American Poetry (Hardcover)
The Twentieth Century Vol. 1 (LOA #115): Henry Adams to Dorothy Parker (Library of America: The American Poetry Anthology #4)
Library of America, 9781883011772, 1000pp.
Publication Date: March 20, 2000
This first volume of the set, organized chronologically by the poets’ birthdates, takes the reader from Henry Adams (1838–1918) to Dorothy Parker (1893–1967), and in the process reveals the unfolding of a true poetic renaissance. Included are generous selections from some of the century’s greatest poets: Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, H.D., Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot. Here they are seen as part of an age that proposed new and often contentious definitions of what American poetry could be and fresh perceptions of a society undergoing rapid and often tumultuous change.
The multifarious aesthetic influences brought to bear—Chinese and Japanese poetry, the African-American sermon, the artistic revolutions of Cubism and Dada, the cadences of jazz, the brash urgencies of vernacular speech—resulted in a poetic culture of dynamic energy and startling contrasts.
The poets of this era transformed not only style but traditional subject matter: there are poems here on a silent movie actress, a lynching, the tenements of New York, the trench warfare of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the landscape of Mars. Here too are folk ballads on events like the assassination of McKinley and the sinking of the Titanic; popular and humorous verse by Don Marquis and Franklin P. Adams; the famous “Spectra” hoax; song lyrics by Ma Rainey, Joe Hill, and Irving Berlin; and poems by writers as unexpected as Djuna Barnes, Sherwood Anderson, John Reed, and H. P. Lovecraft. Included are some of the century’s most important poems, presented in full: Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Eliot’s The Waste Land, Steven’s Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
About the Author
John Hollander (1929–2013) published nearly two dozen books of poetry, including Selected Poetry (1993), Figurehead (1999), and A Draft of Light (2008), as well as five books of criticism. He received the Bollingen Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship, and was Sterling Professor of English at Yale University.
Carolyn Kizer (1925-2014) was the author of more than a dozen works of poetry, prose, and translation. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1985.
Nathaniel Mackey is a poet, novelist, anthologist, literary critic, and editor. He is the Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University and a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.
Marjorie Perloff teaches courses and writes on twentieth and twenty-first century poetry and poetics. She is Professor Emerita of English at Stanford University and Florence R. Scott Professor of English Emerita at the University of Southern California.