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Rich treasury of verse from the 19th and 20th centuries, selected for popularity and literary quality, includes Poe's "The Raven," Whitman's "I Hear America Singing," as well as poems by Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, many other notables.


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Rich treasury of verse from the 19th and 20th centuries, selected for popularity and literary quality, includes Poe's "The Raven," Whitman's "I Hear America Singing," as well as poems by Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, many other notables.

30 review for 101 Great American Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    What a pity I waited so long to read this. As I expected, the small volume contains excellent poems of Cummings, Emerson, Longfellow, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Gertrude Stein and Robert Frost. But, the true delight was discovering unknown poets. Here are two of my favorites: Ella Wheeler Wilcox The description notes she was a prolific author all her life and wrote her first novel at the age of nine! Solitude Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borro What a pity I waited so long to read this. As I expected, the small volume contains excellent poems of Cummings, Emerson, Longfellow, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Gertrude Stein and Robert Frost. But, the true delight was discovering unknown poets. Here are two of my favorites: Ella Wheeler Wilcox The description notes she was a prolific author all her life and wrote her first novel at the age of nine! Solitude Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. Sing, and the hills with anser; Sigh, it is lost on the air. The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink for voicing care. Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go. They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe. Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all. There are none to decline your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life's fall Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by. Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die. There is room in the halls of pleasure For a long and lordly train, But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain. ----------------------------- After reading this, I thought of the blessings of friends who make life so much easier by caring and sharing. So many difficult times in my life were/are shared by loving friends. --------------------------- The real gem in this book of 101 Great American Poems took my breath away as I read and re-read the message. I've never heard of Countee Cullen (1903-1946) but vow to find more of his works. The descriptive sentences note that although he wished to be known primarily as a poet and not as a Negro poet. From 1943 until his death, he was a teacher in the New York City public schools. Incident Once riding in old Baltimore, Heart-filled, head-filled with glee, I saw a Baltimorean Keep looking straight at me. Now I was eight and very small, And he was no whit bigger, And so I smiled, but he poked out His tongue, and called me, "Nigger." I saw the whole of Baltimore From May until December; Of all the things that happened there That's all that I remember. -----------------------------------

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Schoen

    Read ALL of it.... But I really did some thinking about "Shine, Republic" by Robinson Jeffers. .....And you America, that passion made you. You were not born to prosperity, you were born to freedom. You did not say 'en masse', you said ' independence.' But we cannot have all the luxuries and freedom also. Freedom is poor an laborious; that torch is not safe but hungry, and often requires blood for its fuel. That is only a portion of it. It's beautiful and so thought provoking.... Poetry is still Read ALL of it.... But I really did some thinking about "Shine, Republic" by Robinson Jeffers. .....And you America, that passion made you. You were not born to prosperity, you were born to freedom. You did not say 'en masse', you said ' independence.' But we cannot have all the luxuries and freedom also. Freedom is poor an laborious; that torch is not safe but hungry, and often requires blood for its fuel. That is only a portion of it. It's beautiful and so thought provoking.... Poetry is still the master.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Carroll (i_fucking_love_books)

    3.5

  4. 5 out of 5

    Claxton

    Great selection -- the 1st anthology compiled by the APL Project.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    There's more to the title of this collection than the number of poems included. Poetry 101: an introduction for those of us who paid little or no attention to the subject in school. Nicely done by the project organizers. A nice "find" in the Little Free Library in front of my house.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This is a collection of 101 poems by 39 different American poets. It begins with a poem by Anne Bradstreet in the 17th century and proceeds through to a work by W.H. Auden of the 20th century. In between are many poets that one would expect, such as Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Sandburg, and Cummings. There are others that might be unexpected such as Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, and Stephen Crane. While the poems aren't all jingoistic in nature, there is a recurring theme of celebration of Amer This is a collection of 101 poems by 39 different American poets. It begins with a poem by Anne Bradstreet in the 17th century and proceeds through to a work by W.H. Auden of the 20th century. In between are many poets that one would expect, such as Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Sandburg, and Cummings. There are others that might be unexpected such as Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, and Stephen Crane. While the poems aren't all jingoistic in nature, there is a recurring theme of celebration of America. Most of the poems in this tiny anthology will be familiar to poetry readers. This is a $1 Kindle e-book of a Dover Thrift Edition, and so one won't find living poets represented, or poems that tap into the zeitgeist du jour-- at the risk of mixing loan words. However, most of these poems deserve to be read and reread. A few of my favorites are below with title, author, and a fragment. The Builders by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Nothing useless is, or low; Each thing in its place is best; And what seems but idle show Strengthens and supports the rest. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman O Captain! my captain! our fearful trip is done, the ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won, I'm nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickenson I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us--don't tell! They'd banish us, you know The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus "Give my your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,... Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone War is Kind by Stephen Crane Do no weep, maiden, for war is kind Sence You Wend Away by James Weldon Johnson Seems lak to me de stars don't shine so bright, Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar I know what the caged bird feels, alas! When the sun is bright on the upland slopes; Fire and Ice by Robert Frost Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Chicago by Carl Sandburg They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys. Fog by Carl Sandburg The fog comes on little cat feet. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens Among twenty snowy mountains, The only moving thing Was the eye of the blackbird; The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams so much depends upon a red wheel barrow The Love Songs of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-- it gives a lovely light. Ars Poetica by Archibald Macleish A poem should not mean But be I, Too by Langston Hughes I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, Little Old Letter by Langston Hughes You don't need no gun nor knife-- A little old letter Can take a person's life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    I bought this book years ago at a library sale in Poolesville. During high school, as a matter of fact, when I was a poetry-reading-and-writing fiend and wanted to better acquaint myself with old poems. You know, like you do. Well, this treasury of American poetry introduced me to the hilarious poem "Casey At The Bat" and the knowledge that my baseball loving boyfriend will look at me funny when I admit that I had never heard of the poem until yesterday. That was embarrassing. Anyway, my true joy I bought this book years ago at a library sale in Poolesville. During high school, as a matter of fact, when I was a poetry-reading-and-writing fiend and wanted to better acquaint myself with old poems. You know, like you do. Well, this treasury of American poetry introduced me to the hilarious poem "Casey At The Bat" and the knowledge that my baseball loving boyfriend will look at me funny when I admit that I had never heard of the poem until yesterday. That was embarrassing. Anyway, my true joy in this book did not come from revisting poems I used to know, or poets I had never heard of before, but from the fact that some (presumably high school) boy decided to write in it. A lot. And circle things like the word "breast" and page "69." In a bout of note passing he lamented the fact that Alex wouldn't dump her boyfriend for him until he promised to send her his picture. Though he wasn't "on the fone" with her. Yeah, I love used books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    As a novice to poetry, this was a great read for me. I began reading out loud so many of the poems and thoroughly enjoyed it. The collection is excellent. There were some of the popular ones that I recognized but there was also a rich diversity of style, era and genre. I recommend this to anyone wanting a good exposure to America's great poets.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    I enjoyed the poems that was included in this book, but missed those that were not.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    A good but by no means expansive collection of American verse. As I expected, many of the major moments and beats of American poetics are included. There are some more eclectic offerings, as well as some forays into more experimental authors, but in general this collection is a basic introduction to great American verse. It is diverse and carefully considered, while also providing a good view of the scope of American verse. My one major complaint is that the collection does not go far enough into A good but by no means expansive collection of American verse. As I expected, many of the major moments and beats of American poetics are included. There are some more eclectic offerings, as well as some forays into more experimental authors, but in general this collection is a basic introduction to great American verse. It is diverse and carefully considered, while also providing a good view of the scope of American verse. My one major complaint is that the collection does not go far enough into more current works of poetry. This could have been contentious and made the collection more divisive on the whole, but some major American voices are left out here (notably Allen Ginsberg, Hart Crane, and Richard Wright). I understand how bloated the collection could become with the inclusion of other authors, but there is a risk of glorifying only works of the past. While I think this collection is more inspirational, I did think often of where the good modern work fit in. This collection makes it seem like it doesn't, that the only works to be glorified were in our distant past. This is resoundingly not the case. Otherwise this is a fine collection. It never reads as bland, and the verse is incredibly lively. Many of it reads with a resonance to our modern problems, anxieties, and joys.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andy Kristensen

    Trying to get into reading poetry to broaden my horizons instead of sticking solely to fiction and nonfiction. First foray was a mixed bag. Some of these poems are a bit nonsensical, especially Gertrude Stein’s. Maybe I “don’t get it” and will need to do more reading and analysis of poetry in general before I can start to enjoy it more.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    This compilation of American poems has introduced me to some amazing new poets. Namely Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Stephen Crane - so I am very happy that I bought this! A very neat collection for both new and old readers of poetry.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ely

    I haven't read many classic American poems, so I thought this would be a good place to start. It gave a good introduction to a few poets I'd heard of but never read and a few I'd never heard of. I feel like there was a lot missing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    had read many of these poems before of course, discovered a few gems I had not. Maybe not the 101 I would choose, but nothing that wasn't enjoyable. I just really enjoy poetry, so this type of book always hots the spot

  15. 4 out of 5

    Idyll

    Many years from now, I will think of this collection as the one that introduced me to poets who've since become familiar and beloved.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alexa Sorensen

    I read this book for a literature class in school, and it was very nice to have all of the "great" American poems and poets represented in one book. There is even a short biography about each of the poets, which I found helpful in creating context. However, I found that I dislike the "great" American poems. Most of them are simply too flowery and full of imagery and metaphors for me to derive any real meaning from. I'll stick to poems that use beautiful words that I can actually make sense of, t I read this book for a literature class in school, and it was very nice to have all of the "great" American poems and poets represented in one book. There is even a short biography about each of the poets, which I found helpful in creating context. However, I found that I dislike the "great" American poems. Most of them are simply too flowery and full of imagery and metaphors for me to derive any real meaning from. I'll stick to poems that use beautiful words that I can actually make sense of, thanks.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert Faron

    Interesting anthology A selection of classic American poets and a good introduction to flavored poetry. A place to find and appreciate old favorites.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sam Mosqueda

    Honestly, there were some omissions from this collection that I feel were really unfortunate. Additionally, why is "Paul Revere's Ride" in here? Read for ENG 352

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tina Huntz

    Great collection to taste and discover new authors.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt Hein

    Good diversity The book is filled with a diverse sampling of peotry and that is what I was looking for. Enough said.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steven Logan

    Very easy to read through, but so engaging. It's sweet tits.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liz Banks

    I have just re-read this. Always good.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tristen Pratt

    101 Great American Poems is a great way to feel and share the American pride! This great book filled with outstanding poems written by some of the most known and famed poets ever, were written by authors that not only are great, but are originally from our great country of the United States of America! With 101 poems in one book it almost seems possibilities of excitement are limitless with stories such as Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken, and so much more. Through 101 Great American Poems is a great way to feel and share the American pride! This great book filled with outstanding poems written by some of the most known and famed poets ever, were written by authors that not only are great, but are originally from our great country of the United States of America! With 101 poems in one book it almost seems possibilities of excitement are limitless with stories such as Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken, and so much more. Throughout these stories there are so many great lessons and symbolic phrases to be read. In Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing you learn of all the different jobs and responsibilities of everyone, but they all singing come together and show that even though their responsibilities are different they still can be united. In this poem it states "at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs." This shows that people when united, and friendly, will create something stronger than when apart, and in this case they will create a "strong melodious song." There isn't just great lessons and symbolism in this poem, but throughout all of these amazing poems, and with these symbols teach great lessons, the will help in the building of our great country's Patriotism and pride! Throughout these poems you also get to see the different point of views from each author. Many of their point of views are so interesting and show off the freedom we share in America for each author to be able to write they're own way. Robert Frost in The Road Not Taken shares how he feels when it comes to life decisions, that you only have one chance to make for you probably won't get the chance to go back another day, so you have to choose wisely. Or in Langston Hughes' I'm Still Here, he sees that in the world there will always be things to knock you around, and bring you down, but he says you have to keep going and states, "Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin', But I don't care! I'm still here." These different points of views just show the spirit that America is all about, and these poems can inspire us to live truthfully, justly, and live the American way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    N.

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. (Paperback, Dover Thrift Editions, 2014 reprint) I enjoyed it. It was a quick read and had a nice variety of poems in various styles. Considering this book was originally published in 1998 and the content has not been changed, I believe the giveaway was for the sake of continuing the purpose of the American Poetry & Literacy Project to distribute free poetry books to the public. The project is talked about in the introduction. The content of the b I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. (Paperback, Dover Thrift Editions, 2014 reprint) I enjoyed it. It was a quick read and had a nice variety of poems in various styles. Considering this book was originally published in 1998 and the content has not been changed, I believe the giveaway was for the sake of continuing the purpose of the American Poetry & Literacy Project to distribute free poetry books to the public. The project is talked about in the introduction. The content of the book is well varied and I'm sure everyone can find a poem (or poems) within in pages to enjoy. In includes some of the obvious, like Poe's "The Raven" and Frost's "The Road Not Taken", but also offers some lesser known works. I found several poems in the volume that I had never read before but that I loved. There were also some that weren't quite to my personal preference, but the point of the book seems to be to provide a wide enough assortment of poetry to appeal to the most people. This serves as a good introduction to American poetry. Only 80 pages long, and listed at a very reasonable price ($3), I would recommend this to anyone as a worthy light addition to their book collection. (Or an easy and cheap gift for most readers).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    This is the second of four poetry anthologies from Dover that I'm reading / reviewing. As can be expected from that publisher, it's an inexpensive, easily portable book. The 101 poems were written by 39 different poets, born between 1612 and 1907. Three were born before 1800, and three were born after 1900. So 33 were born in the 19th century. Each poet's section has a short blurb about the poet. The usual suspects are represented: Longfellow, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Sandburg, Eliot, Cum This is the second of four poetry anthologies from Dover that I'm reading / reviewing. As can be expected from that publisher, it's an inexpensive, easily portable book. The 101 poems were written by 39 different poets, born between 1612 and 1907. Three were born before 1800, and three were born after 1900. So 33 were born in the 19th century. Each poet's section has a short blurb about the poet. The usual suspects are represented: Longfellow, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Sandburg, Eliot, Cummings, etc. There's also a generous sampling from the Harlem Renaissance: James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen. I've selected ten pieces to spotlight here. I could have easily selected twice this amount. "Paul Revere's Ride" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow "The Raven" - Edgar Allan Poe "Casey At the Bat" - Ernest Lawrence Thayer "The Road Not Taken" - Robert Frost "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" - Frost "Chicago" - Carl Sandburg "Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird" - Wallace Stevens "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" - T.S. Eliot "Dream Deferred (Harlem)" - Langston Hughes "The Unknown Citizen" - W.H. Auden

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

    I read this in preparation for a class I'm teaching this coming fall. While some of the poems really grabbed me, I'm basically not a poetry person (despite being an English literature doctoral student). Also, I'm a British lit person, so I appreciated this collection less than the companion English and Irish poetry volume I'm currently reading. In terms of the collection itself, it is a decent cross-section of important American poetry, though as with any collection proclaiming itself "Great" poe I read this in preparation for a class I'm teaching this coming fall. While some of the poems really grabbed me, I'm basically not a poetry person (despite being an English literature doctoral student). Also, I'm a British lit person, so I appreciated this collection less than the companion English and Irish poetry volume I'm currently reading. In terms of the collection itself, it is a decent cross-section of important American poetry, though as with any collection proclaiming itself "Great" poems of a nation, there are many notably missing poems. The collection has had to be very selective in narrowing the vast multitude of American poetry to just 101. This collection works as a decent overview of important American poetry without pretending to be exhaustive. My other critique of this collection is that while it has very short author bios, the book contains no critical or explanatory material. For instance, many of the poems clearly refer to contemporary historical events, but for someone without a good knowledge of that particular moment of US history the references may not make any sense.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teancum Tukuafu

    In this collection of poems there are many great poems that are well known such as Stopping by Woods on a Snowing Evening by Edgar Allen Poe and Alone by Edgar Allen Poe. Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening is a great piece of literature that captures, ensnares, and puts people into the wood that he tells of in his poem. At the end of his poem he uses anaphoria to get the point across that his character has a long way to go. "And many miles to go before I sleep, And many miles t In this collection of poems there are many great poems that are well known such as Stopping by Woods on a Snowing Evening by Edgar Allen Poe and Alone by Edgar Allen Poe. Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening is a great piece of literature that captures, ensnares, and puts people into the wood that he tells of in his poem. At the end of his poem he uses anaphoria to get the point across that his character has a long way to go. "And many miles to go before I sleep, And many miles to go before I sleep." (page 50) Edgar Allen Poe's alone is one of the best of his even though it may be a little sad. The literary term used in this that I'd like to point out is personification in which he gives the clouds a personality were they take the shape of devils. "And the cloud of that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Eh. Some good stuff I already have that was hard to do backflips over. Not the book's fault. Lovely to see Langston Hughes in here, as he was truly talented. His poetry speaks to one's soul. He was so honest and raw and had the most beautiful way of saying anything. However, there were a bunch of folks in here I'd never head of who, after reading there poetry, I realized It's because they have no talent and were just more modern poetry writers who in my opinion just scribble bitterness and whini Eh. Some good stuff I already have that was hard to do backflips over. Not the book's fault. Lovely to see Langston Hughes in here, as he was truly talented. His poetry speaks to one's soul. He was so honest and raw and had the most beautiful way of saying anything. However, there were a bunch of folks in here I'd never head of who, after reading there poetry, I realized It's because they have no talent and were just more modern poetry writers who in my opinion just scribble bitterness and whinings on what had been perfectly good paper. Poetry should elevate. Not reinforce. Not wallow in despair. Elevate me, comfort me, bring some beauty into my soul. Reach out to me and connect with me despite all the sorrow and everyday ordinary misery known as the human condition. There, I'm done complaining now. So sorry, don't know what came over me. Send all complaint letters to my ex.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book opened me up to some new favorites, namely: *Frances E.W. Harper -Bury me in a free land. *Claude McKay - The Tropics in New York. *Edna St. Vincent Millay - Recuerdo. This book also opened me up to some truly awful "poets." I would say that there's absolutely ZERO reason somebody like Gertrude Stein should be included in this work. It is absolutely detestable that so many writers don't get published, yet her nonsense ended up not only published, but within an anthology considered to be "g This book opened me up to some new favorites, namely: *Frances E.W. Harper -Bury me in a free land. *Claude McKay - The Tropics in New York. *Edna St. Vincent Millay - Recuerdo. This book also opened me up to some truly awful "poets." I would say that there's absolutely ZERO reason somebody like Gertrude Stein should be included in this work. It is absolutely detestable that so many writers don't get published, yet her nonsense ended up not only published, but within an anthology considered to be "great." I suspect that she might have had contracted Angiostrongyliasis from eating bad escargot in France. Why do I suspect this? Because only a parasite attacking the CNS could account for the awful writing that came forth from her pen. The best thing about this anthology is that it's not rife with depressing poems about unrequited love. The political poems were very nice!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This book is a collection of poems from all the poetic greats of America. This collection could be used in conjunction with other collections of poems from other countries. Student could compare works from other countries to that of the tone, mood, style, voice, and figurative language used by American poets. Additionally, the works could be studied for tone, mood, style, voice, and figurative language during a poetry unit. At the end of the unit, students will demonstrate their knowledge of tho This book is a collection of poems from all the poetic greats of America. This collection could be used in conjunction with other collections of poems from other countries. Student could compare works from other countries to that of the tone, mood, style, voice, and figurative language used by American poets. Additionally, the works could be studied for tone, mood, style, voice, and figurative language during a poetry unit. At the end of the unit, students will demonstrate their knowledge of those elements by writing their own anthology or collecting other poems with simular elements. It could be a school wide Poetry Slam.

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