Poetry Anthologies

Almost any collection of poems could be classified as an anthology. For our purposes, poetry anthologies are collections of poetry by multiple authors. Single author poetry collections can be found in our general poetry section.

Sometimes the best way to find a needle is by going straight to the haystack. That is, if you don't know which needle you're looking for. Poetry anthologies are full of familiar and undiscovered goodies, and if you don't mind shuffling around in some straw for awhile you're sure to find at least one or two.

Not that too many no-good poems find their way into anthologies (hardly any do, in fact), but not every poet or poem will strike every reader the same way. Poetry-lovers often talk about encountering a poem, not liking it, then reading it again months or years later and loving it. How can that kind of magic happen if you don't have the right book of potions?

Poetry anthologies are commonly grouped by place and period, for instance, "poems published in England during the Romantic era." Others follow themes like "love poems" or sonnets, or offer poems for children, or try to cover the breadth and length of American or British poetry (a daunting task by any standard).

You'll often find information about a poet, or a specific poem, or a cultural context in an anthology. These can be extremely helpful for understanding what you read, though such articles sometimes tend to over-intellectualize or psychoanalyze more than is helpful. Be wary, but don't just skip the introductory stuff, especially if you haven't read a lot of poetry yet.

Most importantly, enjoy the poems you encounter. Poems aren't frightening animals relegated to anthologies the way tigers are sent to zoos—fun to look at from a distance, but ultimately destructive or boring (tigers in cages sleep a lot). Poems demand that we engage them on a visceral level, get right up to them and inside them to find out what's going on.

Anthologies are more like happy poem communes, where the creme de la creme go to enjoy each others' company and invite readers into their midst for a nice long chat and maybe some dandelion wine. Not that all poets are hippies, but any poet worth his weight in paper and ink is one who loves words, loves life, loves nature, and tries by all the means at his command to enliven readers with the same loves.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.


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9 Items found Print
Active Filters: 8th grade (Ages 13-14)
American History in Verse
by Burton Stevenson
from Bob Jones University Press
Poetry for 3rd-Adult
in American History Reference (Location: HISRF-US)
$11.00 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Anne's Anthology
by Margie Gray
from Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum
Poetry for 7th-10th grade
in Cadron Creek Literature Guides (Location: LITCUR-CAD)
$18.00 (1 in stock)
Heart to Heart
by Jan Greenberg
from Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
for 7th-12th grade
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: POET-ANTH)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Language of Flowers
by Kate Greenaway
from Dover Publications
for all ages
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: POET-ANTH)
Norton Book of Light Verse
by Russell Baker
1st edition from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 7th-Adult
in Poetry (Location: POET-GEN)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America
by Donald Hall
from Oxford University
for 1st-8th grade
in Poetry for Children (Location: POET-CHIL)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Poems for Memorization
from Rod & Staff Publishers, Inc.
for 8th-Adult
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: POET-ANTH)
$2.50 (2 in stock)
Poems of Faith
from Dover Publications
for 8th-Adult
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: POET-ANTH)
Talking to the Sun
by Selected by Kenneth Koch and Kate Farrell
from Henry Holt and Company
in Poetry Anthologies (Location: POET-ANTH)
$9.60 (1 in stock)