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The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume 2: Contemporary Poetry 3rd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393977929
ISBN-10: 0393977927
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-In all, 1596 poems by 195 poets are included in this exhaustive and meticulous labor-of-love revision. Now divided into two volumes, Modern Poetry and Contemporary Poetry, the anthology includes the works of such masters as Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, Dylan Thomas, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Lucille Clifton, Louise Erdrich, and Allen Ginsberg. The editors broaden the international scope of the collection's older versions by the addition of newer poets, whose works reveal "a multinational influence and scope," such as Agha Shahid Ali and Christopher Okigbo. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance and African-American modernism are also represented, as are experimental and longer poems, and selections of "ethnic, national, and regional poetries." New, extensive, and beautifully composed introductions provide insight, observations, and historical context for the selections. There are also updated head notes, annotations, and bibliographies. This ambitious, highly successful work is a veritable tribute to the enduring power of literature and language.
Hillary Jan Donitz-Goldstein, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Representing 195 poets and 1,596 poems (half new), this classic is finally big enough to divide into two volumes.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition (January 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393977927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393977929
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Norton anthology of Modern Poetry has now been updated and re-edited by Jahan Ramazani, and to excellent effect. The anthology now is split into two volumes, Modern and Contemporary, which here means poets who came of age before or after WWII. Not only has the anthology been expanded, but importantly a poetics section has been added (the last 100+ pages of each volume), which includes Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and Mina Loy's "Feminist Manifesto", parts of Pound's "Blast", and other important works. This is a smart move, and adds much to the anthology's usefulness.
The Modern section begins with "precursors": Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy, G. M. Hopkins. It then moves into AE Housman, Yeats, etc. up to Theodore Roethke, Spender and Keith Douglas. The Contemporary volume (slightly thicker, though both are over 1000 pages) takes off from there and includes experimental poets and those of more diversified backgrounds, such as Michael Palmer, Li-Young Lee, and Agha Shahid Ali.
I'm sure many will find disappointments here and questionable decisions - but that holds true for almost any anthology. More people will find something to celebrate here - a remarkable selection of two centuries of great poetry in the English language.
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Format: Paperback
The Norton anthology of Modern Poetry has now been updated and re-edited by Jahan Ramazani, and to excellent effect. The anthology now is split into two volumes, Modern and Contemporary (which here means poets who came of age slightly before or after WWII). Not only has the anthology been expanded, but importantly a poetics section has been added (the last 100+ pages of each volume), which includes Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and Mina Loy's "Feminist Manifesto", parts of Pound's "Blast", and other important works. This is a smart move, and adds much to the anthology's usefulness.
The Modern section begins with "precursors": Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy, G. M. Hopkins. It is nice to see these giants featured prominently; it adds much to the value of the set, and the collection of their works is broad and satisfying. The section then moves on to AE Housman, Yeats, etc. up to Theodore Roethke, Spender and Keith Douglas. The Contemporary volume (slightly thicker, though both are over 1000 pages) takes off from there and includes experimental poets and those of more diversified backgrounds, such as Michael Palmer, Li-Young Lee, and Agha Shahid Ali.
Introductory sections to both volumes provide broad overviews of poetic movements (Objectivist, Imagist, etc). While written in a very clear style that will not scare off beginners, these are actually well-researched and thought-through overviews that will be useful to serious students of poetry as well.
The packaging is, in my opinion, attractive and sleek: two well designed volumes housed in a cardboard case. The paper is a bit thin and smooth (I suppose it's hard to fit 1000 pages into such relatively slim volumes), but has actually proved most durable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The second edition of this text was very good; the third edition is exceptional. the introductory essay on modernism in the first volume is worth the purchase of the book and the essays accompanying each poet are extremely valuable. the third edition has, in addition to the poetry, some seminal critical essays (such as t.s. eliot's "tradition and the individual talent"). i love this anthology and greedily devoured the whole 1000 page first volume this past month (july 2005) while on vacation. I am a third of the way through the second volume.

a notable difference between the second and third editions is that the basic introduction to verse forms (meter etc.) has been ommitted from the third edition. i always liked this essay and wish that the editors had retained it as an appendix.

lastly, robinson jeffers' poem "shiva" was dropped from the third edition, which i took as a bit of a loss.
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Format: Paperback
In the past I've read less expensive anthologies, but the quality of the selections and the excellent introductions (especially the poetics section at the back) make it well worth the extra money. To double your pleasure, read the first volume in conjunction with an excellent free on-line course at Yale.edu.
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Format: Paperback
I am a poet and I bought this for research and inspirational value. Its primary authors are also represented in the regular Norton Anthology of Poetry, but this is, as the name implies, a much more exhaustive representation of the past 150 years or so. It starts with Dickinson, Hardy, Whitman and Yeats, and moves on from there.

Selections are ample for deciding whether I'd like to read more, and it's pretty much a who's who of poetic style. Since I am by no means an expert on literature, I can't question individual selection much, but to tell you the truth, I have the regular Norton 4th Ed., and it has within its covers a good representation of the so-called "Modern" and "Contemporary" poets by itself. Overall, you should have more than just a passing fancy of poetry to warrant the expense of this book. Poetry takes a long time to read and digest, I've found, and this one could easily last you a lifetime.
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The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume 2: Contemporary Poetry
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