Roses are red, violets are blue, here is some poetry to help get you through.
A vital, engaging, and hugely enjoyable guide to poetry, from ancient times to the present, by one of our greatest champions of literature.
John Carey tells the stories behind the world’s greatest poems, from the oldest surviving one written nearly four thousand years ago to those being written today. Carey looks at poets whose works shape our views of the world, such as Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Whitman, and Yeats. He also looks at more recent poets, like Derek Walcott, Marianne Moore, and Maya Angelou, who have started to question what makes a poem “great” in the first place. A Little History of Poetry shines a light on the richness and variation of the world’s poems—and the elusive quality that makes them all the more enticing.
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A masterfully curated collection, drawn from a century of works in the acclaimed Yale Series of Younger Poets.
The Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Its winners include some of the most influential voices in American poetry. In celebration of the prize’s centennial, Firsts presents three selections from each Younger Poets volume. It serves as both a testament to the enduring power of poetic expression and an exploration of the ways poetry has evolved over the past century. In addition to assembling this anthology, Carl Phillips provides an introduction to the history and impact of the prize and its winners in the wider context of American poetry, including the evolving roles of race, gender, and sexual orientation.
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“Richard Siken’s poetry is daring in its construction, graceful yet startling in its beauty, and complicit with emotions and states of mind that would have remained unintelligible without him.”—Dennis Cooper
“Richard Siken’s artistry is, quite frankly, astounding. . . . His world might be a dark one, but his writing shimmers.”—Barbara Wiedemann, Magill Book Reviews
Richard Siken’s Crush, selected as the 2004 winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, is a powerful collection of poems driven by obsession and love. Siken writes with ferocity, and his reader hurtles unstoppably with him. His poetry is confessional, gay, savage, and charged with violent eroticism.
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One hundred of the most evocative modern poems on joy, selected by an award-winning contemporary poet.
Christian Wiman, a poet known for his meditations on mortality, has long been fascinated by joy and by its relative absence in modern literature. In Joy, a revelatory anthology, Wiman takes readers on a profound and surprising journey through some of the most underexplored terrain in contemporary life. Rather than define joy for readers, he wants them to experience it. Ranging from Emily Dickinson to Mahmoud Darwish and from Sylvia Plath to Wendell Berry, he brings together diverse and provocative works as a kind of counter to the old, modernist maxim “light writes white”—no agony, no art. His rich selections awaken us to the essential role joy plays in human life.
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An examination of kinship and uprootedness, Gathering the Tribes is the first volume of poetry by Carolyn Forché and the 71st volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets.
The poems recount experiences from the author’s adolescence and young-adult life, closely bound to the natural cycles of the seasons, of generations, of the body’s functioning. Many deal with uprootedness—hasty emigrations from Czechoslovakia and Kiev, the loss of grandparents and other elders, people leaving and being sent away. But this poetry is not a sentimental celebration of the goodness of nature, and harmony with the world is never assumed. The harmony Forché seeks goes deeper than simple submission to natural processes or identification with an ethnic group, and it must be fought for with a tenuous faith.