BOOK REVIEW: Great Short Poems ed. by Paul Negri

Great Short PoemsGreat Short Poems by Paul Negri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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I like short poems, and not just because I’m attention-span challenged. Short poems have punch. They are condensed emotion, and it’s rare to be able to keep beautiful sound resonating throughout long verse. So, it’s not a surprise that I would enjoy this anthology of brief poems from over 80 poets ranging from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries.

There are between one and four poems from most of the poets included. I’ll list some of the poems that are particularly popular, personal favorites, or some combination thereof.

– William Shakespeare: Sonnet 18 [Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day]
– Robert Herrick: “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”
– Anne Bradstreet: “To My Dear and Loving Husband”
– William Blake: “The Tiger” [often written “The Tyger”]
– Robert Burns: “A Red, Red Rose”
– Lord Byron: “So We’ll Go No More a-Roving” and “She Walks in Beauty”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley: “Ozymandias”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways”
– Henry David Thoreau: “I Was Born Upon Thy Bank, River”
– Walt Whitman: “I Hear America Singing”
– Emily Dickinson: “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died”
– Emma Lazarus: “The New Colossus”
– Francis William Bourdillon: “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox: “Solitude” [Laugh and the World Laughs with You…]
– A.E. Housman: “When I Was One-and-Twenty”
– Gelett Burgess: “The Purple Cow”
– Stephen Crane: “In the Desert”
– Robert Frost: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road Not Taken”
– Carl Sandburg: “Fog”
– Wallace Stevens: “The Emperor of Ice Cream”
– William Carlos Williams: “The Red Wheelbarrow”
– Joyce Kilmer: “Trees” [I think that I may never see…]
– Edna St. Vincent Millay: “First Fig”
– Langston Hughes: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”
– Dylan Thomas: “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

If you like short verse, you’ll enjoy this Dover Thrift Edition. It’s all works in the public domain, so don’t expect to find present day poets in the anthology. Also, probably all of these poems are available on the web for free, but the price is minimal to get them collected together.

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