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The most wide-ranging collection of its kind, The Norton Introduction to Poetry offers a complete course in reading and writing about poetry that is designed to appeal to students of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests. It not only sharpens students close-reading skills and deepens their appreciation for the emotional power of poetry, but also connects poetry to the l The most wide-ranging collection of its kind, The Norton Introduction to Poetry offers a complete course in reading and writing about poetry that is designed to appeal to students of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests. It not only sharpens students close-reading skills and deepens their appreciation for the emotional power of poetry, but also connects poetry to the larger world by providing a thorough introduction to poetry 's authorial, cultural, and critical contexts.


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The most wide-ranging collection of its kind, The Norton Introduction to Poetry offers a complete course in reading and writing about poetry that is designed to appeal to students of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests. It not only sharpens students close-reading skills and deepens their appreciation for the emotional power of poetry, but also connects poetry to the l The most wide-ranging collection of its kind, The Norton Introduction to Poetry offers a complete course in reading and writing about poetry that is designed to appeal to students of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests. It not only sharpens students close-reading skills and deepens their appreciation for the emotional power of poetry, but also connects poetry to the larger world by providing a thorough introduction to poetry 's authorial, cultural, and critical contexts.

30 review for The Norton Introduction to Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    Picked this one off the shelves to browse around in even though my brain seems to be resisting the reading of poetry right now. For some reason ... It'll probably dwell on my "currently reading" shelf for quite a while. It's meant to be a textbook, college I assume. The author was apparently a BIG fan of Sharon Olds, someone I'd never heard of(that I can recall) until her name was dropped in a story or article I was reading a few days ago, maybe in The New Yorker. So, I wondered who SHE was and Picked this one off the shelves to browse around in even though my brain seems to be resisting the reading of poetry right now. For some reason ... It'll probably dwell on my "currently reading" shelf for quite a while. It's meant to be a textbook, college I assume. The author was apparently a BIG fan of Sharon Olds, someone I'd never heard of(that I can recall) until her name was dropped in a story or article I was reading a few days ago, maybe in The New Yorker. So, I wondered who SHE was and sure enough, I picked up this book and about every tenth poem is one of hers(an exaggeration). I love that cosmic stuff! Other poets ... Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jarold Ramsey, Ezra Pound, Adrienne Rich, Tom Wayman, Ben Jonson, Howard Nemerov, Rita Dove, Anne Sexton, Sir Thomas Wyatt, W. B. Yeats, Carol Jane Bangs, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marge Percy, Audre Lorde, William Shakespeare, Anne Bradstreet, Galway Kinnell, Li-Young Li, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Irving Layton, David Wagoner, Diane Wakoski and John Keats(I was about halfway in - skimming - and wondering where the hell is Keats? and boom! there were about ten straight pages of him plus a timeline of his life. The first poet to be thus cited in the text. That's as it should be, of course.) More later; the preceding list was just chapter one, except for Keats, who "arrives" in chapter 12. Next section poets: Marge Piercy, W. D. Snodgrass, Linda Pastan, Etheridge Knight, William Blake, Maxine Kumin, Robert Hayden, Sylvia Plath, Alan Dugan, Dorothy Livesay, Robert Creeley, Tess Gallagher, Edeward Thomas, Emily Dickinson and W. S. Merwin. - I've finally been able to slow down and enjoy reading the individual poems - all of them - and they're pretty darned good. The only downer so far is Donne's about the flea and sex and all. The old language combined with his indirect way of getting to the point make it difficult to really "get" it. Next section: Thomas Hardy, X. J. Kennedy, Adrienne Rich, Robert Browning, Tess Gallagher, Dorothy Parker, A. R. Ammons, William Wordsworth, Sharon Olds, Henry Reed, Audre Lord, Joh Betjeman, Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath, Tom Wayman, Seamus Heaney, Susan Mitchell. Next Section: James Dickey, John Donne, Rita Dove, Linda Pastan, Robert Frost, Sylva Plath, Matthew Arnold, Adrienne Rich, Robert Browning, Heather McHugh, Douglas Lochhead, Larry Rubin, Agha Shahid, Tess Gallagher, Diane Ackerman, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Marilyn Chin, Jonathan Swift, Sylvia Plath. Next section: Richard Armour, Yvor Winters, Walter De La Mare, Pat Mora, Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick, Emily Dickinson, Theodore Roethke, Sharon Olds, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Carlos Williams, Eric Ormsby, X. J. Kennedy, John Milton, E. E. Cummings, Stephen Dunn, Heather McHugh, Roo Borson. Next Section: William Shakespeare, Linda Pastan, Robert Francis, Robert Burns, Adrienne Rich, Randall Jarrell, Linda Pastan, John Donne, Anonymous, Jim Powell, Marge Piercy, Eli Mandel, Sharon Olds, James Dickey, John Clare, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Dorothy Parker, Dannie Abse, Katha Pollitt, George Peele, William Matthews. - James Dickey's "The Leap" put me in mind of the Patti Griffin song "Tony"/"Hey Tony" Next section: Anonymous, Howard Nemerov, Philip Larkin, Pat Mora, James Wright, Sharon Olds, Anonymous, T. S. Eliot, Margaret Atwood, Karl Shapiro, Miriam Waddington, Denise Levertov, Margaret Atwood, William Carlos Williams, Li-Young Lee Alan Shapiro, Percy Bysshe Shelley ... Finished up the next chapter last night with a bunch of sonnets. Good old-fashioned poetry! A bit restrictive for me, however. Poets: Helen Chasin, Mona Van Duyn, Kenneth Fearing, Alexander Pope, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur W. Monks, Anonymous, Anonymous, Sir John Suckling, John Dryden, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ben Jonson, Thomas Nashe, Donald Justice, Diane Ackerman, James merrill, Gerard Manley Hopkins, P. K. Page, William Shakespeare, Stephen Spender, Michael Harper, Judith Wright, Franklin P. Adams, E. E. Cummings, Stevie Smith, David Ferry, Harry Mathews, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, E. E. Cummings, Nora Dauenhauer. Next section: William Wordsworth, Henry Constable, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, John Milton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Louis MacNeice, E. E. Cummings, Claude McKay, Linda Pastan, Sir Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, Diane Ackerman, Helene Johnson, Claude McKay, Dick Allen. Next section poets: Christopher Marlowe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ben Jonson, Palladas, Martial, Tom Brown, John Gay, J. V. Cunningham, Richard Cranshaw, Alexander Pope, X. J. Kennedy, Epitaph on Water, Matthew Prior, Ezra Pound, Francis Quarles, John Wilmot(Earl of Rochester), Walter Savage Landor, Peter Pindar, Howard Nemerov, Frances Cornford. Next section: Elizabeth Jennings, Anonymous, Robert Herrick, W. H. Auden, George Herbert, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Amy Clampitt. The middle of the book has a section devoted to Keats(who else?) and that's where I am right now. A favorite line: "Already with thee! Tender is the night ..." Evidently, F. S. Fitzgerald was also impressed. I've read "Ode to a Nightingale" a number of times already. Talk about rich imagery! Never gets old ... So, the big Keats interlude was immediately followed on by several pages of Adrienne Rich and I'm sorry to report that I was not exactly enthralled. Despite the fact that Keats' language is 150 years out of date relative to Ms. Rich's, I generally found his words easier to understand and follow that hers, which(IMHO) is fundamentally over-intellectualized gobble-de-gook. What's with all the references to classical literature? Is her poetry only for English/Classics geniuses? I'll take Eliot any day, all day long. Next two sections: Howard Nemerov, John Donne, John Keats, Adrienne Rich, Raymond R. Patterson, Thomas Hardy, Sandra Gilbert, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, James A. Emanuel, Dudley Randall, Wilfred Owen, Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats, Robert Bringhurst, Mary Jo Salter, William Stafford, Sharon Olds, Diane Wakoski, Adrienne Rich, Marge Piercy, Liz Rosenberg, Sharon Olds, Dorothy Parker, Waring Cuney, Ruth Stone, Kay Smith, Paulette Jiles, Stephen Dunne, Cynthia, MacDonald, Richard Hugo. Next Section: Andrew Marvel, e. e. cummings, Peter de Vries, Sir Walter Raleigh, C. Day Lewis, William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Koch, Desmond Skirrow, Anthony Hecht, A. D. Hope, John Hollander, Christina Rossetti, Robert Frost, Davis Helwig, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, James Harrison, Langston Hughes, Gabriel Okara, Maya Angelou, Ishmael Reed, Ben Jonson, D. G. Jones, Robert Hollander, Dannie Abse. Next section: Richard Wilbur, John Keats, Alexander Pope, Anonymous, Marianne Moore, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth,. Next: William Shakespeare, John Donne. The last section has no text(so far), just poems. LOTS of poems. Final section: John Ashbery, Margaret Atwood, W. H. Auden, Aphra Behn, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hart Crane, e. e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, David Donnell, John Dryden, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Stephen Dunn, Richard Eberhart, Elizabeth I, Robert Frost, Arthur Gutterman, Thomas hardy, Robert Haas, Robert hayden, Robert Herrick, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A. E. Housman, Langston Hughes, Richard Hugo, Ben Jonson, Donald Justice, Galway Kinnell, A. M. Klein, Etheridge Knight, Philip Larkin, Irving Layton, Richard Lovelace, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, Andrew Marvell, Heather McHugh, James Merrill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, Susan Musgrave, Howard Nemerov, Sharon Olds, Michael Ondaatje, Dorothy Parker, Linda pastan, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Ezra Pound, Jarold Ramsey, John Crowe Ransom, Ishmael Reed, Alberto Rios, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Theodore Roethke, Pattiann Rogers, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Louis Simpson, Stephen Spender, Wallace Stevens, Nancy Sullivan, Jonathan Swift, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Jean Toomer, Miriam Waddington, Walt Whitman, Richard Wilbur, William Carlos Williams, William Wordsworth, W. B. Yeats. Finished last night with several incomprehensible poems by Yeats. Oh well ... 4.25* rounds down to 4*.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I don't know how to summarize a collection of poetry spanning over 500 years, and with which I spent the good part of several months working through, but I'll attempt to comment specifically on this collection and what makes it different from others. The Norton Introduction to Poetry is what I would call a didactic anthology. Whereas most poetry anthologies are arranged chronologically or alphabetically, this book groups poems together based on a point to be studied between them. In some cases th I don't know how to summarize a collection of poetry spanning over 500 years, and with which I spent the good part of several months working through, but I'll attempt to comment specifically on this collection and what makes it different from others. The Norton Introduction to Poetry is what I would call a didactic anthology. Whereas most poetry anthologies are arranged chronologically or alphabetically, this book groups poems together based on a point to be studied between them. In some cases this means the poems share similarities, for instance the chapter about symbolic imagery included several poems about roses so that they can be easily compared. Other groups illustrate point by difference between the poems, for example the chapter on diction includes a wide range of examples from Donne to Wakeman and everything in between. In fact, it's the variety where the collection really shines. Te educational purpose of the book frees it from the restriction which plagues so many other anthologies: that awards ceremony style selection where the poems are less important than who made it and who didn't. He you'll see not only Chaucer. but Bob Dylan and others, sometimes juxtaposed together! It's really a wonderfully diverse selection, so much so that even those familiar with standard anthologies will find plenty new here. And of course, as an "introduction," the book it wonderful. It contains just enough guidance to let the reader explore poems himself, and pretty soon you find yourself teaching yourself how to read poetry by actually reading it. I've read many other books that attempt to do this, and in almost all cases they are too simple to be useful. Here is a book that simply throws you in, and yet arranges everything in the ideal way for you to get the most out of your reading. I highly recommend this collection to anyone interested in poetry. It's a jumpstart for people who don't have the breadth of reading, but still want to experience what the world of poetry has to offer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Devin Ware

    Interesting and educational. Its poem's are organized with no regard for date, style, or author; it only considers how well each poem represented the lesson being taught in that chapter. This gives an incredibly broad view of just how varied, multi-faceted, and beautiful poetry can be. It's also an excellent place to start if you are interested in learning about poetry before the era of Rupi Kaur and Instagram poetry. I'm not knocking modern poetry, I promise. However, it can seem an overwhelming Interesting and educational. Its poem's are organized with no regard for date, style, or author; it only considers how well each poem represented the lesson being taught in that chapter. This gives an incredibly broad view of just how varied, multi-faceted, and beautiful poetry can be. It's also an excellent place to start if you are interested in learning about poetry before the era of Rupi Kaur and Instagram poetry. I'm not knocking modern poetry, I promise. However, it can seem an overwhelming task to try and dive into the ocean of words that were written before the 21st century, and this book is a great aid.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I bought this book as a text for my "Introduction to Poetry" class a few semesters ago and fell in love with it. I especially like the organization of the anthology; rather than having the poetry in chronological order, the editor put the poems in chapters according to theme. This way, the reader is exposed to similar themes and characteristics across hundreds of years of poetry. You can read John Donne, Shakespeare, Billy Collins, and Sylvia Plath all within one chapter. I loved this text. I fre I bought this book as a text for my "Introduction to Poetry" class a few semesters ago and fell in love with it. I especially like the organization of the anthology; rather than having the poetry in chronological order, the editor put the poems in chapters according to theme. This way, the reader is exposed to similar themes and characteristics across hundreds of years of poetry. You can read John Donne, Shakespeare, Billy Collins, and Sylvia Plath all within one chapter. I loved this text. I frequently read it on my days off, simply for the joy of reading wonderful poetry. If you're looking for a good way to include more poetry in your life, this is an anthology you can't pass up.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    This collection remains my favorite anthology of poetry, although it was the 7th edition that I studied in college. One of the things I love about this book is its breadth -- before this book, I had never read a poem written in my own voice, or one like it. This book really helped me understand and appreciate poetry in a whole new way -- it opened up my world.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hinsley

    What a wonderful anthology! I couldn't decide if I'd gotten to be a better reader or their editing had improved, lo these many years. Be that as it may, a splendid collection that I read with delight. What a wonderful anthology! I couldn't decide if I'd gotten to be a better reader or their editing had improved, lo these many years. Be that as it may, a splendid collection that I read with delight.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Todd

    ** Note: I have the Sixth Edition, but I could not find that on Goodreads. It's an old college book that I kept, which is good because I appreciate it more now than I did then. ** Note: I have the Sixth Edition, but I could not find that on Goodreads. It's an old college book that I kept, which is good because I appreciate it more now than I did then.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ijorabi

    A decent introduction to the varying aspects of poetry. It's more of a "how poetry works" book that picks poems from here and there as examples rather than a collection of poetry. A decent introduction to the varying aspects of poetry. It's more of a "how poetry works" book that picks poems from here and there as examples rather than a collection of poetry.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    What is great about this book is the organizational structure that introduces, tone, speaker, setting, sound, etc. Also, it includes major living contemporary poets which is great.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom R.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Gaudet

  13. 4 out of 5

    Thom Dunn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna Hiller

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chantal

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  17. 4 out of 5

    Philroy Spencer

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tree

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine Seaver

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erenie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Agnes

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Reads

  23. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Arena

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Jin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Bevis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Moore

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

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