In a new introduction to the work, the poet and editor Kevin Young suggests that Hughes from this very first moment is “celebrating, critiquing, and completing the American dream,” and that he manages to take Walt Whitman’s American “I” and write himself into it. We find here not only such classics as “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and the great twentieth-century anthem that begins “I, too, sing America,” but also the poet’s shorter lyrics and fancies, which dream just as deeply. “Bring me all of your / Heart melodies,” the young Hughes offers, “That I may wrap them / In a blue cloud-cloth / Away from the too-rough fingers / Of the world.”
From the Hardcover edition.
Cohen first made his name as a poet more than half a century ago and since then his achievements in poetry and music have made him an internationally revered figure. These fifteen poems, including “Death of a Lady’s Man,” “On Hearing a Name Long Unspoken,” and “The Embrace,” are drawn from across his remarkable career and appear here for the first time with his illustrations. With its lyrical intensity and sensual immediacy, Fifteen Poems offers a potent distillation of the genre-crossing genius of one of the most admired artists of our time.
One of Oprah Magazine's "Ten Best Books of 2017"
"This singular poetry collection is a dynamic meditation on the experience of, and societal narratives surrounding, contemporary black womanhood. . . . These exquisite poems defy categorization." —The New YorkerThe only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black woman sipping rosé and drawing a lavender bath, texting her mom, belly-laughing in the therapist’s office, feeling unloved, being on display, daring to survive. Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and deja vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power. These poems celebrate and mourn. They are a chorus chanting: You’re gonna give us the love we need.
Like the present book’s title, Collins’s poems are filled with mischief, humor, and irony, “Poetry speaks to all people, it is said, but here I would like to address / only those in my own time zone”–but also with quiet observation, intense wonder, and a reverence for the everyday: “The birds are in their trees, / the toast is in the toaster, / and the poets are at their windows. / They are at their windows in every section of the tangerine of earth–the Chinese poets looking up at the moon, / the American poets gazing out / at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise.”
Through simple language, Collins shows that good poetry doesn’t have to be obscure or incomprehensible, qualities that are perhaps the real trouble with most “serious” poetry: “By now, it should go without saying / that what the oven is to the baker / and the berry-stained blouse to the drycleaner / so the window is to the poet.”
In this dazzling new collection, his first in three years, Collins explores boyhood, jazz, love, the passage of time, and, of course, writing–themes familiar to Collins’s fans but made new here. Gorgeous, funny, and deeply empathetic, Billy Collins’s poetry is a window through which we see our lives as if for the first time.
From the Hardcover edition.
All are present in this volume, which reproduces the 1933 edition of W. B. Yeats's Collected Poems and also contains an illuminating introduction by author and academic Dr Robert Mighall.
Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
With loyal fans around the world and across the internet, Tyler Knott Gregson is reinventing poetry for a new generation, using Instagram and Tumblr to reach readers where they are.
Tyler’s third collection includes more of his popular Typewriter Series poems (featured in his first book, Chasers of the Light) as well as never-before-published scenes that paint the world as only Tyler sees and experiences it. Filled with vivid photographs and even more vivid emotions, Wildly Into the Dark is a must-have for longtime fans as well as newcomers to Tyler's unique brand of passionate, intimate, and playful words and images.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. This Modern Library edition contains all of Keats's magnificent verse: 'Lamia,' 'Isabella,' and 'The Eve of St. Agnes'; his sonnets and odes; the allegorical romance Endymion; and the five-act poetic tragedy Otho the Great. Presented as well are the famous posthumous and fugitive poems, including the fragmentary 'The Eve of Saint Mark' and the great 'La Belle Dame sans Merci,' perhaps the most distinguished literary ballad in the language. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'
During her spoken word poetry performances, audiences around the world have responded strongly to Sarah Kay's poem The Type. As Kay wrote in The Huffington Post: "Much media attention has been paid to what it means to 'be a woman,' but often the conversation focuses on what it means to be a woman in relation to others. I believe these relationships are important. I also think it is possible to define ourselves solely as individuals... We have the power to define ourselves: by telling our own stories, in our own words, with our own voices."
Never-before-published in book form, The Type is illustrated throughout and perfect for gift-giving.
“Linguistically acrobatic [and] beautifully crafted. . . [Jamaal May's] poems, exquisitely balanced by a sharp intelligence mixed with earnestness, makes his debut a marvel.” —Publishers Weekly
“The elegant and laconic intelligence in these poems, their skepticism and bent humor and deliberately anti-Romantic stance toward experience are completely refreshing. After so much contemporary writing that seems all flash, no mind and no heart, these poems show how close observation of the world and a gift for plain-spoken, but eloquent speech, can give to poetry both dignity and largeness of purpose, and do it in an idiom that is pitch perfect to emotional nuance and fine intellectual distinctions. Hard-headed and tough-minded, Hum is the epitome of what Frost meant by ‘a fresh look and a fresh listen.’” —Tom Sleigh
"Jamaal May’s debut collection, Hum, is concerned with what’s beneath the surfaces of things—the unseen that eats away at us or does the work of sustaining us. Reading these poems, I was reminded of Ellison’s ‘lower frequencies,’ a voice speaking for us all. May has a fine ear, acutely attuned to the sonic textures of everyday experience. And Hum—a meditation on the machinery of living, an extended ode to sound and silence—is a compelling debut.” —Natasha Trethewey
"In his percussive debut collection Hum, Jamaal May offers a salve for our phobias and restores the sublime to the urban landscape. Whether you need a friend to confide in, a healer to go to, or a tour guide to take you there, look no further. That low hum you hear are these poems, emanating both wisdom and swagger.” —A. Van Jordan
From "Mechanophobia: Fear of Machines":
There is no work left for the husks.
Automated welders like us,
your line replacements, can't expect
sympathy after our bright
arms of cable rust over. So come
collect us for scrap, grind us up
in the mouth of one of us.
Let your hand pry at the access
panel with the edge of a knife,
silencing the motor and thrum.
Jamaal May is a poet, editor, and filmmaker from Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His poetry won the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and appears in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, The Believer, NER, and The Kenyon Review. Jamaal has earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. He founded the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press.
This luminous anthology brings together great poets from around the world whose work transcends culture and time. Their words reach past the outer divisions to the universal currents of love and revelation that move and inspire us all. These poems urge us to wake up and love. They also call on us to relinquish our grip on ideas and opinions that confine us and, instead, to risk moving forward into the life that is truly ours.
In his selection, Roger Housden has placed strong emphasis on contemporary voices such as the American poet laureate Billy Collins and the Nobel Prize–winners Czeslaw Milosz and Seamus Heaney, but the collection also includes some timeless echoes of the past in the form of work by masters such as Goethe, Wordsworth, and Emily Dickinson.
The tens of thousands of readers of Roger Housden’s “Ten Poems” series will welcome this beautiful harvest of poems that both open the mind and heal the heart.
From the Hardcover edition.
Finalist for 2013 William Carlos Williams Award
"Patricia Smith is writing some of the best poetry in America today. Ms Smith’s new book, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, is just beautiful—and like the America she embodies and represents—dangerously beautiful. Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah is a stunning and transcendent work of art, despite, and perhaps because of, its pain. This book shines." —Sapphire
"One of the best poets around and has been for a long time." —Terrance Hayes
"Smith's work is direct, colloquial, inclusive, adventuresome." —Gwendolyn Brooks
In her newest collection, Patricia Smith explores the second wave of the Great Migration. Shifting from spoken word to free verse to traditional forms, she reveals "that soul beneath the vinyl."
Patricia Smith is the author of five volumes of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. She lives in New Jersey.
A Best Book of the Year at BuzzFeed, Interview, and more.
Nature Poem follows Teebs—a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet—who can’t bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. He’d slap a tree across the face. He’d rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; he’d rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. While he’s adamant—bratty, even—about his distaste for the word “natural,” over the course of the book we see him confronting the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people with nature. The closer his people were identified with the “natural world,” he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even while he reckons with manifest destiny and genocide and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own voice.
Edited by Millay biographer Nancy Milford, The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay also includes the collections A Few Figs from Thistles and Second April, as well as "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver" and eight of Millay’s sonnets from the early twenties.
as the hand grips a sun-warmed stone.
Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer has had a profound influence around the world, an influence that has steadily grown and has now attained a prominence comparable to that of Pablo Neruda's during his lifetime. But if Neruda is blazing fire, Transtromer is expanding ice. The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems gathers all the poems Tomas Transtromer has published, from his distinctive first collection in 1954, 17 Poems, through his epic poem Baltics ("my most consistent attempt to write music"), and The Sad Gondola, published six years after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1990 ("I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case."), to his most recent slim book, The Great Enigma, published in Sweden in 2004. Also included is his prose-memoir Memories Look at Me, containing keys into his intensely spiritual, metaphysical poetry (like the brief passage of insect collecting on Runmaro Island when he was a teenager). Firmly rooted in the natural world, his work falls between dream and dream; it probes "the great unsolved love" with the opening up, through subtle modulations, of "concrete words."
From the Hardcover edition.
In Men in the Off Hours, Carson reinvents figures as diverse as Oedipus, Emily Dickinson, and Audubon. She views the writings of Sappho, St. Augustine, and Catullus through a modern lens. She sets up startling juxtapositions (Lazarus among video paraphernalia; Virginia Woolf and Thucydides discussing war). And in a final prose poem, she meditates on the recent death of her mother.
With its quiet, acute spirituality, its fearless wit and sensuality, and its joyful understanding that "the fact of the matter for humans is imperfection," Men in the Off Hours shows us "the most exciting poet writing in English today" (Michael Ondaatje) at her best.
From the Hardcover edition.
This collection includes, of course, such famous poems as “The Lady of Shalott” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” There are extracts from all the major masterpieces—“Idylls of the King,” “The Princess,” “In Memoriam”—and several complete long poems, such as “Ulysses” and “Demeter and Persephone,” that demonstrate his narrative grace. Finally, there are many of the short lyrical poems, such as “Come into the Garden, Maud” and “Break, Break, Break,” for which he is justly celebrated.
Nico Tortorella's debut poetry collection presents a singular voice honed through years as an actor, podcaster, and advocate, one colored with love, wonder, and endless curiosity. But it is also more than just words on a page – it is a sensuous journey into who we are and how we relate to the world around us, showing how the connections we make are vital to understanding why we are here.
Provocative, enlightening, and emotionally charged, all of it is you. is a poetry experience like no other.
Whitman continually expanded and revised the book as he took on the role of a workingman's bard who championed American nationalism, political democracy, contemporary progress, and unashamed sex. This volume, which contains 383 poems, is the final 'Deathbed Edition' published in 1892.
No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge.
Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn’t need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more.
From classic poets such as Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to later poets such as E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor examines a wide array of poems and teaches readers:How to read a poem to understand its primary meaning.The different technical elements of poetry such as meter, diction, rhyme, line structures, length, order, regularity, and how to learn to see these elements as allies rather than adversaries.How to listen for a poem’s secondary meaning by paying attention to the echoes that the language of poetry summons up.How to hear the music in poems—and the poetry in songs!
With How to Read Poetry Like a Professor, readers can rediscover poetry and reap its many rewards.
but I know the face of death as if heirloom
my country memorizes murder as lullaby
—from “For Fahd”
Textured with the sights and sounds of growing up in East New York in the nineties, to school on the South Side of Chicago, all the way to the olive groves of Palestine, My Mother Is a Freedom Fighter is Aja Monet’s ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters—the tiny gods who fight to change the world. Complemented by striking cover art from Carrie Mae Weems, these stunning poems tackle racism, sexism, genocide, displacement, heartbreak, and grief, but also love, motherhood, spirituality, and Black joy.
Praise for Aja Monet:
““[Monet] is the true definition of an artist.”
““In Paris, she walked out onto the stage, opened her mouth and spoke. At the first utterance I heard that rare something that said this is special and knew immediately that Aja Monet was one of the Ones who will mark the sound of the ages. She brings depth of voice to the voiceless, and through her we sing a powerful song.”
—Carrie Mae Weems
Of Cuban-Jamaican descent, Aja Monet is an internationally established poet, performer, singer, songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate. Monet is also the youngest person to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title.
“Living Room Altar”
Except for the shirt pulled from the ocean,
except for her hands, which keep folding the shirt,
except for her body, which once held their bodies,
my sister wants everything back now—
If there were a god who could out of empty shells
carried by waves to shore
If the ocean saved in a jar
could keep from turning to salt—
She’s hearing things:
bird calling to bird,
cat outside the door,
thorn of the blackberry against the trellis.
"These heart-breaking poems of an all-too-human life stay as absolute as the determined craft which made them. There is finally neither irony nor simple despair in what they record. Rather, it is the far deeper response of witness, of recognizing what must be acknowledged and of having the courage and the care to say so." —Robert Creeley
In an intimate conversation with the "High Priestess of Soul," Monica A. Hand surveys the places and moods of alienation through poems that are as musical and stylistically diverse as Nina Simone's work. Hand readily embraces a "mass hypnosis" style, putting "a spell on [us]" with her intensely passionate cries and commitment to embracing both tragedy and exuberance in these insightful poems.
From "Dear Nina":
I am not recession
I am a Gift from God
I know that
I am an
Monica A. Hand is a poet and book artist currently living in Harlem, New York. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Aunt Chloe, Black Renaissance Noire, The Sow's Ear, Drunken Boat, Beyond the Frontier, African-American Poetry for the 21st Century, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation from Drew University and is a founding member of Poets for Ayiti.
With these moving, vivid, and utterly distinctive poems, Katha Pollitt reminds us that poetry can be both profound and accessible, and reconfirms her standing in the first rank of modern American poets.
From the Hardcover edition.
“Deliciously readable . . . Donald Hall, if abandoned by the muse of poetry, has wrought his prose to a keen autumnal edge.” — Wall Street Journal
His entire life, Donald Hall dedicated himself to the written word, putting together a storied career as a poet, essayist, and memoirist. Here, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, his essays startle, move, and delight. In Essays After Eighty, Hall ruminates on his past: “thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty . . .” He also addresses his present: “When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches.” Most memorably, Hall writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and with the writing life that sustains him every day: “Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again.”
“Alluring, inspirational hominess . . . Essays After Eighty is a treasure . . . balancing frankness about losses with humor and gratitude.” — Washington Post
“A fine book of remembering all sorts of things past, Essays After Eighty is to be treasured.” — Boston Globe
"Dawes asserts himself as man and artist and finally, with grace achieved and grace said, sits down to begin life's tragic feast . . . a writer of major significance."—Brag Book
"The notion of a reggae aesthetic—of the language moving to a different rhythm, under different kinds of pressure . . . underpins all Dawes' work as poet."—Stewart Brown
Born in Ghana, raised in Jamaica, and educated in Canada, Kwame Dawes is a dynamic and electrifying poet. In this generous collection, new poems appear with the best work from fifteen previous volumes. Deeply nuanced in exploring the human condition, Dawes' poems are filled with complex emotion and consistently remind us what it means to be a global citizen.
From "The Lessons":
Fingers can be trained to make shapes
that, pressed just right on the gleaming
keys, will make a sound that can stay
tears or cause them to flow for days.
Anyone can learn to make some music,
but not all have the heart to beat
out the tunes that will turn us inside out. . .
Kwame Dawes is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, two novels, four anthologies, and numerous essays and plays. In 2009 he won an Emmy Award for his interactive website, LiveHopeLove.com. Since 2011 he has taught at the University of Nebraska, and lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Karyna McGlynn is the author of I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl and three chapbooks. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Translation at Oberlin College.
From "The World of Us":
Don't go around all day
thinking about life—
doing so will raise a barrier
between you and its instants.
You need those instants
so you can be in them,
and I need you to be in them with me
for I think the world of us
and the mysterious barricades
that make it possible.
The Infinitesimals stares directly at illness and death, employing the same highly evocative and symbolic style that earned Laura Kasischke the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Drawing upon her own experiences with cancer, and the lives and deaths of loved ones, Kasischke's new work commands a lyrical and dark intensity.
Laura Kasischke is the author of eight collections of poetry and seven novels. She teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Roger Bonair-Agard is a Cave Canem fellow, two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, and author of Tarnish and Masquerade and Gully. He has appeared three times on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and is Co-founder and Artistic Director of the LouderARTS Project in New York.
This book “Ae Dil” is a remarkably honest book. Honestly written, deserve a read and comment too.
Renowned playwright and Bollywood’s screenplay writer,
Leading figure for Urdu literature
“Love Each Other or Perish”
Veteran Indian actor and screeplay writer
In times where ‘Romance’ and ‘Poetry’ have got contaminated with pretense and frivolity, I applaud your effort. Hoping to compose and sing some of these beautiful verses you have brought alive.
Versatile playback singer, music composer, lyricist and television host
"Ryan Adams, one of America's most consistently interesting singer/songwriters, has written a passionate, arresting, and entertaining book of verse. Fans are going to love it, and newcomers will be pleased and startled by his intensity and originality."—Stephen King, on Infinity Blues
Ryan Adams may be acclaimed primarily for albums such as Cardinology, Heartbreaker, Gold (which includes the popular hit songs "When the Stars Go Blue" and "New York, New York"), and Easy Tiger, but the world-renowned singer/songwriter has always been a poet and fiction writer at heart.
With the release of Hello Sunshine, Ryan continues to break literary ground beyond what he established with his wildly popular first book, Infinity Blues. Ryan's new work provides perhaps an even deeper insight into the man than is revealed through the songs that have resonated with his hundreds of thousands of fans.
Where his debut was characterized by the bitterness of heartbreak, Hello Sunshine is a graceful, sensual assertion of the other side of the emotional coin. This is a 2009 fever dream—inside Ryan's heart and mind—replete with unforgettable verse that will shock and delight those expecting a mere continuation of where Infinity Blues left off.
Ryan Adams is known for his prolific nature, which in the last ten years has resulted in various international hit albums. Ryan has also produced Willie Nelson's album Songbird and contributed to records by Toots and the Maytals, Beth Orton, the Wallflowers, Counting Crows, and Cowboy Junkies; additionally, he has appeared on CMT's Crossroads with Elton John.
From the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to the Romantic Era and the Gilded and Modern Ages, this unrivaled anthology also presents a memorable array of rare ballads, songs, hymns, spirituals, and carols that echo through our nation's history. Highlights include Native American poems, African American writings, and the works of Quakers, colonists, Huguenots, transcendentalists, scholars, slaves, politicians, journalists, and clergymen.
These discerning selections demonstrate that the American canon of poetry is as diverse as the nation itself, and constantly evolving as we pass through time. Most important, this collection strongly reflects the peerless stylings that mark the American poetic experience as unique. Here, in one distinguished volume, are the many voices of the New World.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Someone comes along
gives that tedious old thing
a new twist or
breaks its neck
the old questions
what do you want me to say?
what do you want me to do?
Anselm Hollo (1934–2013) authored more than forty books and was an award-winning translator. Born in Helsinki, Finland, he was fluent in German, Swedish, Finnish, and English by age ten. Hollo eventually settled in the United States in 1966, where he taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.