One of the most powerfully moving and evocative forms of poetry, the sonnet has been popular for more than 450 years. Unlike many other poetic genres, the sonnet has never gone out of fashion and its popularity today remains unabated.
This collection contains a rich selection of over 170 English and American sonnets by more than 70 poets, from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Included are great sonnets by the greatest poets. All have been carefully chosen for distinction in style or substance or both.
Included are such masterpieces of the form as: "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" by Shakespeare; "Death Be Not Proud" by Donne; "On His Blindness" by Milton; "The World Is Too Much with Us" by Wordsworth; "Ozymandias" by Shelley; "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer" by Keats; "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways" by E. Browning; "Acquainted with the Night" by Frost; "Euclid Alone Has Looked on Beauty Bare" by Millay; and poems by Spenser, Sidney, Burns, Blake, Byron, Longfellow, Tennyson, Poe, Swinburne, Wilde, E. A. Robinson, Dunbar, MacLeish, and many more.
In this inexpensive treasury, lovers of poetry can study and savor the ways in which a host of great poets used the versatile sonnet form to express everything from the "light conceits of love" to the most profound meditations.
Includes two selections from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: "The New Colossus" and "Ozymandias."
From haiku and tribal riddles to blank verse, these poems speak anew to a relationship in crisis, propelling us all toward appreciation and reflection of the planet that gives us life.
"Lee Upton is a poet of rare intelligence and craft. She has a cold eye and a warm heart, and her poems are well-made, moving, intellectually stimulating. Among my favorites in BOTTLE THE BOTTLES THE BOTTLES THE BOTTLES, her admirable new collection, are poems that resemble an unconventional verse essay on a subject disclosed in the poem's title. Anyone who has spent dreary hours in time-consuming meetings will enjoy Upton's transmutation of the experience in 'The Committee.' A meditation on 'The Defeatists' people whose reflexive mantra is 'we're not out of the woods yet' includes the paradox that even their search for disappointment is bound to result in failure. In 'Modesty, ' Scheherazade, the 'patron saint of suspense, ' beguiles her tyrant with her tales, though 'At some level // she could do nothing for him.' This thought is capped off with the stunning couplet that ends the poem: 'Neither could have / Chekhov.' These are poems to read, reread, and ponder. The rich heritage of English poetry Herrick, Keats, Poe, Dickinson, Wallace Stevens hovers over Upton's labors and adds an extra layer of wit for the discerning reader." David Lehman
"These poems have tensile strength and pleasurable intelligence. They're muscular and ironic. Some are tough minded and thistle-prickly (as Flannery O'Connor was tough and prickly, also with a dash of Plath). The swallowed violence in fairy tales and 'the romantic' is reimagined here. Female archetypes are one of Upton's touchstones: Pandora, Salome, mermaids, Lady Macbeth, Persephone. The poems interrogate ways we used to live versus what we're in the grip of now. And they question what beauty is, in a voice both droll and fierce. They give off a dark gleam." Amy Gerstler"
"We could nurse the wound of it or adjust. Beauty wants to replicate itself, and so I understood my craving to chew the blooms of flowers and to reproduce. It involved me and I was dripping with it, but when I reflected on my thoughts I found so much disfigurement. It was not so much that the bush burned without expending fuel but that the world provided endless fodder."
Wait finds C. K. Williams by turns ruminative, stalked by "the conscience-beast, who harries me," and "riven by idiot vigor, voracious as the youth I was / for whom everything always was going too slowly, too slowly." Poems about animals and rural life are set hard by poems about shrapnel in Iraq and sudden desire on the Paris métro; grateful invocations of Herbert and Hopkins give way to fierce negotiations with the shades of Coleridge, Dostoyevsky, and Celan. What the poems share is their setting in the cool, spacious, spotlit, book-lined place that is Williams's consciousness, a place whose workings he has rendered for fifty years with inimitable candor and style.
"Williams manages to consistently maintain the gentle, witty, and honest voice that he has spent a lifetime crafting." --Rachel A. Burns, The Harvard Crimson
"Everyone can find something, if they only look carefully," reads one of the memorable lines from this first collection of poems in English by the world-renowned Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan. These robust and accessible narrative poems feature gutsy portraits of life on wartorn and poverty-ravaged streets, where children tally the number of local deaths, where mothers live with low expectations, and where romance lives like a remote memory. In the tradition of Tom Waits, Charles Bukowski, and William S. Burroughs, Zhadan creates a new poetics of loss, a daily crusade of testimonial, a final witness of abandoned lives in a claustrophobic universe where "every year there's less and less air." Yet despite the grimness of these portraits, Zhadan's poems are familiar and enchanting, lit by the magic of everyday detail, leaving readers with a sense of hope, knowing that the will of a people "will never let it be / like it was before."
Oils is a gorgeous, beguiling collection of poems where the poise of the delivery belies the emotional, existential turmoil within.
Through his portraits of an atheist, a pickpocket and a spinach-loving sailor (among others), Sexton evokes a strange kind of melancholy as he strives to reconcile passion with detachment and profound self-doubt with unwavering love.
This is the debut pamphlet of Stephen Sexton, who has gone on to win awards including the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
Danez Smith is our president
Homie is Danez Smith's magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith's close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family--blood and chosen--arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez's friends and for you and for yours.
Alabanza is a twenty-year collection charting the emergence of Martín Espada as the preeminent Latino lyric voice of his generation. "Alabanza" means "praise" in Spanish, and Espada praises the people Whitman called "them the others are down upon": the African slaves who brought their music to Puerto Rico; a prison inmate provoking brawls so he could write poetry in solitary confinement; a janitor and his solitary strike; Espada's own father, who was jailed in Mississippi for refusing to go to the back of the bus. The poet bears witness to death and rebirth at the ruins of a famine village in Ireland, a town plaza in México welcoming a march of Zapatista rebels, and the courtroom where he worked as a tenant lawyer. The title poem pays homage to the immigrant food-service workers who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center. From the earliest out-of-print work to the seventeen new poems included here, Espada celebrates the American political imagination and the resilience of human dignity. Alabanza is the epic vision of a writer who, in the words of Russell Banks, "is one of the handful of American poets who are forging a new American language, one that tells the unwritten history of the continent, speaks truth to power, and sings songs of selves we can no longer silence." An American Library Association Notable Book of 2003 and a 2003 New York Public Library Book to Remember.
"To read this work is to be struck breathless, and surely, to come away changed."--Barbara Kingsolver "Martín Espada is the Pablo Neruda of North American authors. If it was up to me, I'd select him as the Poet Laureate of the United States."--Sandra Cisneros "With these new and selected poems, you can grasp how powerful a poet Espada is--his range, his compassion, his astonishing images, his sense of history, his knowledge of the lives on the underbelly of cities, his bright anger, his tenderness, his humor. "--Marge Piercy "Espada's poems are not just clarion calls to the heart and conscience, but also wonderfully crafted gems."--Julia Alvarez "A passionate, readable poetry that makes [Espada] arguably the most important 'minority' U.S. poet since Langston Hughes."--Booklist"Neruda is dead, but if Alabanza is any clue, his ghost lives through a poet named Martín Espada."--San Francisco Chronicle
Mir Muhammad Taqi Mir (1723-1810) is widely regarded as the most accomplished poet in the Urdu language. His massive output--six divans--was produced in Delhi and Lucknow during the high tide of Urdu literary culture.
Selected Ghazals and Other Poems offers a comprehensive collection of Mir's finest ghazals, extended lyrics composed of couplets, and of his masnavis, narrative works of a romantic or didactic character. The ghazals celebrate earthly and mystical love through subtle wordplay, vivid descriptions of the beloved, and a powerful individual voice. The sometimes satirical masnavis highlight everyday subjects: domestic pets, monsoon rains, the rigors of travel. They also include two astonishing love stories: one about young men whose relationship is shattered when one marries; the other about a queen, her peacock lover, and the jealous king who seeks to drive them apart.
The Urdu text, presented here in the Nastaliq script, accompanies new translations of Mir's poems, some appearing in English for the first time.
A stunning new collection from a "beguiling and magisterial" poet (The New York Times Book Review)
This is the End of Days.
This is what we've been waiting for always.
I walked over to the Hudson River, heading for Mars.
Each poem of mine is a suicide belt.
I say that to my girlfriend Life.
Peaches Goes It Alone, Frederick Seidel's newest collection of poems, begins with global warming and ends with Aphrodite. In between is everything. Peaches Goes It Alone presents the sexual and political themes that have long preoccupied Seidel--and thrilled and offended his readers. Lyrical, grotesque, and elegiac, Peaches Goes It Alone adds new music and menace to Seidel's masterful body of work.
"The Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman is the most comprehensive selection of his verse to date, a volume that contains a lot of previously uncollected work. ... this book makes a case for him as a perceptive and eccentric American original, a man who seems to have fallen out of the sky like a meteor."--The New York Times
"He was an original voice. No one else talked like him. No one else wrote poetry like him."--Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Bob Kaufman (1925-1986) was one of the most important--and most original--poets of the twentieth century. He is among the inaugurators of what today is characterized as the Afro-Surreal, uniting the surrealist practice of automatic writing with the jazz concept of spontaneous composition. He seldom wrote his poems down and often discarded those he did, leaving them to be rescued by others. He was also a legendary figure of the Beat Generation, known as much for hopping on tables to declaim his poetry as for maintaining a monastic silence for months or even years at a time.
Kaufman produced just three broadsides and three books in his lifetime. In 1967, Golden Sardine was published by City Lights in its famed Pocket Poets Series, and became an instant cult classic. Collected Poems is a landmark poetic achievement, bringing together all of Kaufman's known surviving poems, including an extensive section of previously uncollected work, in a long overdue return to City Lights Books.
Praise for Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman
"Bob Kaufman volcanically en-veined the Beats as a mirage enveloped Surrealist; not as a formal poet, but one, like Rimbaud, who embodied butane. Following the scent of his butane on one anonymous North Beach afternoon led Philip Lamantia to audibly utter to me that Bob Kaufman as per incandescent singularity is 'our poet.'"--Will Alexander, author of Compression & Purity
"Bob Kaufman is one of our most vulnerable, mysterious, and beautiful poets, a nomadic maudit, surrealist saint of the streets, votary of silence, the consummate Outrider with trickster imagination and visionary power."--Anne Waldman, author of Trickster Feminism
"Uplifting the voice of this under-sung literary master to future's light is the mission of the Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman. This poet's poet on the cliff edge of no ledge is still continuing to foster new surrealizations. Read this bebopian wordsmith, his pen turned saxophone and ink notes that are black tears."--Kamau Daáood, author of The Language of Saxophones
"These pages vibrate, a pulse not from way out, but from way in this strange, strange country. Wearing the poet's trembling, subterranean eyes, I see the dirt of imperial graves, grocery store corpses, swank gas chambers, and bomb shelters cut an inverted skyline against a too orange American sun. Blinking, I look up and the real sun seems just as radioactive, which is perhaps what leaves me the most shaken. To call these poems 'surreal' seems, now, to muffle Kaufman's prophetic genius. He saw us, our images in pools of blood, milk, and saxophone spittle. Maybe it was ever our shivering made the ripples that distorted the reflections."--Douglas Kearney, author of Buck Studies
"Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman should finally liberate the kaleidoscopic surrealism of this San Franciscan, and in many respects, secular Franciscan, poet from the shadows of Allen Ginsberg and the other Beats. ... Collected Poems is a memoriam of unmitigated joy and abysmal despair."--Tyrone Williams, author of As iZ