American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, in Two Volumes (The Library of America)

By: Adams, Henry; Parker; Dorothy; Cummings, E.E.; Swenson, May

Price: $25.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


Includes publisher's slipcase. A few light spots on slipcase panels. Newspaper clippings laid in to volume two. 2000 Hard Cover. xxx, 986; xxxii, 1009 pp. Two volume set. Includes publisher's slipcase. In the years between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of World War II, American poetry was transformed, producing a body of work whose influence was felt throughout the world. Now for the first time the landmark two-volume Library of America anthology of twentieth-century poetry through the post-War years restores that era in all its astonishing beauty and explosive energy. This first volume of the set, organized chronologically by the poets’ birthdates, takes the reader from Henry Adams (1838–1918) to Dorothy Parker (1893–1967), and in the process reveals the unfolding of a true poetic renaissance. Included are generous selections from some of the century’s greatest poets: Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, H.D., Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot. Here they are seen as part of an age that proposed new and often contentious definitions of what American poetry could be and fresh perceptions of a society undergoing rapid and often tumultuous change.The multifarious aesthetic influences brought to bear—Chinese and Japanese poetry, the African-American sermon, the artistic revolutions of Cubism and Dada, the cadences of jazz, the brash urgencies of vernacular speech—resulted in a poetic culture of dynamic energy and startling contrasts. The poets of this era transformed not only style but traditional subject matter: there are poems here on a silent movie actress, a lynching, the tenements of New York, the trench warfare of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the landscape of Mars. Here too are folk ballads on events like the assassination of McKinley and the sinking of the Titanic; popular and humorous verse by Don Marquis and Franklin P. Adams; the famous “Spectra” hoax; song lyrics by Ma Rainey, Joe Hill, and Irving Berlin; and poems by writers as unexpected as Djuna Barnes, Sherwood Anderson, John Reed, and H. P. Lovecraft. Included are some of the century’s most important poems, presented in full: Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Eliot’s The Waste Land, Steven’s Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction. This second volume of the landmark two-volume Library of America anthology of twentieth-century poetry, organized chronologically by the poets’ birthdates, takes the reader from E.E. Cummings (1894–1962) to May Swenson (1913–1989). In the wake of the modernist renaissance, American poets continued to experiment with new techniques and themes, while the impact of the Depression and World War II and the continuing political struggle of African Americans became part of the fabric of a literature in transition. New schools and definitions of poetry seemed often to divide the literary scene. This was the era of the Harlem Renaissance, the Objectivists, the Fugitives, the proletarian poets. It was also an era of vigorously individuated voices—knotty, defiant, sometimes eccentric. The range of tone and subject matter is immense: here are Melvin B. Tolson’s swirlingly allusive Harlem portraits, Phyllis McGinley’s elegant verse transcriptions of suburbia, May Swenson’s playful meditations on the laws of physics. The diversity of formal approaches includes the extreme linguistic experiments of Eugene Jolas and Abraham Lincoln Gillespie, Rolfe Humphries’s adaptation of traditional Welsh meter, the haiku of Richard Wright, the ballads of Helen Adam and Elder Olson, the epigrams of J.V. Cunningham. A selection of light verse is joined by lyrics from the era’s greatest songwriters, including Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie, and Ira Gershwin. Several important long poems are presented complete, including Hart Crane’s The Bridge, Louis Zukofsky’s Poem beginning “The” and Robert Penn Warren’s Audubon: A Vision. Rounding out the volume are such infrequently anthologized figures as Vladimir Nabokov, James Agee, Tennessee Williams, and John Cage.

Title: American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, in Two Volumes (The Library of America)

Author: Adams, Henry; Parker; Dorothy; Cummings, E.E.; Swenson, May

Categories: American, Poetry,

Publisher: The Library of America: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Seller ID: 2288498

Keywords: AMERICAN POETRY POEMS LIBRARY OF AMERICA,