Cover image for Poems for America : 125 poems that celebrate the American experience
Poems for America : 125 poems that celebrate the American experience
Ciuraru, Carmela.
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner Poetry, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 231 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS595.U5 P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS595.U5 P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS595.U5 P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS595.U5 P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS595.U5 P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS595.U5 P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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An inspiring anthology that celebrates our nation with more than one hundred of the greatest poems ever written about the landscapes, institutions, and transforming events of America. This remarkable volume commemorates our country's struggles and triumphs with poems chronicling the American experience in all its vastness, from the late seventeenth century through the present day. Alongside poems about New York, Florida, and California are descriptions of railroads, amusement parks, hotels, and road trips; scenes of rural and western life; vivid descriptions of our grandest cities; and poems that illuminate the complexity of the most shameful chapters in U.S. history, such as slavery and the oppression of Native Americans. Taken together, these poems -- whether voices of celebration or dissent -- honor the astonishing and enduring spirit of our nation. Here are classics such as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," and "Paul Revere's Ride"; works by American masters, including Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, and Elizabeth Bishop; and lesser-known gems by important American writers, such as Ernest Hemingway's "I Like Americans" and Henry David Thoreau's "Our Country." Also featured are poems by contemporary talents, including Richard Wilbur, Philip Levine, Adrienne Rich, Yusef Komunyakaa, Rita Dove, and Sherman Alexie. A timeless volume that traces the history of the United States through verse, Poems for America is essential for poetry lovers and for anyone who appreciates the rich and fascinating story of our nation.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A chronological tour from Bradstreet, Freneau and Wheatley to Sherman Alexie, Barbara Kingsolver and Elizabeth Alexander, Poems for America: 125 Poems That Celebrate the American Experience hits many of the highs and lows of American life, from the expected ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to the happily surprising (Ishmael Reed's "black power poem"). Editor Carmela Ciuraru invokes her first-generation heritage in the preface, noting that "For me, patriotism resonates most deeply when I consider the American art and music and literature so essential to my enjoyment of life." (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Carmela CiuraruAnne Bradstreet (c. 1612-1672)Philip Freneau (1752-1832)Phillis Wheatley (c.1753-1784)Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791-1865)William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)George Moses Horton (c.1797-c.1883)Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895)Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)Jones Very (1813-1880)Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)Walt Whitman (1819-1892)Herman Melville (1819-1891)James Monroe Whitfield (1822-1871)Frances E. W. Harper (1825-1911)Henry Timrod (1828-1867)Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)Frank Bird Linderman (1869-1938)Stephen Crane (1871-1900)Amy Lowell (1874-1925)Arthur Chapman (1874-1935)Robert Frost (1874-1963)Alice Moore Dunbar Nelson (1875-1935)Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)Badger Clark Jr. (1883-1957)William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)Marianne Moore (1887-1972)T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)Claude McKay (1890-1948)John Peale Bishop (1892-1944)Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)Genevieve Taggard (1894-1948)H. L. Davis (1894-1960)e. e. cummings (1894-1962)Hart Crane (1899-1932)Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)Yvor Winters (1900-1968)Langston Hughes (1902-1967)Helene Johnson (1907-1995)George Oppen (1908-1984)Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)Josephine Miles (1911-1985)Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)John Berryman (1914-1972)Margaret Walker (1915-1998)Robert Lowell (1917-1977)Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)May Swenson (1919-1989)Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-)Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)Hayden Carruth (1921-)Marie Ponsot (1921-)Richard Wilbur (1921-)James Schuyler (1923-1991)Bob Kaufman (1925-1986)Frank O'Hara (1926-1966)Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)A. R. Ammons (1926-2001)Robert Bly (1926-)Anne Sexton (1928-1974)Donald Hall (1928-)Philip Levine (1928-)Adrienne Rich (1929-)Gary Snyder (1930-)Audre Lorde (1934-1992)Sonia Sanchez (1935-)Charles Wright (1935-)Lucille Clifton (1936-)Ishmael Reed (1938-)Michael Dennis Browne (1940-)William Matthews (1942-1997)Nikki Giovanni (1943-)Wanda Coleman (1946-)Minnie Bruce Pratt (1946-)Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)Reginald Gibbons (1947-)Yusef Komunyakaa (1947-)Heather McHugh (1948-)Julia Alvarez (1950-)Sapphire (1950-)John Yau (1950-)Robin Becker (1951-)Rita Dove (1952-)Ray Gonzalez (1952-)Mark Doty (1953-)Dave Alvin (1955-)Kimiko Hahn (1955-)Barbara Kingsolver (1955-)David Woo (1959-)Elizabeth Alexander (1962-)Campbell McGrath (1962-)Sherman Alexie (1966-)Edward Sanders (1939-)
Introductionp. 1
"Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666. Copied Out of a Loose Paper"p. 5
"The Indian Burying Ground"p. 7
"To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for North America, &c."p. 9
"To a Lady on Her Remarkable Preservation in an Hurricane in North Carolina"p. 11
"The Indian's Welcome to the Pilgrim Fathers"p. 13
Excerpt, "The Prairies"p. 15
"On Liberty and Slavery"p. 17
"The New-England Boy's Song About Thanksgiving Day"p. 19
"Concord Hymn"p. 22
"Boston Hymn"p. 23
"Paul Revere's Ride"p. 27
"Barbara Frietchie"p. 32
"America"p. 35
"Old Ironsides"p. 37
"The First Atlantic Telegraph"p. 38
"Our Country"p. 39
"An Ode for the Fourth of July, 1876"p. 41
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"p. 42
"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"p. 43
"City of Orgies"p. 50
"A Promise to California"p. 51
"I Hear America Singing"p. 52
"Ball's Bluff"p. 53
"America"p. 54
"The Slave Mother"p. 59
"Learning to Read"p. 61
"Ode Sung at Magnolia Cemetery"p. 63
#389 [There's been a Death, in the Opposite House,"]p. 65
#617 ["Don't put up my Thread and Needle--"]p. 67
"At Home from Church"p. 68
"Long Island Sound"p. 70
"The New Colossus"p. 71
Excerpt, "The Old Swimmin'-Hole"p. 72
"The Anti-Suffragists"p. 73
"Cabins"p. 76
"War Is Kind"p. 77
"Thompson's Lunch Room--Grand Central Station"p. 79
"The Dude Ranch"p. 81
"After Apple-Picking"p. 82
"I Sit and Sew"p. 84
"Work Gangs"p. 85
"The Flower-Fed Buffaloes"p. 87
"Fabliau of Florida"p. 88
"Anecdote of the Jar"p. 89
"The Legend of Boastful Bill"p. 90
"The Forgotten City"p. 93
"Old Amusement Park"p. 95
"Love in America--"p. 97
"The Boston Evening Transcript"p. 98
"Dawn in New York"p. 99
"O Pioneers!"p. 100
"From a Train Window"p. 101
"American Farm, 1934"p. 102
"Proud Riders"p. 104
"'next to of course god america i"p. 105
"Thanksgiving (1956)"p. 106
"To Brooklyn Bridge"p. 108
"I Like Americans"p. 110
"In Praise of California Wines"p. 112
"We're All in the Telephone Book"p. 114
"Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem"p. 115
"Product"p. 116
"California"p. 117
"Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore"p. 118
"Florida"p. 120
"Tract"p. 122
"The Campaign"p. 123
"The Outer Banks"p. 126
"Despisals"p. 128
"American Lights, Seen from off Abroad"p. 130
"Southern Song"p. 132
"The Mouth of the Hudson"p. 133
"We Real Cool"p. 134
"Bronco Busting, Event #1"p. 135
"Bison Crossing Near Mt. Rushmore"p. 136
"The Changing Light"p. 137
"vegas"p. 139
"In Georgetown"p. 141
"Pleasant Avenue"p. 142
"Wellfleet: The House"p. 145
"April and Its Forsythia"p. 146
"Bagel Shop Jazz"p. 148
"Music"p. 150
"America"p. 151
"First Carolina Said-Song"p. 155
"Sleet Storm on the Merritt Parkway"p. 157
"And One for My Dame"p. 158
"Transcontinent"p. 160
"Tomorrow"p. 161
"Belle Isle, 1949"p. 163
"Prospective Immigrants Please Note"p. 164
Excerpt "From an Old House in America"p. 165
"All over the Dry Grasses"p. 167
"Every Traveler Has One Vermont Poem"p. 168
"Listenen to Big Black at S.F. State"p. 169
"American Twilight"p. 171
"at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989"p. 172
"black power poem"p. 174
"Iowa"p. 175
"Why We Are Truly a Nation"p. 176
"Knoxville, Tennessee"p. 177
"My Poem"p. 178
"Today I Am a Homicide in the North of the City"p. 180
"Walking Back Up Depot Street"p. 181
"At the Public Market Museum: Charleston, South Carolina"p. 183
"The Way Things Are in Franklin"p. 185
"American Trains"p. 186
"Facing It"p. 188
"Language Lesson 1976"p. 190
"Queens, 1963"p. 191
"California Dreamin'"p. 194
"The Dream Life of a Coffin Factory in Lynn, Massachusetts"p. 196
"Community Garden, Sixth Street and Avenue B"p. 198
"Crab-Boil"p. 200
"Silos"p. 202
"I Hear the Bells of the Ice-Cream Vendor Outside My Door"p. 203
"Adonis Theater"p. 204
"Spiderman Versus the Kachinas"p. 207
"The Hula Skirt, 1959"p. 209
"What the Janitor Heard in the Elevator"p. 211
"Eden"p. 212
"Boston Year"p. 214
"Capitalist Poem #5"p. 216
"At the Navajo Monument Valley Tribal School"p. 217
Afterword: Excerpt, "Introduction"p. 219
Index of First Linesp. 221
Index of Poem Titlesp. 225
Index of Poetsp. 229
Permissionsp. 233