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The Best American Poetry (Best American Poetry)


The Best American Poetry (Best American Poetry) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The appearance of The Best American Poetry every September is an eagerly awaited rite of fall — as evidenced by soaring sales and terrific reviews. The popularity of the series is "ample proof that poetry is thriving" (The Orlando Sentinel), and this year's volume will dazzle and delight, instruct and inspire. Under the guiding vision of master poet John Hollander — one of America's most erudite literary minds — The Best American Poetry 1998 spotlights the imaginative power and insight of our finest poets at the fin-de-siècle. Diverse in form and method, the poems display an unwavering nobility of expression, maintaining the uncompromising artistic standards essential to The Best American Poetry tradition as it enters its second decade. With a foreword by series editor David Lehman and with comments from the poets illuminating their work, The Best American Poetry 1998 will lead you on an exhilarating and inspiring literary adventure.


The 1998 edition of the "year's worth of the very best" ("People") in poetry features stunning poems from such esteemed writers as Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, Robert Pinsky, and Rosanna Warren. Local reading with the contributors.

About the Author

David Lehman was born in New York City in 1948. He is the author of three collections of poems: An Alternative to Speech (1986) and Operation Memory (1990), both from Princeton, and Valentine Place (1996), from Scribner. His latest critical book is The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets (Doubleday, 1998). A revised and enlarged edition of his anthology, Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms, was recently published by the University of Michigan Press. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a three-year writers' award from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. He is on the core faculty of the graduate writing programs at Bennington College and the New School for Social Research. He also teaches a "great poems" course in the undergraduate honors program at New York University. He is the general editor of the University of Michigan Press's Poets on Poetry Series. He initiated The Best American Poetry in 1988.

Table of Contents


Foreword by David Lehman

Introduction by John Hollander

Jonathan Aaron, "Mr. Moto's Confession"

Agha Shahid Ali, "The Floating Post Office"

Dick Allen, "The Cove"

A. R. Ammons, "Now Then"

Daniel Anderson, "A Possum's Tale"

James Applewhite, "Botanical Garden: The Coastal Plains"

Craig Arnold, "Hot"

Sarah Arvio, from Visits from the Seventh

John Ashbery, "Wakefulness"

Frank Bidart, "The Second Hour of the Night"

Robert Bly, "A Week of Poems at Bennington"

George Bradley, "In an Old Garden"

John Bricuth, from Just Let Me Say This About That (IV)

Anne Carson, "TV Men: Antigone (Scripts 1 and 2)"

Turner Cassity, "Symbol of the Faith"

Henri Cole, "Self-Portrait as Four Styles of Pompeian Wall Painting"

Billy Collins, "Lines Composed Over Three Thousand Miles from Tintern Abbey"

Alfred Corn, "Jaffa"

James Cummins, "Echo"

Tom Disch, "What Else Is There"

Denise Duhamel, "The Difference Between Pepsi and Pope"

Lynn Emanuel, "Like God,"

Irving Feldman, "Movietime"

Emily Fragos, "Apollo's Kiss"

Debora Greger, "Mass in B Minor"

Allen Grossman, "Weird River"

Thom Gunn, "To Cupid"

Marilyn Hacker, "Again, The River"

Rachel Hadas, "Pomegranate Variations"

Donald Hall, "Letter with No Address"

Joseph Harrison, "The Cretonnes of Penelope"

Anthony Hecht, "Rara Avis in Terris"

Daryl Hine, "The World Is Everything That Is the Case"

Edward Hirsch, "The Lectures on Love"

Richard Howard, "The Job Interview"

Andrew Hudgins, "The Hanging Gardens"

Mark Jarman, "The Word 'Answer'"

Donald Justice, "Stanzas on a Hidden Theme"

Brigit Pegeen Kelly, "The Orchard"

Karl Kirchwey, "Roman Hours"

Carolyn Kizer, "Second Time Around"

Kenneth Koch, "Ballade"

John Koethe, "The Secret Amplitude"

Rika Lesser, "About Her"

Phillis Levin, "Ontological"

Philip Levine, "Drum"

Rebecca McClanahan, "Making Love"

J. D. McClatchy, "Descartes's Dream"

Heather McHugh, "Past All Understanding"

Sandra McPherson, "Chalk-Circle Compass"

W. S. Merwin, "The Chinese Mountain Fox"

Robert Mezey, "Joe Simpson [ 1919-1996]"

A. F. Moritz, "Artisan and Clerk"

Thylias Moss, "The Right Empowerment of Light"

William Mullen, "Enchanted Rock"

Eric Ormsby, "Flamingos"

Jacqueline Qsherow, "Views of La Leggenda della Vera Croce"

Robert Pinsky, "Ode to Meaning"

ardReynolds Price, "The Closing, the Ecstasy"

Wyatt Prunty, "March"

Stephen Sandy, "Four Corners, Vermont"

Alan Shapiro, "The Coat"

Robert B. Shaw, "A Geode"

Charles Simic, "Ambiguity's Wedding"

Mark Strand, "The View"

James Tate, "Dream On"

Sidney Wade, "A Calm November. Sunday in the Fields."

Derek Walcott, "Signs"

Rosanna Warren, "'Departure'"

Rachel Wetzsteon, from Home and Away

Susan Wheeler, "Shanked on the Red Bed"

Richard Wilbur, "For C."

C. K. Williams, "The Bed"

Greg Williamson, "The Dark Days"

Charles Wright, "Returned to the Yaak Cabin, I Overhear an Old Greek Song"

Contributors' Notes and Comments

Magazines Where the Poems Were First Published


Product Details

Hollander, John
Hollander, John
Introduction by:
Hollander, John
Hollander, John
Foreword by:
Lehman, David
Lehman, David
Hollander, John
Lehman, David
Hollander, John
avid Lehman
Lehman, David
Scribner Book Company
American - General
Anthologies (multiple authors)
American poetry
20th century
American poetry (collections)
General Poetry
American poetry -- 20th century.
Poetry -Anthologies
Edition Description:
Best American Poetry (Paperback)
Publication Date:
August 1998
Grade Level:
8.44 x 5.5 in 14.77 oz

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The Best American Poetry (Best American Poetry) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780684814506 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The 1998 edition of the "year's worth of the very best" ("People") in poetry features stunning poems from such esteemed writers as Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, Robert Pinsky, and Rosanna Warren. Local reading with the contributors.
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