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The Norton Anthology of Poetry

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The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian American poets. There are 26 new poets representing the Commonwealth literature tradition: now included are more than 37 poets from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Caribbean, South Africa and India.


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The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian American poets. There are 26 new poets representing the Commonwealth literature tradition: now included are more than 37 poets from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Caribbean, South Africa and India.

30 review for The Norton Anthology of Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    I am more familiar with earlier editions, and while Margy Ferguson* is an excellent and perceptive scholar-editor, she cannot repell the publisher's usual bowing to sell books. My riveting memory of such an event was in a freshman literature anthology, ground-breaking in its day. It included Tom Thumb, had an entire section of songs and the prosody of songs, and many other things, which because they were unique, I tended to teach. Next edition, they were all cut. And I dumped the anthology. Evi I am more familiar with earlier editions, and while Margy Ferguson* is an excellent and perceptive scholar-editor, she cannot repell the publisher's usual bowing to sell books. My riveting memory of such an event was in a freshman literature anthology, ground-breaking in its day. It included Tom Thumb, had an entire section of songs and the prosody of songs, and many other things, which because they were unique, I tended to teach. Next edition, they were all cut. And I dumped the anthology. Evidently, all the freshman lit-comp teachers in the country were pretty used to doing what they did, could not use the wonderful innovations. You'd think frosh comp would be generally staffed by the younger and more flexible teachers, but perhaps when you include all the adjunct and experienced teachers who missed tenure, you have a group of fairly careful people unwilling to take risks. Well, if that was the way it was fifteen years ago, think how that will be reinforced by the scrutiny of the classroom by those who think of it as a factory. Or by those who know nothing of teaching, like the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who only taught for two years--gym. Your production line's doing WHAT? Song prosody? Where will the standardized test examine that? *M Ferguson joined my SAA seminar on Shakepseare and Oral Culture in Seattle, and is a supporter of my latest, Parodies Lost, on Tom Weiskel, Harold Bloom's favorite young colleague at Yale in the early 70's. MF also knew Tom at Yale; and H Bloom wrote me, "I think of Tom every day. I still grieve him."

  2. 4 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    This book is huge, so I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. I just flipped through, reading a poem here, another one there. I didn't even buy this book for a class. I had some extra scholarship book money, so I bought myself a copy. Unfortunately, my copy of this book disappeared many years ago. I think a no good roommate stole it. The funny thing is that he considered himself a Christian. I hope he still has this book and feels guilty whenever he sees it on his bookshelf. I hope he's This book is huge, so I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. I just flipped through, reading a poem here, another one there. I didn't even buy this book for a class. I had some extra scholarship book money, so I bought myself a copy. Unfortunately, my copy of this book disappeared many years ago. I think a no good roommate stole it. The funny thing is that he considered himself a Christian. I hope he still has this book and feels guilty whenever he sees it on his bookshelf. I hope he's worried about what God thinks about him stealing the book. (He tried to steal my cat to, but didn't get away with it.) Anyway, this book is chock full of poems. It could keep a poetry lover happy for many years.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Wright

    More than four months in the reading. Worth every day.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Walter

    At the end of the end of the 1960 film, The Time Machine, the hero, George Wells, returns to the future taking three books from his library with him. Viewers are left to ponder which three books he takes - it's never revealed. If it had been me, this would be one of the books. The Norton Anthology is a part of who I am. It opened - and continues to open - doors into some of the great literary minds of our culture. A starting point from which you can go on and learn more (i.e., don't stop with th At the end of the end of the 1960 film, The Time Machine, the hero, George Wells, returns to the future taking three books from his library with him. Viewers are left to ponder which three books he takes - it's never revealed. If it had been me, this would be one of the books. The Norton Anthology is a part of who I am. It opened - and continues to open - doors into some of the great literary minds of our culture. A starting point from which you can go on and learn more (i.e., don't stop with this book!). If there is any doubt about its greatness, let me show you that it contains as much of both the sacred and the profane as the Bible: Alexander Pope: "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
 The proper study of mankind is Man.
 Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
 A being darkly wise and rudely great:
 With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
 With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
 He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
 In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
 In doubt his mind or body to prefer; 
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err; 
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
 Whether he thinks too little or too much;
 Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; 
Still by himself abused or disabused;
 Created half to rise, and half to fall: 
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; 
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
 The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!" Ogden Nash: "The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other, milk." Genius, sheer genius.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Velma

    Eighty bucks? Really? I need a Biblio-Fairy Godparent.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Quintin Zimmermann

    An anthology of endless delights and a celebration of the beauty of the English language.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joe Sacksteder

    In college my Great Books professor put this whole anthology on our 100 Greatest Books list. The idea of this class is that you read as many of the 100 during the semester as you can; then you're supposed to read the remnant over the course of your life. This anthology was a real cop out on the professors' part - along with the complete works of William Shakespeare. It was setting us up for failure. I started the anthology in 2005 when I was in music composition grad school in Baton Rouge Louisi In college my Great Books professor put this whole anthology on our 100 Greatest Books list. The idea of this class is that you read as many of the 100 during the semester as you can; then you're supposed to read the remnant over the course of your life. This anthology was a real cop out on the professors' part - along with the complete works of William Shakespeare. It was setting us up for failure. I started the anthology in 2005 when I was in music composition grad school in Baton Rouge Louisiana, August 18, 2012. I read one poet a day, or up to three poems, both silently and out loud. I missed days/weeks/months, but I persevered. It is now February 23, 2012, and I read the last poet today. And I still know nothing about what's going on in contemporary poetry. Overall, a little heavy on the voices of the oppressed, a lot light on formal innovation. Oh, and there's this poem called "The Hollow Men"...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate O'Hanlon

    I'm marking as read although I didn't make it through even half of the poems while it formed the backbone of my reading list through college. Outrageously expensive (for an 18 year old student anyway) I borrowed a copy from a guy who had just graduated and gave it to his little brother who was starting college the year I finished up. My flatmate has a copy though, and I'm glad to have it around again for reference.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Stanford

    I'm reading through this -- what is probably my 4th or so copy -- different/updated edition, though. Seems like it gets bigger and bigger each year! Thing is, this is a damn good anthology far as anthologies go. Thing is, though, I prefer the original collections. Kinda like the difference between a "Best of" album and the original deal. Yada yada yada.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Covers the history and evolution of poetry in English, however I'd suggest the Norton Anthology of Post-Modern American Poetry as a supplement since this book really doesn't cover many of the influential poets writing today. However, English majors or anyone interested in poetry should have a copy of this book in their library.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Harper Curtis

    The Norton Anthology is a rich resource, a great starting point for young readers and poets, and a great place to go to find new poets to read. That being said, it really is just a starting point. Moreover, it is limited to poetry written originally in English. You will want to supplement with international anthologies, consider The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, for example.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    What can I say - I love poetry

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ela

    I may not have read it cover to cover but this is a pretty awesome and comprehensive anthology of poetry.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Essential

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nessya

    Brilliant amalgamation of so many different poets!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Mercurio

    Professor Ferguson was my John Milton professor at UC Davis and I can say without a doubt, her work and commitment to the preservation of language is absolutely enthralling.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    5/5 stars I mean, I'm not finished finished, but I'm done with it for my module at university and will continue to use it. Very helpful (albeit expensive).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Moore

    Interesting collection of poems.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    I read it from back to front in reverse chronological order and the segue from familiar English to Old English is really cool.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eduard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Whitman: 1,5,6,11 Song of Myself: 3 stars Dickinson: 260 (288) : 3 Stars 320 (258) : 3 Stars 409 (303): 3 Stars 445 (613): 4 Stars 905 (861): 3 Stars The Unquiet Grave: 5 Stars A Fit Of Rhyme Against Rhyme: 3 Stars Of A' the Airts: 4 Stars The Eolian Harp: 2 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) To A Skylark: 3 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...) Mariana: 4 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... Jabberwocky: 4 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) Is My Team Pl Whitman: 1,5,6,11 Song of Myself: 3 stars Dickinson: 260 (288) : 3 Stars 320 (258) : 3 Stars 409 (303): 3 Stars 445 (613): 4 Stars 905 (861): 3 Stars The Unquiet Grave: 5 Stars A Fit Of Rhyme Against Rhyme: 3 Stars Of A' the Airts: 4 Stars The Eolian Harp: 2 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) To A Skylark: 3 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...) Mariana: 4 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... Jabberwocky: 4 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) Is My Team Ploughing: 4 Stars Yes, lad, I lie easy,/ I lie as lads would choose;/I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,/ Never ask me whose. The Weary Blues: 3 Stars As I Walked Out One Evening: 4 Stars Slow, Slow Fresh Fount: 3 Stars The Clod & the Pebble: 4 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Not Waving but Drowning: 2 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) Incident: 3 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) The Wife's Lament: 3 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) The Apparition: 2 Stars In a Station of the Metro: 2 Stars Epilogue: 3 Stars I want to make/ something imagined, not recalled? Coal: 2 Stars Nature, That Washer Her Hands in Milk: 4 Stars The Flea: 2 Stars (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) The Vine: 3 Stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    An absolutely tremendous collection of English language poetry. It covers everything from Chaucer and Milton to Larkin and Plath. One of the greatest assets of this collection is that it contains several lengthy poems in their entirety, among them The Rape of the Lock and The Waste Land (both of which are among my personal favorites). Although it seems to gloss over a few major figures (Poe for example) this collection remains the best single volume of English poetry I've ever seen. It is both a An absolutely tremendous collection of English language poetry. It covers everything from Chaucer and Milton to Larkin and Plath. One of the greatest assets of this collection is that it contains several lengthy poems in their entirety, among them The Rape of the Lock and The Waste Land (both of which are among my personal favorites). Although it seems to gloss over a few major figures (Poe for example) this collection remains the best single volume of English poetry I've ever seen. It is both an excellent introduction and sampler, as well as a good selection for a desert island. The reason I refrain from giving a full five stars is that the running together of these various poems (in their small print) produces a fatigue of the eye. It makes reading exhausting at times. That is why it is a good resource, but not the best read. It would be preferable to have a collection of, say, Tennyson poems in a collection of that poet's works, where each poem has a page to breathe and doesn't run together with a poem by Swinburne or whomever.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

    One of the most comprehensive anthologies of poetry that I have encountered in an attractive format. Covering several centuries of poetry it includes all the great lyrical poems and many more to entertain and educate the poetry lover. It is a wonderful reference and companion for any literature lover -- with a chronological organization it is easy to dip into the collection from time to time. In this book you can find some of your favorite poems, but more importantly you can expand your range of One of the most comprehensive anthologies of poetry that I have encountered in an attractive format. Covering several centuries of poetry it includes all the great lyrical poems and many more to entertain and educate the poetry lover. It is a wonderful reference and companion for any literature lover -- with a chronological organization it is easy to dip into the collection from time to time. In this book you can find some of your favorite poems, but more importantly you can expand your range of poetic interest, find new favorites, and learn about different approaches to the poetic art. I read this as part of the Basic Program of Liberal Education at The University of Chicago and continue to enjoy the poems selected for this anthology.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    My Great Uncle was a Literature Professer at the Junior College I attended. Sophomore year, my English Dept. mentor and Teacher was dear friends with him. That is before his untimely death climbing with his sons on the Tetons due to equipment failure. Upon hearing I was the great neice of his old friend, he choked up. And I got an undeserved A in the class. For I rarely attended class. And never studied more than 24 hrs. before the exam. But, this anthology too takes up a dusty place on my asthm My Great Uncle was a Literature Professer at the Junior College I attended. Sophomore year, my English Dept. mentor and Teacher was dear friends with him. That is before his untimely death climbing with his sons on the Tetons due to equipment failure. Upon hearing I was the great neice of his old friend, he choked up. And I got an undeserved A in the class. For I rarely attended class. And never studied more than 24 hrs. before the exam. But, this anthology too takes up a dusty place on my asthma and allergy causing bookshelf in my room. I love poetry. I think some passions like the love of art, the mountains, and masterpieces of oral and written language come imprinted in our DNA.

  24. 4 out of 5

    JP

    Lots of poems of course. I still don't "get" poetry, but this certainly broadened by exposure and deepened my appreciate.[return]Predominant themes/recurring terms: the classics, other great poets (especially Donne, Jonson, and Shakespeare), heros, flowers, beauty, religion, death, childhood, love, sex, war, grass, spiders, and owls. Reading in chronological order forces one to wonder whether we have become that much more cynical over time or whether every age sees more inspiring poems as better Lots of poems of course. I still don't "get" poetry, but this certainly broadened by exposure and deepened my appreciate.[return]Predominant themes/recurring terms: the classics, other great poets (especially Donne, Jonson, and Shakespeare), heros, flowers, beauty, religion, death, childhood, love, sex, war, grass, spiders, and owls. Reading in chronological order forces one to wonder whether we have become that much more cynical over time or whether every age sees more inspiring poems as better in retrospect.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    This is the best one volume anthology of poetry in English available today. Every editor will leave out works that a reader will consider essential and include works that the same reader will react with a "what the hell..." and the Norton fifth edition is no exception. But as a useful survey of poetry we know, work we might be interested in if we knew a bit about it and and poems that once skimmed can be ignored it is first rate.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Like The Bible, I haven't read every single word in this tome. But I have read a heck of a lot of it over the years, most of it, since buying it in first-year Uni. Love it, refer to it constantly, it's probably the most-read book in my house. I love having such a well-thumbed reference in the house, love knowing so many of the poems by heart and love having the words come to mind all the time in my head. Love sharing it with my son now. It will be in my house till the pages finally wear out.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sunniva

    This book is, as a first year lit student, my current bible. This anthology is a thorough education in poetry, and although I prefer reading prose, I am extremely happy to own this book. It takes you through the canon, from the early epics to contemporary. Perhaps impossible to read cover to cover, but it's perfect if you're hungry for poetry; just flick through it and you will stumble over a new jewel.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Ok so this is a pretty complete Anthology, all the poems my poetry professor refers to is in this monster beast. It is organized pretty well, I think. The paper is super thin, and the book weighs like ten pounds? I have to carry this big bad beast. They need a Kindle edition! Some of my favorite poets are not in here, but are in Introduction to Poetry? Minus 1 star.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Malcolm

    The standard collection of British poetry used on university English Literature courses. It's range of poets and poetry is massive. It's notes are invaluable too. If you're looking for just one collection of poetry in the English language, the latest incarnation of this book has to be on your shelf (or in your e-reader!).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Cypher

    I've been a fiction writer since age 15. And terrified of poetry. I'm enjoying this overview of canonical names, and it's a great (if physically intimidating) place to meet the poets who resonate with me. The only shame is that my library's version, the 2nd ed., doesn't contain Basho or Mary Oliver--other poets whose work I recently met and admired.

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