How Poems Move #4

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Here’s the Table of Contents of the little anthology I have created for this course.  I chose each poem for its usefulness in showing (various) elements of poetic technique.  And some of them speak to each other.  Homer, Pound and Gunn; Pound and Duncan; Auden and Yeats; Baudelaire and Donne’s “Negative Love” and Greville and Voznesensky (regarding thinking by negatives); Williams and Niedecker and Levertov and others; all the sonnets; Hadas a sonnet, by the way—look at the line-endings for rhyme words, and then you’ll see how the poem is put together with a combination of expanded lines and “composition by field”; and other connections.

Essays about many of these poets, additional poems, and recordings of them reading their poems can be found at

More poems and resources are at the Academy of American Poets,

There are also some recordings of the poets themselves or of others reading some of these poems on YouTube.


Anonymous, “Sir Patrick Spens”

W. H. Auden, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”

Charles Baudelaire, “Obsession”

William Blake, “London,” “The Chimney Sweeper” (2 poems), “The Sick Rose”

Elizabeth Bishop, “In the Waiting Room”

Louise Bogan, “Women,” “The Crows,” “Dark Summer,” “Several Voices

Out of a Cloud”

Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “New World A’Comin’” (excerpt)

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till,”

“The Mother”

Shawn Carter/Jay-Z, “History” (excerpt)

Charles Causley, “The Great Sun”

John Clare, “The Mouse’s NeHart Crane, “Voyages” (V), “At Melville’s Tomb”

Robert Creeley, “The Language”

Emily Dickinson, poems 359, 612, 647, 1000, 1004, 1611

John Donne, “Negative Love,” “Holy Sonnets” (X)

Robert Duncan, “At the Loom,” “Poetry, A Natural Thing”

Robert Frost, “Home Burial”

Allen Ginsberg, “Sunflower Sutra,” “Howl” (I—excerpt)

Fulke Greville, “In night, when colors…”

Thom Gunn, “Moly”

Pamela White Hadas, “Eurydice”

Thomas Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush”

Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays,” “Night, Death, Mississippi,” “Homage to the

Empress of the Blues”

Seamus Heaney, “Death of a Naturalist,” “Casualty”

Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, “Sonnet of Black Beauty”

Homer, Odyssey X (excerpt)

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Inversnaid”

John Keats, “To Autumn,” “Ode on Melancholy”

Yusef Komunyakaa, “Yellowjackets,” “Memory Cave”

Philip Larkin, “The Explosion”

D.H. Lawrence, “Snake,” “Bavarian Gentians”

Denise Levertov, “Stepping Westward,” “Living”

Linda McCarriston, “With the Horse in the Winter Pasture”

Thomas McGrath, “Letter to an Imaginary Friend” (I—excerpt), “Love in a Bus,”

“Used Up,” “Epitaph”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “I, being born a woman…”

John Milton, “Methought I saw…,” Paradise Lost IV (excerpt) 

Eugenio Montale, “Lemon Trees”

Lorine Niedecker, “Swept snow, Li Po,” “Fog—thick morning—,”

“You are my friend—,”“Effort lay in us,” “

My mother saw…,” “Grandfather”

Frank O’Hara, “A Step Away from Them,” “The Day Lady Died”

Boris Pasternak, “Mirror”

Sylvia Plath, “Fever 103°”

Sterling Plumpp, Ornate with Smoke (excerpt)

Ezra Pound, “The Return,” “In a Station of the Metro,” “Canto II” (excerpt),

“Canto XXXIX” (excerpt)

Adrienne Rich, “The Fact of a Doorframe,” “Power”

Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Panther”

Yannis Ritsos, “The Meaning of Simplicity,” “Attack,” “A Wreath”

Ed Roberson, “”Beauty’s Standing” (excerpt), “Bend,” “Locus in Black Folktale”

Isaac Rosenberg, “Break of Day in the Trenches,” “Dead Man’s Dump”

Muriel Rukeyser, “Boy with his Hair Cut Short,” “”Letter to the Front”


Carl Sandburg, “Onion Days”

Sappho, fragment 31 (2 translations—by Anne Carson and Jim Powell)

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”),

Sonnet 55 (“Not marble nor the gilded monuments“), Sonnet 130 (“My mistress’ eyes

are nothing like the sun”)

Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella sonnet 1 (“Loving in truth, and fain in verse my

love to show”

Gary Snyder, “Point Reyes,” “Milton by Firelight,” “Axe Handles”

Sophocles, Antigone, lines 332-375 [“Ode to Man”—translation by RG and Charles Segal] 

Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man,” “This Solitude of Cataracts”

Marina Tsvetaeva, “Poets” (excerpt) [translation by RG and Ilya Kutik]

Mark Turcotte, “Continue,” “Reflection”

César Vallejo, “A man goes by…” [translation by RG]

Andrei Voznesensky, “A Graveyard Within: To the Memory of Robert Lowell” [translation by RG and Ilya Kutik]

Derek Walcott, “The Schooner Flight” (excerpt)

Walt Whitman, “Whoever You Are…,” “A March in the Ranks…” 

William Carlos Williams, “By the Road to the Contagious Hospital,” “Pink Confused with

White,” “Nantucket”

Anne Winters, “The Mill Race”

William Wordsworth, “The Winander Boy,” “Composed Upon

Westminster Bridge”

Sir Thomas Wyatt, “Whoso List to Hunt…”

William Butler Yeats, “The Fisherman,” “Meru”