Cover image for Revenge and forgiveness : an anthology of poems
Revenge and forgiveness : an anthology of poems
Vecchione, Patrice.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, [2004]

Physical Description:
148 pages ; 22 cm
A collection of nearly sixty poems dealing with revenge and forgiveness, plus suggested readings about each contributing poet.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 7.5 6 Quiz: 36224 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6109.97 .R48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"When you seek revenge, dig two graves."-Anonymous

A poetry anthology for teens on a perennially important topic

Acclaimed anthologist and teacher Patrice Vecchione has put together an immensely powerful group of poems, all of which address the timeless and uniquely human desires for revenge and for forgiveness.

"The events of September 11th inspired this book. I wanted to create a tangible forum, a book to hold in our hands, to help frame and think not just about terrorism but about who we are as individuals and who we are as a country. It's been gestating in me for all this time. Finding these poems was like turning little lights on to illumine the dark. How can beauty be made out of ugliness and fear? Can it rise from ash?"-Patrice Vecchione

Author Notes

Poet Patrice Vecchione is the editor of two previous anthologies for young adults, as well as several anthologies for adults. For twenty-five years Ms. Vecchione has taught poetry to children and adults in schools, libraries, and community centers through her program The Heart of the Word. She lives in Monterey, California

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 8-12. September 11 was Vecchione's inspiration for this moving anthology in which poets from many times and places speak of war, violence, and the search for peace. Her anthology The Body Eclectic (2002) broke new ground, and here, too, she includes personal themes, including anger, grief, and the struggle to forgive oneself in wars with family, friends, and lovers. Quarrels make great drama, but there's also humor to lighten the somber tone, as in X..ennedy's A Curse on a Thief, in which the author has fun with furious curses. Classic works by writers from Shakespeare to Whitman lend themselves to fresh discussion. Next to Frost's Mending Wall is Naomi Shihab Nye'serusalem, drawn from today's headlines (I'm not interested in / who suffered the most / I'm interested in people / getting over it ). Then there's Stephen Dunn's To a Terrorist (I hate your good reasons ). Without glib messages, the combination works, connecting conflict and empathy across the world and within the reader. The last one-third of the book comprises biographical and critical notes. A strong choice for discussion across the curriculum. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Two wrenching themes inform the collection Revenge and Forgiveness: An Anthology of Poems, edited by Patrice Vecchione, which the editor says was inspired by the "tragedy of September 11." She includes poems from across cultures and centuries, and poets from Shakespeare to Robert Frost and Francisco X. Alarc?n. In "Quatrain: Forgive Me Not," Lilla Cabot Perry writes, "Forgive me not! Hate me and I shall know/ Some of Love's fire still burns within your breast!/ Forgiveness finds its home in hearts at rest,/ On dead volcanoes only lies the snow." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Inspired by the events of September 11, this excellent anthology illustrates how people deal individually with grief and anger of all types. While subjects range from lovers, friends, parents, and strangers to politics, terrorism, slavery, and war, all of the poems speak to the natural human urge to respond to a wrong whether by forgiving or by taking revenge. Beginning with a song from a Native American myth, "My Heart, You Might Pierce It and Take It," which sets the tone for this collection, the volume ends on a hopeful note with Lucille Clifton's "Let There Be New Flowering." The range of authors included is vast, from the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus through Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, and contemporary poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, and Vecchione herself. The introduction is thoughtful in its discussion of revenge and forgiveness in their various forms. The biographical notes at the end are fascinating and often include quotes from the poets themselves about the works presented in the collection. Each entry includes additional titles for those who want more exposure to a particular writer. Vecchione's goal for this book, to help readers to see themselves and others more clearly, to guide them past pain to understanding, has been beautifully and intelligently reached.-Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Kenneth PatchenKat MeadsWendell BerryMolly PeacockPatrice VecchioneLouise GluckTed HughesGaius Valerius CatullusEmily DickinsonRobert HerrickX. J. KennedyCharles ReznikoffWilliam ShakespeareHeinrich HeineCharles Henry WebbSterling A. BrownToni MirosevichEdmund SpenserWilliam StaffordGeorge BilgereJohn BrehmTim ReynoldsCecilia WolochWalt WhitmanEzra PoundMuriel RukeyserStephen DunnDiane ThielVictor H. BauschColeman BarksSemezdin MehmedinovicWilliam ShakespeareCatherine BowmanAlison LutermanFrancisco X. AlarconEllen BassMargaret WalkerWilliam HeyenGeorge HerbertGeorge BradleyBarry SpacksJohn DonneMariahadessa Ekere TallieGary YoungSarah RabkinFaiz Ahmed FaizSandra CisnerosLilla Cabot PerryNaomi Shihab NyeMorton MarcusYehuda AmichaiRobert FrostWilliam ShakespeareDerek WalcottLucille Clifton
Introductionp. 3
"My heart, you might pierce it and take it"p. 11
Only Cherries?p. 12
Dogsp. 13
Enemiesp. 15
Say You Love Mep. 16
Sugarmother's Daughter Dreamsp. 19
First Memoryp. 20
Revenge Fablep. 21
Griefp. 22
Mine Enemy Is Growing Oldp. 23
Revengep. 24
A Curse on a Thiefp. 25
"I will write songs against you"p. 27
A Curse on Mine-Ownersp. 28
Sonnet XCp. 29
"Envenomed are my songs"p. 30
Revengep. 31
Bitter Fruit of the Treep. 32
Hygienep. 34
Envyp. 36
A Ritual to Read to Each Otherp. 38
Catchp. 39
Sea of Faithp. 40
To a Bad Heartp. 42
Blinkp. 44
Stronger Lessonsp. 45
A Pactp. 46
Poemp. 47
To a Terroristp. 48
The Minefieldp. 50
What They Wantedp. 51
Becoming Miltonp. 52
Herop. 54
From Henry V, Act IV, Scene Ip. 55
No Sorryp. 56
Another Vigil at San Quentinp. 58
Prayerp. 61
Why People Murderp. 64
Kissie Leep. 66
Poisonp. 68
"Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back"p. 69
Electrocuting an Elephantp. 70
Maledictionp. 72
The Apparitionp. 73
Note from a Loving Wifep. 74
"I had never seen her so angry"p. 76
Wheelsp. 77
Any Lover to Any Belovedp. 78
You Called Me Corazonp. 79
Quatrain: Forgive Me Notp. 80
Jerusalemp. 81
Forgivenessp. 83
The Jewish Time Bombp. 84
Mending Wallp. 85
Sonnet XXXVp. 87
Love After Lovep. 88
Let there be new floweringp. 89
Biographical Notesp. 91
Permissionsp. 139
Index of Authorsp. 143
Index of Titlesp. 145
Index of First Linesp. 147