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In the nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville suggested that the poetry of the new American democratic state, free from the staggering weight of centuries of European aristocracy and tradition, would focus on "man alone... his passions, his doubts, his rare properties and inconceivable wretchedness." For hundreds of years, American poets have presented their various imag In the nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville suggested that the poetry of the new American democratic state, free from the staggering weight of centuries of European aristocracy and tradition, would focus on "man alone... his passions, his doubts, his rare properties and inconceivable wretchedness." For hundreds of years, American poets have presented their various images of the land and its people. But what is "American poetry?" Is there truly such a thing as an American poetic tradition, spanning over nearly four centuries from colonial times to the turn of the millennium? In The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry, Jay Parini, a respected American poet and critic in his own right, offers an authoritative survey of the elusive category that is the poetry of the American people. The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry covers all of the canonical American poets, from the colonial to the contemporary-Anne Bradstreet, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Adrienne Rich are all included. But Parini has also selected a broad sampling of poetry from voices that have been heard as widely over the years. Here, for the first time, is a thorough collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry by women, Native American, and African Americans. Within these pages readers will find the many different traditions that make up the expansive collage of American poetry. Here are the Transcendentalists-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau; and the Imagists-William Carlos Williams, Amy Lowell, H.D., and Carl Sandburg. Readers will discover also the early twentieth-century movement of African-American poetic expression, known as the Harlem Renaissance-James Weldon Johnson, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Langston Hughes are all solidly represented in The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry. Jay Parini's introduction deftly guides us into the rich tradition of poetry in our country. Whether in search of a well-known classic or a poem that is not yet considered part of the American poetic tradition, readers will find much to enjoy in The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry.


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In the nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville suggested that the poetry of the new American democratic state, free from the staggering weight of centuries of European aristocracy and tradition, would focus on "man alone... his passions, his doubts, his rare properties and inconceivable wretchedness." For hundreds of years, American poets have presented their various imag In the nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville suggested that the poetry of the new American democratic state, free from the staggering weight of centuries of European aristocracy and tradition, would focus on "man alone... his passions, his doubts, his rare properties and inconceivable wretchedness." For hundreds of years, American poets have presented their various images of the land and its people. But what is "American poetry?" Is there truly such a thing as an American poetic tradition, spanning over nearly four centuries from colonial times to the turn of the millennium? In The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry, Jay Parini, a respected American poet and critic in his own right, offers an authoritative survey of the elusive category that is the poetry of the American people. The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry covers all of the canonical American poets, from the colonial to the contemporary-Anne Bradstreet, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Adrienne Rich are all included. But Parini has also selected a broad sampling of poetry from voices that have been heard as widely over the years. Here, for the first time, is a thorough collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry by women, Native American, and African Americans. Within these pages readers will find the many different traditions that make up the expansive collage of American poetry. Here are the Transcendentalists-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau; and the Imagists-William Carlos Williams, Amy Lowell, H.D., and Carl Sandburg. Readers will discover also the early twentieth-century movement of African-American poetic expression, known as the Harlem Renaissance-James Weldon Johnson, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Langston Hughes are all solidly represented in The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry. Jay Parini's introduction deftly guides us into the rich tradition of poetry in our country. Whether in search of a well-known classic or a poem that is not yet considered part of the American poetic tradition, readers will find much to enjoy in The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry.

30 review for The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This was a brilliant introduction to the history and development of American Poetry. As an Englishman this a great way to be introduced to many American Poets rather than just the usual suspects of Whitman and Dickenson. This is a wonderful anthology of poetry and something that you can keep dipping in and out of as there are poems that are relevant for all aspects of life. If you love poetry this is a great addition to your library and for others a wonderful introduction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carlton

    A wonderful anthology with many poet read before spanning American History from Anne Bradstreet to the present day

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Rice

    So many great poets in one book, great reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    J. Alfred

    Starting with a strong introduction (the best line is "American poets look backward to Whitman like the Romantic Age looked back to Milton"), this is a interesting collection of poetry- the choices included for each author were sometimes confusing, and sometimes unsatisfactory to a fan (Crane has one little poem in the whole of the anthology) but generally strong and even surprising. Is it just me, or do Robert Hayden, Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, and, especially, Wallace Stevens get bett Starting with a strong introduction (the best line is "American poets look backward to Whitman like the Romantic Age looked back to Milton"), this is a interesting collection of poetry- the choices included for each author were sometimes confusing, and sometimes unsatisfactory to a fan (Crane has one little poem in the whole of the anthology) but generally strong and even surprising. Is it just me, or do Robert Hayden, Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, and, especially, Wallace Stevens get better every time my back is turned?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shaunna

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adelaide

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris11

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gypsie Holley

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

  10. 5 out of 5

    AlexWatson

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annie Mcwilliams

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cristin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tim Nason

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura Wiley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Thompson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michial Miller

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Beer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Capetanakis

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan R

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  23. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Leroyer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Stambaugh

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ford

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Chin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Pompoco

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  30. 4 out of 5

    Justin

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