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The Best Loved Poems of the American People

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4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  594 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
More than 1,500,000 copies in print! Over 575traditional favorites to be read and reread.Categorized by theme, and indexed by author and firstline, this is a collection that will be treasured. ...more
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published October 1st 1936 by Doubleday (first published 1936)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,180)
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Matt
Dec 27, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
I purchased this book for more nostalgia value then anything else. My mother read from this book every Christmas Eve as we sat around the fireplace. I imagine the fact that she had to find poems that would appeal to my dad, my brother and I is the reason why I now associate The Charge of the Light Brigade and Casey at the Bat with Christmas.

And though I am aware of its maudlin qualities, I think Annie and Willie's Prayer will remain a Christmas staple for me.
Ilana
Jun 21, 2011 Ilana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, poetry
My mother in 1964 gave this book to my grandfather. When he died my aunt somehow got it, she recently returned it to my mother. I immediately procured it for my collection. Its spine is broken from ware, I can tell my grandfather loved it. I do too, it is wonderful collection of poetry, It has some of my favorite poems and some new ones. 'Strictly Germ-Proof' is a wonderful humorous that my mother and aunt read when they were young and is now a favorite of mine.
Terri Lynn
Oh how I adore this book! I have had this lovely and very old book of poems for a long, long time and not a day goes by without me dipping in and pulling out a treasure to read and reread and savor. Poems can be like gentle rain or a mysterious fog swirling about us. There is magic to poetry and this book is a wonderful balm. If you find a copy, do grab hold of it. This is not something you will read once then put away to get dusty.
Trini
Nov 06, 2007 Trini rated it it was amazing
I revere this book. My grandfather had the original 1936 publication, and this was one of my bedtime storybooks from the age of 4 and up. As the only grandchild for 7 infinitely long and joyous years, I stayed with my grandparents almost every weekend. My grandfather heavily discouraged the reading of "baby books" (his term, not mine) like "Three Little Pigs", "Goldilocks", etc. So, part of the nightly ritual was to read a few poems or something from the classic genre. I grew up loving this book ...more
Dan Chance
Aug 19, 2012 Dan Chance rated it it was amazing
The section titles of this book invite you to sample the feast within: Childhood and youth, Humor and whimsey and on and on. This is a book I'll never tire of holding. Memories take me back to sheltered times. I may have been a benighted fool but these poems never ceased to please and instruct: from the tale of the organist to the story of two glasses one for water and one for wine.

Some of the best from Wordsworth and other stalwarts as well as unknown authors who nonetheless left coverlets of s
...more
Susan
Jul 20, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
I remember learning to read from this book. One line still sticks in my mind "...boots, slog, slogging over Africa..." Not the best poem, but one a six-year-old could read.

My dad had this book and read from it all the time. Christmas just wouldn't have been the same without hearing "Annie & Willie's Prayer." When the spine broke and the book fell apart, I bought my own copy. Now it is also broken and falling apart. This is a wonderful collection.
Xolindsayxx18
Aug 14, 2011 Xolindsayxx18 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am 15 years old and found this poetry book at a used book store for a dollar, and decided to buy it since I loved reading and wanted to make myself more 'rounded', though I did not expect to enjoy it. Now if you find my copy you see sticky notes and books marks marking all my favorites. I read this often when I can't sleep despite the fact that is has an old cigar smell, and dog eared pages, courtesy of its previous owner. Wonderful collection!
Missoxley
I first discovered this gem on my mother's book case when I was in junior high. I opened it to find her maiden name written on the inside cover. I underlined so much and dog-egged it so much throughout the years that it has become my own. I took it to college with me, and when I graduated I read from it that morning to collect my thoughts. Needless to say, I love this book
Joanna
Jun 07, 2012 Joanna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My Mother read to me from this book when I was a young girl. She read poems that tell a story, and short inspirational poems. I carry many of these thoughts and words with me and they are a source of joy and peace. I would recommend that all children be feed a healthy dose of this book to nourish their minds and hearts.
Yuki Shimmyo
Sep 14, 2011 Yuki Shimmyo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans
Chock-full-o-classics. Originally I bought this book to hunt down a reading for a wedding, but it's very soothing and/or nostalgic to browse. Children especially love the poems that tell a story. They are arranged by helpful themes: love and friendship, inspirational, home and mother, humor, etc.
Larsenross
Mar 26, 2012 Larsenross rated it it was amazing
Received this book for a wedding gift.

Includes poems that I have read again and again. The poems cover all aspects of life. A couple of the poems has given me pause.

I did not think much of the gift on our wedding day but after over 30 years of marriage, I highly value this book of poems.
Kendall
Feb 02, 2011 Kendall rated it it was amazing
This book will forever hold great childhood memories for me, mostly of time well spent with my Dad. I can still read the poems over and over. I love the classics, the humorous, the poems that tell a story...all of them! The pages are literally falling out of my copy!
Kelly Moran
Dec 28, 2007 Kelly Moran rated it it was amazing
I'm not positive this is the exact one, my cover looks different, but this is the best poetry book I've ever owned. It has Browning, Poe, Wheelcox, EVERYONE! Great read. This inspired me to publish my second book and write more poetry.
Steven
Jun 30, 2007 Steven rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poems to lift the spirit and inspire the mind. Very nice collection of almost exclusively American poems that I purchased in October of 2001 after finding a need to add more poetry to my life.
Margaret
Aug 02, 2008 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american, poetry
I grew up with my father reading me poems out of this book, and I was thrilled to find my own edition so I can re-read the best loved poems of my American childhood.
Laura Belle
Dec 24, 2007 Laura Belle rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes classica poems
This is how I first learned to read. My dad and I would sit and read random poems from the old copy he had from his childhood. It's a great collection of classic poetry.
Sandra
May 18, 2009 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Received this book for my graduation from high school 50 in 1968. It has many poems that are often quoted. Just a good book for anyone's shelf.
Megan
Feb 22, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, anthology
A great selection of the best poetry ever written. I have found some of my favorite poets through reading this compilation.
Jeanne
Mar 27, 2011 Jeanne rated it it was amazing
A treasure trove of various poetry. I've had my book since the 70s and still return to find a golden gem when needed.
Becky
Apr 24, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, read2016
This was my grandmother's book, compiled by Hazel Felleman of The New York Times. My grandmother marked several poems throughout the book with an X in pencil, and it's interesting to see which ones she marked. Here's one:

HOLD FAST YOUR DREAMS
Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep on still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And, sheltered so,
May thrive and grow
Where doubt and fear are not.
O keep a place apart,
Within your hear,
For little dreams to go!

Think still of lovely things that are not tru
...more
Lynne
Apr 27, 2012 Lynne rated it really liked it
Great collection - many of the most-quoted poems; things you've heard without realizing they are from a poem.
Nancy Houston Fields
Jan 13, 2011 Nancy Houston Fields rated it it was amazing
Love this book! I never tire of reading and re-reading this collection.
Fangirl
Nov 25, 2009 Fangirl rated it it was amazing
A great collection of poems from many different poets.
Bev
Dec 14, 2010 Bev rated it liked it
Includes "My Christmas Train" by Ethel Ceclia Eccles
meeschka
Jun 26, 2012 meeschka rated it it was amazing
a poem a day! love it. LOVE the country cover.
Jessica Pavilanis-thompson
Jun 10, 2010 Jessica Pavilanis-thompson rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books ever!
Stephanie "Jedigal"
Gift from Alma to Dad, Christmas 1968.
Mellanee
May 19, 2010 Mellanee is currently reading it
This book is so wonderful!
Robert Palmer
Aug 14, 2013 Robert Palmer rated it it was amazing
This anthology is not for the self-appointed poetry experts who populate the colleges and universities in this country. If you are one of those people, you can stop reading now.

The poems in this collection, first published in the 1930's, are timeless classics. You won't find most of them in any anthology selected for use in university classrooms, and I suspect that there are at least two reasons for that. First, these poems can be understood by anyone, thereby diminishing the ability of the prof
...more
Anita Entz
Aug 19, 2012 Anita Entz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Anita by: my parents
I got this book from my parents. It has been my words of joy in times of happiness, my solace in times of loss, my friend when I was lonely, & it restored my sence of humor when I am stressed. This should be in every classroom in America. The magic of assembling our everyday words to paint pictures in our minds eye should be taught to everyone. If there was a radio station that had readings from it, it would be sheer joy. People have forgotten the wonder, they are all (myself included) have ...more
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“If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from they slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

Attributed to the Gulistan of Moslih Eddin Saadi
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