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This famous anthology includes the works of more than 130 major American poets of the modern period--Robert Frost, Paul Goodman, Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks among them--along with short biographies of each.


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This famous anthology includes the works of more than 130 major American poets of the modern period--Robert Frost, Paul Goodman, Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks among them--along with short biographies of each.

30 review for The Voice That is Great Within Us: American Poetry of the Twentieth Century

  1. 5 out of 5

    John Sundman

    I purchased a copy of this book before leaving for Senegal as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1974. For two years I lived in a mud hut in a small village on the edge of the Sahara, far from running water, electricity, or anybody who spoke english. The Voice That Is Great Within Us kept me excellent company through those often lonely times. I wrote in the margins and scribbled notes on the inside margins. I don't have my copy in front of me, so I can't cite with confidence any particular poem or biogr I purchased a copy of this book before leaving for Senegal as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1974. For two years I lived in a mud hut in a small village on the edge of the Sahara, far from running water, electricity, or anybody who spoke english. The Voice That Is Great Within Us kept me excellent company through those often lonely times. I wrote in the margins and scribbled notes on the inside margins. I don't have my copy in front of me, so I can't cite with confidence any particular poem or biography, but I recall discovering poems by Rexroth, Nemerov, Wilbur, Moore, Roethke, Frost, so many others, that I could read again and again, and I would find my homesick agitation becoming a kind of serenity. This isn't much of a review, I guess. It's more about the feelings I associate with it in my very particular circumstances than it is about the book itself. I just remember it being really great & thought I would share that with you.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I read this poetry anthology back in high school, but despite remember how much I'd loved it, couldn't remember what it was called. Finding it in storage was a wonderful surprise, and it was just as enjoyable as I remembered. I read this poetry anthology back in high school, but despite remember how much I'd loved it, couldn't remember what it was called. Finding it in storage was a wonderful surprise, and it was just as enjoyable as I remembered.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Really enjoyed reading this years ago and go back to it at times, just picking poems at random to read. Thoroughly recommend this book, or at least reading Vachel Lindsay's "The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly"; Sara Teasdale's "I Am Not Yours", "What Do I Care", & "Moonlight"; or Edward Dorn's "The Biggest Killing". Those were introduced to me by this book and are the ones I find myself re-reading the most often. Did I mention I'm a Science Fiction/Fantasy reader mostly? This book is a great an Really enjoyed reading this years ago and go back to it at times, just picking poems at random to read. Thoroughly recommend this book, or at least reading Vachel Lindsay's "The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly"; Sara Teasdale's "I Am Not Yours", "What Do I Care", & "Moonlight"; or Edward Dorn's "The Biggest Killing". Those were introduced to me by this book and are the ones I find myself re-reading the most often. Did I mention I'm a Science Fiction/Fantasy reader mostly? This book is a great anthology of twentieth century American poetry with works from greats like Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, E.E. Cummings, and many, many more. My copy clocks in at 722 pages, so it does seem a little daunting at first; But, it is poetry so it's extremely easy to find a stopping point.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Starla Huchton

    This book is what I would consider a "gateway drug". I purchased this in high school as a sort of primer for myself, to increase my knowledge base of American poetry. Through this book I discovered my favorite poet of all time, Sara Teasdale. I also learned that Robert Frost was not always amazingly verbose (look up a little poem titled "In Neglect" <3 ) and there's more to female poets than Sylvia Plath. It's perfect for what it sets out to be: a sampler of some of the most powerful voices in A This book is what I would consider a "gateway drug". I purchased this in high school as a sort of primer for myself, to increase my knowledge base of American poetry. Through this book I discovered my favorite poet of all time, Sara Teasdale. I also learned that Robert Frost was not always amazingly verbose (look up a little poem titled "In Neglect" <3 ) and there's more to female poets than Sylvia Plath. It's perfect for what it sets out to be: a sampler of some of the most powerful voices in American poetry. This book will forever remain on my shelf.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Arnett

    I don't know if I have enough authority to say this is the "best" anthology of 20th century American poetry (The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove is also phenomenal) but it is hard to beat. For the price and size it is a great sampling of a turbulent century of American poetry. The fact that it was edited by Hayden Carruth, one of the best and most under-appreciated American poets of the last 50 years makes it that much more wonderful. I don't know if I have enough authority to say this is the "best" anthology of 20th century American poetry (The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove is also phenomenal) but it is hard to beat. For the price and size it is a great sampling of a turbulent century of American poetry. The fact that it was edited by Hayden Carruth, one of the best and most under-appreciated American poets of the last 50 years makes it that much more wonderful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Dug it. Completely. Devoured this bad boy for a month or two straight. Just started reading cover to cover. While it leaves out some good poets, I discovered how much I liked Robert Frost, and i hated that prick for years until that point. Gotta love a book which can turn you into a better writer off osmosis.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    750pp of poems picked by Hayden Carruth - marvelous $2 find at one of my fave used bookstores. quality gets a little spotty in the final third, but this is generally a substantial and great if idiosyncratic anthology of American poetry 1900-1970ish.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

    A quote from Hayden Carruth describes it best: "What an achievement, these sixty years of poetry! Americans regard the rest of our recent history, the score of things done well and done ill, this much at least we have done supeerlatively." A quote from Hayden Carruth describes it best: "What an achievement, these sixty years of poetry! Americans regard the rest of our recent history, the score of things done well and done ill, this much at least we have done supeerlatively."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    This could just as well have been called "The Ego That is Great Within Us", not just because Carruth includes himself. The breastbeating of rival male poets is enough to turn anyone off to 20th c. American poetry. This could just as well have been called "The Ego That is Great Within Us", not just because Carruth includes himself. The breastbeating of rival male poets is enough to turn anyone off to 20th c. American poetry.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Excellent compendium of early to mid-twentieth century American poets. A great introduction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    In her comment on this volume, Adrienne Rich notes “the editorial care and devotion which has refused to plagiarize other anthologies….” That is, while this anthology of American verse includes work by twentieth century poets such as T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, in most cases the poems in the book are not the ones you find in other anthologies (exceptions to this include the poems by e.e. cummings and those by Ezra Pound). At more than 700 pag In her comment on this volume, Adrienne Rich notes “the editorial care and devotion which has refused to plagiarize other anthologies….” That is, while this anthology of American verse includes work by twentieth century poets such as T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, in most cases the poems in the book are not the ones you find in other anthologies (exceptions to this include the poems by e.e. cummings and those by Ezra Pound). At more than 700 pages long, this anthology also includes work by a good number of lesser-known poets. Update: re-read a second time, March 9 -- April 27, 2015.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gilbert Wesley Purdy

    This was meant to be a more inclusive and edgier reply to the highly popular Oscar Williams anthologies and the Oxford Book of American Verse, a radical course change in its time. It is a glorious success in that regard. At the same time, its financial success inadvertently opened the gates to a flood of anthologies that has not yet abated. There are reputations in them thar hills. It is fair to say that this anthology captured an historical moment, however imperfectly. In cooler retrospect, tog This was meant to be a more inclusive and edgier reply to the highly popular Oscar Williams anthologies and the Oxford Book of American Verse, a radical course change in its time. It is a glorious success in that regard. At the same time, its financial success inadvertently opened the gates to a flood of anthologies that has not yet abated. There are reputations in them thar hills. It is fair to say that this anthology captured an historical moment, however imperfectly. In cooler retrospect, together with the Williams anthologies and Oxford Anthology it completes a set of sorts that manages to anthologize American poetry until about 1970.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I would normally give this book a five star rating for content. Excellent commentary on poets; excellent examples of their work; excellent selection for inclusion. My problem with the book was its poor print job. The typeface is very small and extremely hard to read. It is also printed cheaply...like a pulp paperback and parts of it actually looked smeared. Pay more money and get a better copy of this outstanding collection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Des Small

    American poetry from 1910 to 1970 or so, lovingly anthologised. Immensely generous; packed with good poems and poets you didn't even know you didn't know. More than twice the usual number of suspects, and if you pick one at random it will be at least good and usually wonderful. I would like a sequel covering 1970 to now, please. American poetry from 1910 to 1970 or so, lovingly anthologised. Immensely generous; packed with good poems and poets you didn't even know you didn't know. More than twice the usual number of suspects, and if you pick one at random it will be at least good and usually wonderful. I would like a sequel covering 1970 to now, please.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    There were a great many more poems here than I really enjoyed. That's not a comment on their quality, only my taste. Anyway, it's a good introduction to a lot of poets that I intend to investigate further. There were a great many more poems here than I really enjoyed. That's not a comment on their quality, only my taste. Anyway, it's a good introduction to a lot of poets that I intend to investigate further.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott Graham

    My introduction to 20th century poetry. Inexpensive, but uneven selections. Quite dated now, but this collection introduced me to Charles Reznikoff, Kenneth Rexroth, and Brother Antoninus, among others, so it has a special place in my heart.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I have a beat-up copy of this that I lugged around at the summer camp where I worked. It still remains my favorite poetry anthology.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    This one is going to take me forever but it's good so far. An anthology of American poetry selected by a poet, not an academic. This one is going to take me forever but it's good so far. An anthology of American poetry selected by a poet, not an academic.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

    i adore poetry so, this book was just perfect for me. I read like a maniac, and, i still have it somewhere in my room.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lumsden

    I pick up this book every few weeks and find something new that I love every time. So it's perpetually on my "currently-reading" shelf. I pick up this book every few weeks and find something new that I love every time. So it's perpetually on my "currently-reading" shelf.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Risa

    The Voice That Is Great Within Us: American Poetry of the Twentieth Century (Bantam Classics) by Hayden Carruth (1983)

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

    Put this in your briefcase, your desk , end table but always keep it at arms lenghth.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marie Ash-Evans

    Good collection of poetry written before 1970. 722 pages, if you enjoy poetry you should find some old favorites and maybe a few more to add to your list.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I bought this for an undergrad class and have hung on to it since. Great anthology and I still pick it up now and then and flip through the beautiful poems.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Graves

    Great general book of poetry with many evenings of quiet reflection. Actually always keep it by my bedside.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Not all of this was the sort of poetry that appeals to me, but there's so much in this book that it was well worth the price. Not all of this was the sort of poetry that appeals to me, but there's so much in this book that it was well worth the price.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    The best existent collection of Modern American poetry. Forever by my bedside.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Another great anthology

  29. 5 out of 5

    Genna

    Amahhhzing compilation of poems from famous and lesser-known writers. I've had this since high school and I always reread it. Amahhhzing compilation of poems from famous and lesser-known writers. I've had this since high school and I always reread it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Platter

    Still one of my all-time favorite poetry anthologies.

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