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Other titles in the Penguin Academics series:
100 Great Poets of the English Language (Penguin Academics Series) (Penguin Academics)
Synopses & Reviews
100 Great Poets provides a concise but comprehensive overview of the poetic tradition in English. Chronologically arranged, the book presents the major poets from Beowulf to the present with representative examples from each author. The headnotes and selections reflect the high notes of each poet¿s career—the classic poems that have earned an enduring place in the canon of English language literature.
"100 Great Poets" provides a concise but comprehensive overview of the poetic tradition in English. Chronologically arranged, the book presents the major poets from Beowulf to the present with representative examples from each author. The headnotes and selections reflect the high notes of each poetAs career-the classic poems that have earned an enduring place in the canon of English language literature.
About the Author
Dana Gioia is a poet, critic, and teacher. Born in Los Angeles, he attended Stanford and Harvard before taking a detour into business. ("Not many poets have a Stanford M.B.A., thank goodness!") After years of writing and reading late in the evenings after work, he quit a vice presidency to write and teach. He has published three collections of poetry: Daily Horoscope (1986); The Gods of Winter (1991); Interrogations at Noon (2001), winner of the 2001 American Book Award; an opera libretto, Nosferatu (2002); several anthologies; and an influential study of poetry¿s place in contemporary America, Can Poetry Matter? (1992). Gioia has taught at Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan (Connecticut), Mercer, and Colorado College. He is also the co-founder of the summer poetry conference at West Chester University in Pennsylvania and a frequent commentator on literature for the British Broadcasting Corporation. He currently lives in Santa Rosa, California, with his wife, Mary, two sons, and an ever growing number of cats.
(The surname Gioia is pronounced JOY-A. As some of you may have already guessed, gioia is the Italian word for joy.)
Table of Contents
BEOWULF POET (8th Century).
Battle with Grendel.
GEOFFREY CHAUCER (c. 1340-1400).
General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales.
Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale.
SIR THOMAS WYATT (1503-1542).
The Lover Complaineth the Unkindness of His Love.
Stand Whoso List.
They Flee from Me.
Whoso List to Hunt.
EDMUND SPENSER (c. 1552-1599).
The Rolling Wheele that Runneth often Round (#18).
Like as a Huntsman After Weary Chase (#67).
One Day I Wrote Her Name Upon the Strand (#75).
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554-1586).
FROM Astrophil and Stella.
Loving in Truth, and Fain in Verse My Love to Show (#1).
With How Sad Steps, O Moon, Thou Climb'st the Skies (#31).
Come Sleep, Oh Sleep, the Certain Knot of Peace (#39).
Leave me, O Love.
My True Love Hath My Heart.
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE (1564-1593).
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
Faustus to Helen of Troy (FROM Doctor Faustus.)
The End of Doctor Faustus (FROM Doctor Faustus.)
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616).
When daisies pied and violets blue.
When icicles hang by the wall.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (#18).
When, in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes (#29).
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought (#30).
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments (#55).
That time of year thou mayst in me behold (#73).
Let me not to the marriage of true minds (#116).
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (#130).
When my love swears that she is made of truth (#138).
Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth (#146).
Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun.
Full fathom five thy father lies.
JOHN DONNE (1572-1631).
Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You.
Death be not proud.
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning.
At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners.
Song: Go and Catch a Falling Star.
Song: Sweetest Love, I Do Not Goe.
BEN JONSON (1572-1637).
Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears.
On My First Son.
Still to Be Neat.
To Celia (Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes).
Song: To Celia (I).
MARY SIDNEY WROTH (1587?-1623?)
Am I Thus Conquer'd?
In This Strange Labyrinth.
When Night's Blacke Mantle.
You Blessed Stars.
ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674).
Corinna's Going A-Maying.
Delight in Disorder.
Upon Julia's Clothes.
To Anthea, Who May Command Him Any Thing.
To Virgins to Make Much of Time.
GEORGE HERBERT (1593-1633).
JOHN MILTON (1608-1674).
When I consider How My Light is Spent.
Methought I saw My late Espousèd Saint.
ANNE BRADSTREET (c. 1612-1672).
The Author to Her Book.
Before the Birth of One of her Children.
To My Dear and Loving Husband.
ANDREW MARVELL (1621-1678).
The Definition of Love.
The Mower Against Gardens.
To His Coy Mistress.
HENRY VAUGHAN (1622-1695).
They Are All Gone into the World of Light.
JOHN DRYDEN (1631-1700).
To the Memory of Mr. Oldham.
Song (FROM Marriage á-la-Mode.)
APHRA BEHN (1640-1689).
Song: Love Armed.
Epitaph on the Tombstone of a Child.
A Thousand Martyrs.
To the Fair Clarinda, Who Made Love to Me, Imagined More Than Woman.
ANNE FINCH, COUNTESS OF WINCHILSEA (1661-1720).
A Nocturnal Reverie.
ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744).
from An Essay on Criticism: Part II.
Epistle II (FROM An Essay on Man.)
THOMAS GRAY (1716-1771).
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.
Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH (c. 1730-1774).
When Lovely Woman Stoops to Folly.
The Deserted Village (excerpt).
WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827).
The Chimney Sweeper.
The Garden of Love.
A Poison Tree.
The Sick Rose.
Auguries of Innocence.
And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time (FROM Milton.)
ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796).
To a Mouse.
For A' That and A' That.
Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850).
Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.
She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways.
Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known.
Composed upon Westminster Bridge.
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.
The Solitary Reaper.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.
The World Is Too Much with Us.
Surprised by Joy–Impatient as the Wind.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834).
Frost at Midnight.
GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788-1824).
When We Two Parted.
The Ocean (FROM Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.)
The Destruction of Sennacherib.
She Walks in Beauty.
So We'll Go No More a-Roving.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792-1822).
Ode to the West Wind.
England in 1819.
JOHN KEATS (1795-1821).
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer.
When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be.
Bright Star! Would I were Steadfast as Thou Art.
La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad.
This Living Hand, Now Warm and Capable.
Ode on a Grecian Urn.
Ode on Melancholy.
Ode to a Nightingale.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882).
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (1806-1861).
How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.
I Thought Once How Theocritus Had Sung.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882).
Proem to Evangeline.
The Jewish Cemetery at Newport.
The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls.
The Cross of Snow.
EDWARD FITZGERALD (1809-1883).
from The Rubàiyàt of Omar Khayyàm of Naishàpùr
EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849).
The Haunted Palace.
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON (1809-1892).
Break, Break, Break.
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.
Tears, Idle Tears.
FROM In Memoriam.
Old yew, which graspest at the stones (#2).
Dark house, by which once more I stand (#7).
Be near me when my light is low (#50).
ROBERT BROWNING (1812-1889).
My Last Duchess.
Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister.
Meeting at Night.
Parting at Morning.
EMILY BRONTë (1818-1848).
Love and Friendship.
No Coward Soul Is Mine.
WALT WHITMAN (1819-1892).
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer.
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing.
A Noiseless Patient Spider.
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking.
I Hear America Singing.
from Song of Myself (1891-1892 “Deathbed” Edition.)
I celebrate myself, and sing myself (#1).
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands (#6).
I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul (#21).
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me (#52).
MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822-1888).
COVENTRY PATMORE (1823-1896).
Magnus est Veritas.
DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882).
The Blessed Damozel.
EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886).
I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain.
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
I taste a liquor never brewed.
Wild Nights–Wild Nights!
The Soul selects her own Society.
This is my letter to the World.
Because I could not stop for Death.
Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.
Success is counted sweetest.
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI (1830-1894).
LEWIS CARROLL [CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON] (1832-1898).
The Walrus and the Carpenter.
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE (1837-1909).
When the Hounds of Spring Are on Winter's Traces.
The Garden of Proserpine.
THOMAS HARDY (1840-1928).
“I Look into My Glass.”
The Darkling Thrush.
The Ruined Maid.
The Convergence of the Twain.
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (1844-1889).
Spring and Fall.
No Worst, There is None.
A. E. HOUSMAN (1859-1936).
Into My Heart an Air That Kills.
Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now.
To an Athlete Dying Young.
With Rue My Heart Is Laden.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries.
RUDYARD KIPLING (1865-1936).
Epitaphs of the War.
“Cities and Thrones and Powers.”
Harp Song of the Dane Women.
W. B. YEATS (1865-1939).
The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
When You Are Old.
No Second Troy.
An Irish Airman Forsees His Death.
The Second Coming.
Leda and the Swan.
Sailing to Byzantium.
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop.
EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON (1869-1935).
ROBERT FROST (1874-1963).
The Road Not Taken.
Fire and Ice.
Nothing Gold Can Stay.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.
Acquainted with the Night.
WALLACE STEVENS (1879-1955).
The Snow Man.
The Emperor of Ice-Cream.
Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock.
Anecdote of the Jar.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.
Of Mere Being.
WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS (1883-1963).
To Waken an Old Lady.
The Widow's Lament in Springtime.
Spring and All.
The Red Wheelbarrow.
D. H. LAWRENCE (1885-1930).
EZRA POUND (1885-1972).
Portrait d'une Femme.
In a Station of the Metro.
The River-Merchant's Wife: a Letter.
H. D. [HILDA DOOLITTLE] (1886-1961).
ROBINSON JEFFERS (1887-1962).
To the Stone-Cutters.
Shine, Perishing Republic.
Rock and Hawk.
MARIANNE MOORE (1887-1972).
To a Steam Roller.
The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing.
T. S. ELIOT (1888-1965).
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
La Figlia Che Piange.
The Waste Land.
JOHN CROWE RANSOM (1888-1974).
EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY (1892-1950).
Time Does Not Bring Relief.
Passer Mortuus Est.
What Lips My Lips Have Kissed.
WILFRED OWEN (1893-1918).
Anthem for Doomed Youth.
Dulce et Decorum Est.
E. E. CUMMINGS (1894-1962).
next to of course god america i.
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond.
may i feel said he.
anyone lived in a pretty how town.
pity this busy monster,manunkind.
ROBERT GRAVES (1895-1985).
The Cool Web.
Down, Wanton, Down!
To Juan at the Winter Solstice.
Warning to Children.
Counting the Beats.
LOUISE BOGAN (1897-1970).
Henceforth, from the Mind.
HART CRANE (1899-1932).
Praise for an Urn.
My Grandmother's Love Letters.
LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967).
The Negro Speaks of Rivers.
The Weary Blues.
Theme for English B.
STEVIE SMITH (1902-1971).
Not Waving but Drowning.
One of Many.
EARLE BIRNEY (1904-1995).
From the Hazel Bough.
W. H. AUDEN (1907-1973).
“O Where Are You Going.
As I Walked Out One Evening.
In Memory of W. B. Yeats.
Musée des Beaux Arts.
September, 1, 1939.
The Shield of Achilles.
A. D. HOPE (1907-2000).
The Lingam and the Yoni.
THEODORE ROETHKE (1908-1963).
My Papa's Waltz.
Elegy for Jane.
I Knew a Woman.
ELIZABETH BISHOP (1911-1979).
Questions of Travel.
ROBERT HAYDEN (1913-1980).
Homage to the Empress of the Blues.
Those Winter Sundays.
JOHN BERRYMAN (1914-1972).
from The Dream Songs.
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so (14).
I am the little man who smokes & smokes (22).
There sat down, once, a thing on Henry's heart (29).
WELDON KEES (1914-1955).
For My Daughter.
Aspects of Robinson.
DYLAN THOMAS (1914-1953).
And death shall have no dominion.
In my craft or sullen art.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
GWENDOLYN BROOKS (1917-2000).
Sadie and Maud.
The Rites for Cousin Vit.
We Real Cool.
CHARLES CAUSLEY (b. 1917).
At the British War Cemetery, Bayeux.
I Am the Great Sun.
What Has Happened to Lulu?
ROBERT LOWELL (1917-1977).
Mr. Edwards and the Spider.
For the Union Dead.
RICHARD WILBUR (b. 1921).
Love Calls Us to Things of This World.
October Maples: Portland.
PHILIP LARKIN (1922-1985).
Poetry of Departures.
Home Is So Sad.
This Be the Verse.
DENISE LEVERTOV (1923-1997).
The Ache of Marriage.
O Taste and See.
LOUIS SIMPSON (b. 1923).
Early in the Morning.
The Man Who Married Magdalene.
My Father in the Night Commanding No.
The Unwritten Poem.
DONALD JUSTICE (b. 1925).
Counting the Mad.
On the Death of Friends in Childhood.
Men at Forty.
Psalm and Lament.
ALLEN GINSBERG (1926-1997).
Howl (Part I).
JAMES WRIGHT (1927-1980).
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.
ANNE SEXTON (1928-1974).
The Truth the Dead Know.
Wanting to Die.
ADRIENNE RICH (b. 1929).
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers.
The Diamond Cutters.
Living in Sin.
TED HUGHES (1930-1998).
DEREK WALCOTT (b. 1930).
A Far Cry from Africa.
from Midsummer (XXVII).
RHINA ESPAILLAT (b. 1932).
Bilingual / BilingÜe.
GEOFFREY HILL (b. 1932).
The Distant Fury of Battle.
Funeral Music (#3).
Idylls of the Kings.
SYLVIA PLATH (1932-1963).
SEAMUS HEANEY (b. 1939).
LOUISE GLÜCK (b. 1943).
The Gold Lily.
WENDY COPE (b. 1945).
From June to September.
KAY RYAN (b. 1945).
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