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The Norton Anthology of Poetry

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,836 ratings  ·  94 reviews
The fourth edition of this standard work contains 1800 poems by 300 poets, with 600 poems and 100 poets newly included. The anthology offers more poetry by women (40 new poets), with special attention to early women poets. The book also includes a greater diversity of American poetry, with double the number of poems by African American, Hispanic, native American and Asian ...more
Paperback, 1998 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1970)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  3,836 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Oct 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-lit
I am more familiar with earlier editions, and while Margy Ferguson* is an excellent and perceptive scholar-editor, she cannot repell the publisher's usual bowing to sell books. My riveting memory of such an event was in a freshman literature anthology, ground-breaking in its day. It included Tom Thumb, had an entire section of songs and the prosody of songs, and many other things, which because they were unique, I tended to teach.
Next edition, they were all cut. And I dumped the anthology. Evi
Daniel Wright
More than four months in the reading. Worth every day.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry fans
This book is huge, so I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. I just flipped through, reading a poem here, another one there. I didn't even buy this book for a class. I had some extra scholarship book money, so I bought myself a copy.

Unfortunately, my copy of this book disappeared many years ago. I think a no good roommate stole it. The funny thing is that he considered himself a Christian. I hope he still has this book and feels guilty whenever he sees it on his bookshelf. I hope he's
At the end of the end of the 1960 film, The Time Machine, the hero, George Wells, returns to the future taking three books from his library with him. Viewers are left to ponder which three books he takes - it's never revealed. If it had been me, this would be one of the books.

The Norton Anthology is a part of who I am. It opened - and continues to open - doors into some of the great literary minds of our culture. A starting point from which you can go on and learn more (i.e., don't stop with th
Adrian Alvarez
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I began reading this book as a detour to fill in some missing breadth between volumes of Jerome Rothenberg's Poems for the Millennium. I was waiting tables and apartment living with my girlfriend and two cats in Seattle. That was seven years ago. Today I finished the final page in my house while my wife, the same girlfriend from before, held our baby daughter and watched Beetlejuice with our son and two dogs. The cats are around but less interested in television than the aquarium. I'm not saying ...more
Seizure Romero
Should be more accurately called The Norton Anthology of Poetry in English.

The fifth printing (my copy) of the 1970 first edition begins with a section called Anonymous Lyrics of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries and ends with Ishmael Reed's beware : do not read this poem (1970). Missing a few decades by the time I was in college, but still useful. Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, W.H. Auden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Lowell, Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, etc., were still living poets when thi
Harper Curtis
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Norton Anthology is a rich resource, a great starting point for young readers and poets, and a great place to go to find new poets to read. That being said, it really is just a starting point. Moreover, it is limited to poetry written originally in English. You will want to supplement with international anthologies, consider The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, for example.
Joe Sacksteder
In college my Great Books professor put this whole anthology on our 100 Greatest Books list. The idea of this class is that you read as many of the 100 during the semester as you can; then you're supposed to read the remnant over the course of your life. This anthology was a real cop out on the professors' part - along with the complete works of William Shakespeare. It was setting us up for failure. I started the anthology in 2005 when I was in music composition grad school in Baton Rouge Louisi ...more
Daphne Stanford
Jul 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a decent introduction to the foundational poets
I'm reading through this -- what is probably my 4th or so copy -- different/updated edition, though. Seems like it gets bigger and bigger each year!

Thing is, this is a damn good anthology far as anthologies go. Thing is, though, I prefer the original collections. Kinda like the difference between a "Best of" album and the original deal. Yada yada yada.
May 05, 2016 marked it as tbr-someday-maybe  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, anthology
Eighty bucks? Really? I need a Biblio-Fairy Godparent.
Quintin Zimmermann
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An anthology of endless delights and a celebration of the beauty of the English language.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This review is for the 2018 edition.

I quite liked Norton's Anthology of Poetic Forms but I was left craving something more comprehensive. Enter, this gem.

Every poetry aficionado needs a copy of this in their library. It's a weighty tome (trust me, you'll want to set it down when you read from it) but it's something you'll go back to time and time again.

The "usual suspects" are all accounted for here and there are also some more esoteric choices, making it a greatly varied volume. It's also ar
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Wonderful book. I got a second-hand copy for a few hundred bucks, since the original copies were ridiculously expensive for a student (8k for one book?!) I am also a little disappointed that there are only 3 poems of Dorothy Parker when she should have had at least 5 pages dedicated to her. (Like c'mon, even E. E Cummings has got 9 poems!)

Other than that, I am pretty much satisfied with the book. There are a total of 1823 poems, which I am fairly certain will keep me satisfied for the n
Kate O'Hanlon
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, anthology
I'm marking as read although I didn't make it through even half of the poems while it formed the backbone of my reading list through college. Outrageously expensive (for an 18 year old student anyway) I borrowed a copy from a guy who had just graduated and gave it to his little brother who was starting college the year I finished up. My flatmate has a copy though, and I'm glad to have it around again for reference. ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Covers the history and evolution of poetry in English, however I'd suggest the Norton Anthology of Post-Modern American Poetry as a supplement since this book really doesn't cover many of the influential poets writing today. However, English majors or anyone interested in poetry should have a copy of this book in their library. ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
What can I say - I love poetry
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I may not have read it cover to cover but this is a pretty awesome and comprehensive anthology of poetry.
Adam Neve
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've owned this book for a long time and I've never read it cover to cover. But I do love to open it to random pages and scan poems for a little while. I've been doing that a lot lately, at the expense of my reading challenge, so I'm including it here. ...more
Gigi Tate
Jul 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads, 2021, poetry
Lovely copy with very a useful annotations. This books is legitimately the spice of life, you get everything. I’d recommend this book to anyone starting out with poetry to figure who and what you like, or do not like, and who t buy more of.
Also this book is a behemoth.
And i hate Margaret Atwood.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 stars

I mean, I'm not finished finished, but I'm done with it for my module at university and will continue to use it. Very helpful (albeit expensive).
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant amalgamation of so many different poets!
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read it from back to front in reverse chronological order and the segue from familiar English to Old English is really cool.
Christopher Moore
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting collection of poems.
Rachel Earling-Hopson
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful anthology of poetry and how to write a poem in many styles is also included. I am so happy with this book. Do Read!
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anthologies are like an "all-you-can-eat" buffet. You discover tantalizing desserts, nutritious entres and often, if you're lucky, delectable surprises. ...more
Jason Perlman
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whew, almost four years on and off -- I feel a bit bereft!
Lauren Cullen
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely dense with everything a student could need.
for ’Poetry: Reading and Interpretation’; not cover to cover
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
My companion at uni. Almost all the classic poetry you need.
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