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Collected Poems: 1974-2004

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  19 reviews

Finalist for the 2016 National Book Award

Finalist for the 2017 NAACP Image Award

Three decades of powerful lyric poetry from a virtuoso of the English language in one unabridged volume.

Rita Dove’s Collected Poems 1974–2004 showcases the wide-ranging diversity that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of U.S. poet laureate, a National Humanities Medal, and a National Me

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published May 16th 2016)
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Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, poetry
Published twenty-one years after Rita Dove finished serving as the U.S. poet laureate, her Collected Poems gathers together seven volumes of poetry written over the course of three decades: the compilation sketches the trajectory of the early and middle stages of Dove's brilliant career as a poet, leaving out only her most recent work. The poems of Dove's first two collections—The Yellow House on the Corner and Museum—read as a bit underdeveloped and scattered, but they still anticipate many of ...more
Brown Girl Reading
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of poetry and Rita Dove
EXCELLENT!!!!! It took me a while to get through the entire collection but it was well worth the careful reading. Rita Dove is brilliant and if you haven't read any of her poetry you should. I wish I would have been assigned her poetry when I was college. It would have made for great class discussion.
Leslie Reese
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
4.5 stars
Impeccable poetry.
I think my favorites were from Grace Notes: Poems, Mother Love, and On the Bus With Rosa Parks - that's roughly the poems Rita Dove had published in collections between 1989 and 1999. It will be interesting to read these collected works again, in the future, and see if that remains true!
Weirdly, this review runs the risk of me airing my grievances about collected volumes of poetry: there's something about the material value of slim volumes, the experience of finding one that packs the punch of a full novel. This effect seems dulled to me when poems are formatted as they are here, where one poem begins immediately after another ends, instead of on a new page—a sure way to save paper, along with the slightly oversized pages. But this does do something to the experience of reading ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, favorites
Actually, four and one-half (4 1/2) stars; not four (4) alone.

Years ago, I read the Holy Bible cover to cover and walked away thinking that while it is the voice of God as told through humanity -- and thus, an autobiography of sorts of God Almighty written by a whole bunch of "ghost writers" or writers inhibited with the Holy Ghost -- it made for some pretty good reading. But I also felt it was an interesting autobiography in that it told of the arc of God's own spiritual and emotional maturatio
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I'd already read a small portion of this book when I read Dove's Mother Love published in 1995. All of that was included in this one which makes sense since this is a collection. There is some interesting, enlightening, and refreshing imagery in these poems. I like the story telling. I like both the personal history and other history. I like imagining through Rita Dove's eyes. I like how she sees things.

This part of a poem I like called "I Have Been a Stranger in a Strange Land" caught my attent
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This collection was hit or miss for me. What I liked, I really liked and struck a chord with me. She writes in a narrative with several of the poems continuing a tale begun in another. In this way there was a familiarity in tone and mood. Some of my favorite lines included:

"What's invisible sings, and we bear witness. if we would listen!"
"He is weary of analysis, the small predictable truths."
"To him, work is a narrow grief..."
"Wretched little difference, he thinks, between enduring pain and wai
D.A. Gray
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many of my favorite collections bundled together in one great book. Dove's poems blend the personal with the historical showing us pivotal moments, injustices endured with courage and intelligence, through the concrete examples from dusting, to cooking, to building zeppelins, to a company picnic to war on the other side of the ocean. Well crafted but what always grabs me by the throat in Dove's poem is the persona, speakers who take us inside the mind whose day to day being is constantly shaping ...more
Degan Friedman
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a really nice collection of poems which I really enjoyed. All of my favourite Rita Dove poems are in here.

She is a brilliant, earthy poet with a lot of messages woven into her beautiful and elegantly crafted poetry. This is a really great collection which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rita Dove is a great story-telling poet with a wide range of interests that make for an eclectic and entertaining collected works. I didn't connect with some of the earliest collections, but was glad I stuck with the book--beautiful, insightful writing.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, bipoc
Since this is a collection, my rating is an amalgamation of all the books therein. Mother Love is my favorite, and were I rating that one on its own, my rating would be 4 stars.

I'm ashamed to say I had never heard of Rita Dove before happening upon this volume on my library's ebook site. It's taken me almost 3 weeks to read through the whole thing, and I know that my read has been on the shallow side—this is my first time becoming acquainted with Rita Dove, and I expect to return to her works l
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is a great collection of work. I felt like I understood more of these then I have in the last couple of poetry books I've read, but that could be because there are so many more poems in this collection. I especially like the set that were from the point of view of the man and then the woman and the whole bunch that were inspired by the Persephone myth.
Anne H
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read much poetry. Ms. Dove's style is not like any poetry I've encountered. It's more like story-telling, with chapters, that led me along. My favorite section was about Thomas and Beulah and their lives, seen from each of their points of view.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I want is this poem to be small,
a ghost town
on the larger map of wills.
Then you can pencil me in as a hawk;
a traveling x-marks-the-spot.
T.L. Cooper
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rita Dove Collected Poems 1974-2004 is a treasure trove of Dove's work published between 1974 and 2004. The poems are a journey through Dove's life as well as the world. There are moments that transport the reader into the past to explore how the present came to be and leave the reader conjecturing what the future might bring. Dove's words remind the reader how interconnected the world in which we live is as well as how our differences have the power to either unite us or divide us. Dove explore ...more
Dolores Jefferson
I think Rita Dove is a wonderful poet. I hadn't read her later works so this chronology was a grand find for me. highly recommended for anyone who likes poems that deal with art and life.
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Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and musician, lives in Charlottesville, where she is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

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into a jar
and live
for a while.
Chill earth.
No stars
in this stone
You have ceased
to ache.
Your spine is
a flower.”
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