marking its ninetieth anniversary with the release of Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters (see p.378), and this comprehensive and thrilling anthology, a veritable history of twentieth-century poetry in English. As Poetry's current editor-in-chief Parisi observes in his vibrant introduction, the magazine's founder, Harriet Monroe, established an "open door" policy that netted the often financially imperiled and controversial but always vital magazine such revolutionary and lasting works as T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock" and the highly unorthodox poems of then obscure Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound, Williams Carlos Williams, H.D., Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens. In recounting the magazine's extraordinary history of aesthetic valor and improvised survival tactics, Parisi doesn'st claim that all 29,000-plus poems by 4,725 authors published in 1,080 issues of Poetry were memorable, but he and coeditor Young still had to make hundreds of tough decisions to arrive at the more than 600 sterling poems collected here, poems by an array of poets past and living that include W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, James Merrill, Lisel Mueller, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Susan Hahn, that cover a grand spectrum of emotions, outlooks, and literary creativity. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

While the above collection wisely confines itself to the first 50 of Poetry's ninety years, this anthology tries to take in the whole sweep of the magazine's existence, and ends up playing down its most important early years at the expense of its much less illustrious recent ones. Of the 487 pages of verse here, 94 are devoted to the period 1912-1936, or the term of Harriet Monroe's founding editorship. Readers looking for the entire set of Stevens "Pecksniffiana" poems will find some, but not all of them. T.S. Eliot's print debut, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is here, but Pound's Cantos are not (though "In a Station of the Metro" is). These authors are heavily anthologized though, and what proves most interesting are the years between Moeroe and current editor Joseph Parisi's tenures, particularly the '60s editorship of Henry Rago: Ashbery, Baraka (then Jones), Betjeman, Creeley, Hollander, Lowell, Plath, Rich, Snyder, can be found together, and one suspects the work printed during the period went even further out than represented here. Parisi's introduction includes a short bio of Harriet Monroe (calling her "the aging entrepreneur" as she starts the magazine at 51) and points to a perceived lack of "authentic avant-gardes" as a reason for the magazine's recent reactionary emphasis on traditional verse-craft. Nearly 40% of the poems here come from Parisi's watch, and some are excellent. But they fail to represent the explosive range and variety of poetry in English from the last quarter century. (Oct. 25) Forecast: Poetry magazine currently gets 90,000 submissions a year from all over the world. If even a fraction of those sending in their own work seek out this volume, sales should be notable. Given the lack of a scholarly basis for the selections, campus use may be slight, but expect consistent bookseller sales after a big bump at pub. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Individual voices, fresh perspectives, interesting ideas, verbal panache, striking imagery, and perceptive metaphors: these are the qualities editors Parisi and Young look for when choosing work for Poetry, America's most influential poetry magazine. Here, they've collected 600 poems that best mirror the magazine's standards. A Who's Who of American verse, this landmark collection is arranged in chronological order, opening with a poem by Ezra Pound, adviser to founding editor Harriet Monroe, and closing with one by major 20th-century poet W.S. Merwin. Both poems ably comment on the collection. There's groundbreaking work, which first appeared in Poetry and later became part of the canon (e.g., Wallace Stevens's "Sunday Morning"), as well as work by lesser-known poets (e.g., William Dickey's "The Poet's Farewell to His Teeth"). Readers will also find surprises like Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" from 1913, which has a poetic echo in Tom Disch's "Poems" for Joyce Kilmer from 1978. Including both formal and free verse, these poems range from Chris Wallace-Crabbe's philosophical "The Dead Cartesian" to Billy Collins's playful "Marginalia," which ends "Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love"-a final line suggesting that like the editors, Collins knows a poem when he finds one. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.