Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Collected Poems” as Want to Read:
Collected Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Collected Poems

by
4.23  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Robert Hayden was a fellow of the American Academy of Poets, a poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, and a professor of English at the University of Michigan. He received numerous awards for his poetry in his lifetime, among them to Hopwood Awards, the Grand Prize for Poetry at the First World Festival of Negro Arts, and the Russell Loines Award for distinguished ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 17th 1997 by Liveright (first published 1984)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Collected Poems, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Collected Poems

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  247 ratings  ·  27 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Collected Poems
Zanna
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Several years ago I went to a poetry recitation competition in Lincolnshire that had two unforgettable consciousness-shifting highlights. One was Ursula Ledbetter's magnificent and hilarious rendering of Tennyson's Lincolnshire dialect poem Northern Farmer: Old Style (yes friends, this is technically my native tongue). The second happened when an elderly man in a shabby coat, fat like a great tenor, shuffled onto the stage and said in a rich, deep, sonorous voice "I'd like to recite a
...more
Grady McCallie
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-favorites
Discovering Robert Hayden's poetry has been a wonderful pleasure. This collection omits all or most of his first three books of poems (1940, 1948, and 1955), drawing from his middle and later books (1962 through his death in 1980). It's a slim book of roughly 90 poems, but their stylistic range is spectacular. Many of the poems (though not all) address themes of race, oppression, history, and identity. Many from the middle period poems are resolutely literary - not only are some of the words ...more
Craig Werner
This review focuses specifically on Hayden's first collection: A Ballad of Remembrance (which for some weird reason isn't listed on its own on GoodReads).

Ballad is as good a book of American poetry as there is. Period, no hyperbole. When I first read it, I focused on the towering epics of African American experience: "Middle Passage," "Runagate Runagate," and "Frederick Douglass," with its admonition to approach freedom not as a rhetorical emptiness, but as something lived as deeply, and for as
...more
Will
Aug 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, poetry
These poems are a bit uneven, but the ones that are good are fantastic. "A Plague of Starlings" and "Night-Blooming Cereus" are especially good, and worth checking out even if you're not much of a poetry person.
Katie
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm impressed how many different voices I hear in these lines-how much the balance shifts between colloquial and high diction, like when a slave in the middle passage speaks through the rhythms of Ariel's songs from The Tempest.
Mary Lee
I chose this poetry book over the others waiting forlornly on my shelves on the strength of a single poem, "Those Winter Sundays," which I find starkly and deeply moving. I found much else that I liked in Hayden's Collected Poems, but nothing to equal that poem. This may be because the impact of poetry can deepen with time and re-reading. In a year or two, I might grow equally fond of another poem from this volume.

I note that I found Reginald Dwayne Betts's introduction powerful, and Arnold
...more
J. Alfred
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you know Hayden at all, you probably know "Those Winter Sundays," and you should, because it's a hauntingly excellent poem. You may also know "Middle Passage," and if you don't, you probably should, for precisely the same reason. And if you read those two and love them the way you ought to, you might end up reading this book. And if you do, you will read many poems that should be much better known.
PEOPLE WHO LOVE POETRY YOU SHOULD LOVE ROBERT HAYDEN
that's more or less what I'm saying here
Richard Subber
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This is my first exposure to Robert Hayden (1913-1980), a former Poet Laureate of the United States.
His poems ain’t half bad.
Hayden makes a free gift of his passion. He qualifies as a poet groping for the light in the dark.
For my taste, his poetry is rampant—he lets his energy run loose in too many directions. Some of the subject matter is raw. The narrative sprawls in too many of Hayden’s poems. There’s too much itinerary for my taste. Take a look at “Tour 5.”
Maybe I’ll try reading Robert
...more
Jules
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are so many great poems here, and the poet has a lot of range. From “Electric Storm” to American Journal”, and “Middle Passage” to “Night, Death, Mississippi,” each work is layered and melodic in its use of language.
Cody Stetzel
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved many of these poems, and can see the resonances of Hayden in much of contemporary poetry. A very smooth commitment to the lyric meter.
Edgar Trevizo
Not my style, I think...
Peter E.
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
ROBERT HAYDEN (1913-1980) was the first African-American to be appointed Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position now titled the U.S. Poet Laureate. He won numerous prizes and awards during the last decade of his life, including the 1975 Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets for "distinguished poetic achievement." Hayden stands out among Twentieth Century American, poets not just for his many literary accomplishments, but for the strong vision of faith that illuminates ...more
Patrick Michael
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'Those Winter Sundays'

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know,
...more
Mia Tryst
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The day I finished reading this book and decided to write up a book review is the day I smashed my index finger in the door - smashed it in a way that the fingernail bed broke through the skin and left a gaping hole. I will probably lose the fingernail, in the meantime, typing is exceedingly slow and full of mistakes. The review will have to wait. But this is an excellent, excellent book.
Alex
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
While I didn't read every poem in this collection, the ones I did were very well-written. The author has a way with words. Normally poetry is exceptionally boring to read (unless written by the reader), but Hayden made it work.
Meghan
Mar 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Makes me think hearts are there to, and worth, breaking.
Husayn
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
brilliant. incredible range of tone and subject matter from fiery invective to really humble and personal notes. Dauntingly intelligent man.
April
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Hayden kicks butt with words. Let's just say that.
lorcaloca
Oct 23, 2007 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: all poets
Robert Hayden is one of my touchstones. I yearn to write one line that he would've discarded.

Katlyn
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I couldn't finish it. Can't say it wasn't good poetry, but something about it felt... Too formal, maybe? Just couldn't get into it.
Ellen Gomezq
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Just Started reading this book for a poetry class. Excited to be learning more everyday!Great site to come to if your looking for book or just to share your thoughts!
Michael
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An awesome collection of this authors best work (though there is a thing or two missing of his best - still a great collection that shows his true range of interest, expression and skill).
Jared
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.8/5
Jim
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Hayden's humanity and fierce intelligence permeates this sampling of his body of work. Without a doubt, my favorite poet.
Ken
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My favourite single-poet collection. Outstanding!
Ross Ritchell
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Truly powerful and amazing. First collection of poetry I've truly loved.
Robin
rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2017
Jamie Monville
rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2015
stacia
rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2008
Sean
rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place
  • Middle Passage
  • The Tradition
  • A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses
  • R.U.R.
  • A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe
  • A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability
  • Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto
  • A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton
  • Life on Mars
  • Arias
  • A Decent Life: Morality for the Rest of Us
  • The Return of Munchausen
  • The Grind: Inside Baseball's Endless Season
  • Heirs of General Practice
  • Metaphors We Live By
  • Those About Him Remained Silent: The Battle over W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Lighthead
See similar books…
43 followers
Robert Hayden was an American poet, essayist, educator. He was appointed Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1976.

Hayden was elected to the American Academy of Poets in 1975. From 1976 - 1978, Hayden was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (the first African American holder of that post), the position which in 1985 became the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the
...more
“Monet’s “Waterlilies” (for Bill and Sonja) Today as the news from Selma and Saigon poisons the air like fallout, I come again to see the serene great picture that I love. Here space and time exist in light the eye like the eye of faith believes. The seen, the known dissolve in iridescence, become illusive flesh of light that was not, was, forever is. O light beheld as through refracting tears. Here is the aura of that world each of us has lost. Here is the shadow of its joy.” 2 likes
“The trees themselves, as in winters past, will survive their burdening, broken thrive.” 2 likes
More quotes…