Synopses & Reviews
Pretty much every poet in every age has written about death and dying. Along with love, it might be the most popular subject in poetry. Yet, until now, no anthology has gathered the best and most famous of these verses in one place.
This collection ranges dramatically. With more than 320 poems, it goes across all of history, from the ancients straight through to today. Across countries and languages, across schools of poetry. You'll find a plethora of approaches--witty, humorous, deadly serious, tear-jerking, wise, profound, angry, spiritual, atheistic, uncertain, highly personal, political, mythic, earthy, and only occasionally morbid.
Every angle you can think of is covered--the deaths of children, lost loves, funeral rites, close calls, eating meat, serial killers, the death penalty, roadkill, the Underworld, reincarnation, elegies for famous people, death as an equalizer, death as a junk man, death as a child, the death of God, the death of death . . . .
You'll find death poetry's greatest hits, including:
- "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson
- "To an Athlete Dying Young" by A.E. Housman
- "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas
- "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" by Walt Whitman
- "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe
The rest of the band includes . . .
Jane Austen, Mary Jo Bang, Willis Barnstone, Charles Baudelaire, William Blake, Charlotte Brontë, Lord Byron, Lucille Clifton, Andrei Codrescu, Wanda Coleman, Billy Collins, Ralph Waldo Emerson, T.S. Eliot, Nick Flynn, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Frost, Kimiko Hahn, Homer, Victor Hugo, Langston Hughes, James Joyce, C.S. Lewis, Amy Lowell, W.S. Merwin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pablo Neruda, Thich Nhat Hanh, Friedrich Nietzsche, Wilfred Owen, Rainer Maria Rilke, Christina Rossetti, Rumi, Sappho, Shakespeare, Wallace Stevens, Ruth Stone, Wislawa Szymborska, W.B. Yeats, and a few hundred more.
"Russ Kick is best known for his "disinformation" guides that expose myths and lies by unearthing subversive facts and countercultural knowledge. His books include 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know and You Are Being Lied To--volumes that challenge the reader to question assumptions. What he asks us to acknowledge with The Graphic Canon is this: Gulliver's Travels, Wuthering Heights, Leaves of Grass--these works of literature do not reside just on the shelves of academia; they flourish in the eye of our imagination." --New York Times review of The Graphic Cannon edited by Russ Kick
Russ Kick is known for his quirky, ingenious, and surprisingly useful collections. He's done it again. This is the most comprehensive, not to mention the first, anthology of death poetry ever published in the English language, from popular Disinformation author Russ Kick is ultimately life affirming. Death Poems
is an unprecedented, vast survey of death in poetry that cuts across time, world cultures and languages.
Death Poems covers a range of subjects, from the death of children, lost loves, and funeral rites, to serial killers, 9/11, the death penalty, roadkill, war, the Underworld, reincarnation, and elegies to famous people.
Included are the famous poems--death poetry's greatest hits--that have to be included: "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Dickinson, "To an Athlete Dying Young" by Housman, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" by Thomas, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" by Wilde, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" by Whitman, "Adonais" by Shelley, and a bunch more. Also included are poems from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Sappho, Nietzsche, C.S. Lewis, Victor Hugo, Rumi, Benjamin Franklin, Langston Hughes and many, many more.