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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $199.99

1118 pp.
6" x 9"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

20th-Century Poetry and Poetics

Fifth Edition

Edited by Gary Geddes

20th-Century Poetry and Poetics provides in-depth selections from the work of each poet and, where possible, places the poems in the significant context of the poets' own views on poetics. In addition there are useful biographies and comments on the poets in the form of headnotes that appear at the beginning of each poet's work. The final section includes an extensive poetics section, where 30 poets talk, in various forms, about writing and reading poetry.

Readership : Second, third, and fourth year undergraduate Introduction to Literature, Introduction to Poetry, and Twentieth-Century Poetry courses in English departments.

* denotes new selection
William Butler Yeats
When You Are Old
Who Goes with Fergus?
The Folly of Being Comforted
The Wild Swans at Coole
The Fisherman
Easter 1916
The Second Coming
A Prayer for my Daughter
Sailing to Byzantium
Leda and the Swan
Among School Children
For Anne Gregory
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
Long-Legged Fly
The Circus Animals' Desertion
Ezra Pound
Portrait d'une Femme
The Garden
Dance Figure
In a Station of the Metro
L'Art, 1910
The Tea Shop
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter from Hugh Selwyn Mauberley: E.P. Ode pour l'election de son sepulchre
Mr Nixon
Canto I
Canto XIII
William Carlos Williams
Aux Imagistes
Danse Russe
This is Just to Say
To Waken an Old Lady
Spring and All
The Red Wheelbarrow
The Yachts
The Dance
The Rewaking
To a Dog Injured in the Street
Robert Frost
Mending Wall
After Apple-Picking
Fire and Ice
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Acquainted with the Night
Desert Places
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
Provide, Provide
One Step Backward Taken
*D.H. Lawrence
*Love on the Farm
*Gloire de Dijon
*Song of A Man Who Has Come Through
*Letter from Town: The Almond Tree
*The Elephant Is Slow to Mate
*Andraitz--Pomegranate Flowers
*The Argonauts
*Whales Weep Not
*Bavarian Gentians
*The Ship of Death
*H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
*Sea Rose
*Pear Tree
*Fragment 113
*Let Zeus Record
*from Sigil XV
*from The Walls Do Not Fall 4
*from Tribute to the Angels 29
*from Flowering of the Rod 10
T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Hollow Men
Journey of the Magi
Burnt Norton
Wilfred Owen
Strange Meeting
Greater Love
Arms and the Boy
Anthem for Doomed Youth
Dulce Et Decorum Est
*Marianne Moore
*Critics and Connoisseurs
*You Say You Said
*The Steeple Jack
*Half Deity
*The Pangolin
*What Are Years
*In Distrust of Merits
*The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing
*The Sycamore
E.E. Cummings
Chansons Innocentes
my sweet old etcetera
i sing of Olaf
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
anyone lived in a pretty how town
my father moved through dooms of love
love is more thicker than forget
dying is fine)but Death
i thank God for most this amazing
Wallace Stevens
The Emperor of Ice Cream
Sunday Morning
The Idea of Order at Key West
The Man on the Dump
The Motive for Metaphor
Credences of Summer
The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain
W.H. Auden
As I Walked Out One Evening
Musee des Beaux Arts
In Memory of W.B. Yeats
The Unknown Citizen
The Shield of Achilles
Dylan Thomas
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
If I were tickled by the rub of love
And death shall have no dominion
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London
Do not go gentle into that good night
In my craft or sullen art
Fern Hill
A.M. Klein
Political Meeting
Lone Bather
Portrait of the Poet as Landscape
Theodore Roethke
Big Wind
Praise to the End!
The Waking
I Knew a Woman
The Far Field
In a Dark Time
Earle Birney
Vancouver Lights
Anglosaxon Street
From the Hazel Bough
A Walk in Kyoto
The Bear on the Delhi Road
Haiku for a Young Waitress
Al Purdy
The Cariboo Horses
*Wilderness Gothic
*At the Quinte Hotel
Eskimo Graveyard
Arctic Rhododendrons
Lament for the Dorsets
*Naked with Summer in Your Mouth
Robert Lowell
The Holy Innocents
Christmas in Black Rock
After the Surprising Conversions
The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket
Memories of West Street and Lepke
Skunk Hour
For the Union Dead
Mr Edwards and the Spider
Philip Larkin
Lines on a Young Lady's Photograph Album
Church Going
Poetry of Departures
If, My Darling
Faith Healing
Irbing Layton
The Birth of Tragedy
Look, the Lambs Are All Around Us!
The Cold Green Element
The Bull Calf
Sacrament by the Water
Whatever Else Poetry Is Freedom
Berry Picking
Keine Lazarovitch 1870-1959
A Tall Man Executes a Jig
Elizabeth Bishop
The Map
The Imaginary Iceberg
At the Fishhouses
Cape Breton
Arrival at Santos
Questions of Travel
Squatter's Children
12 O'Clock News
P.K. Page
Young Girls
The Stenographers
The Landlady
Stories of Snow
Photos of a Salt Mine
The Permanent Tourists
The Glass Air
Deaf Mute in the Pear Tree
*Planet Earth
Denise Levertov
A Map of the Western Part of the County of Essex in England
Come into Animal Presence
The Ache of Marriage
Hypocrite Women
Second Didactic Poem
An Interim
'The Poem Rising By Its Own Weight'
She and the Muse
Brother Ivy
Charles Olson
The Kingfishers
As the Dead Prey upon Us
Maximus, to Himself
John Berryman
The Dispossessed
A Professor's Song
from 77 Dream Songs
Adrienne Rich
At a Bach Concert
Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law
The Burning of Paper Instead of Children
Diving into the Wreck
The Phenomenology of Anger
North American Time
Robert Creeley
Je vois dans le hasard tous les biens que j'espere
After Lorca
The Awakening
The Rain
The Pool
'I Keep to myself such measures'
For My Mother: Genevieve Jules Creeley
Self Portrait
Bresson's Movies
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
In Goya's greatest scenes we seem to see
Constantly risking absurdity and death
Junkman's Obbligato
Modern Poetry is Prose (But It Is Saying Plenty)
*History of the Airplane
Allen Ginsberg
Howl (I & II)
A Supermarket in California
Phyllis Webb
A Tall Tale
Love Story
To Friends Who Have Also Considered Suicide
Poetcis Against the Angel of Death
Occasions of Desire
For Fyodor
Treblinka Gas Chamber
Prison Report
from Water and Light: Ghazals and Anti Ghazals
John Ashbery
The Orioles
Our Youth
Forties Flick
A Man of Words
And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name
The Absence of a Noble Presence
On the Empress's Mind
The Old Complex
Gary Snyder
Piute Creek
Journeys (section six)
Song of the Taste
Kai, Today
Front Lines
*Falling from a Height, Holding Hands
Ted Hughes
The Though-Fox
Invitation to the Dance
Six Young Men
Hawk Roosting
from Crow
A Childish Prank
Crow's First Lesson
A Disaster
*Perfect Light
*The Table
Margaret Avison
The World Still Needs
To Professor X, Year Y
The Swimmer's Moment
Voluptuaries and Others
Black-White Under Green: May 18, 1965
July Man
In a Season of Unemployment
*Rising Dust
Sylvia Plath
Two Views of a Cadaver Room
The Colossus
Black Rook in Rainy Weather
Blue Moles
The Disquieting Muses
Lady Lazarus
Two Campers in Cloud Country
Leonard Cohen
You have the lovers
As the mist leaves no scar
Now of Sleeping
The Genius
The Music Crept by Us
How to Speak Poetry
Gwendolyn MacEwen
Poems in Braille
Manzini: Escape Artist
Poem Improvised Around a First Line
The Red Bird You Wait For
The Discovery
Dark Pines Under Water
Memoirs of a Mad Cook
The Child Dancing
from The T.E. Lawrence Poems
Nitroglycerine Tulips
Ghazala's Foal
Tall Tales
Notes from the Dead Land
The Transparent Womb
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Poet
You Can Study It If You Want
Eavan Boland
Ode to Suburbia
Mise Eire
The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me
Lava Cameo
Time and Violence
Robert Bly
Driving Toward the Lac Qui Parle River
Counting Small-Boned Bodies
Driving Through Minnesota During the Hanoi Bombings
The Dead Seal
Finding the Father
Fifty Males Sitting Together
Snowbanks North of the House
In Rainy September
Winter Poem
What We Provide
The Horse of Desire
The Mushroom
Derek Walcott
A Far Cry from Africa
Orient and Immortal Wheat
The Castaway
A Map of Europe
Crusoe's Island
North and South
Early Pompeian
Philip Levine
For Fran
Coming Home, Detroit, 1968
Late Moon
Lost and Found
Let Me Begin Again
The Fox
The Voice
A Theory of Prosody
What Work Is
The Simple Truth
*The Mercy
Margaret Atwood
It Is Dangerous to Read Newspapers
Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer
Backdrop Addresses Cowboy
Death of a Young Son by Drowning
You Take My Hand
Marrying the Hangman
Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written
Morning in the Burned House
*Sor Juana Works in the Garden
Galway Kinnell
First Song
The Bear
Under the Maud Moon
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
*That Silent Evening
*The Cellist
Patrick Lane
Ten Miles in from Horsefly
Passing Into Storm
Mountain Oysters
Albino Pheasants
There is a Time
Fathers and Sons
*The Ward Cat
*The Garden Temple
Seamus Heaney
Death of a Naturalist
Mid-Term Break
Personal Helicon
Requiem for the Croppies
Summer Home
Bog Queen
From the Frontier of Writing
Michael Ondaatje
from Billy the Kid
Letters & Other Worlds
White Dwarfs
Red Accordion - an immigrant song
A Gentleman Compares his Virtue to a Jade
*Last Ink
BP Nichol
from 'The Captain Poetry Poems'
What is Can Lit
Allegory #6
The Mouth
continental trance
Daphne Marlatt
Alcazar, Cecil, Belmont, New Fountain, names
Imagine: a town
A by-channel; a small backwater
The difference three makes: a narrative
Seeing it go up in smoke
*(is love enough?)
Louise Gluck
For My Mother
Dedication to Hunger
Mock Orange
Brown Circle
End of Winter
Retreating Light
*Unwritten Law
*Michael Longley
*Irish Poetry
*Love Poem
*The Linen Industry
*The Ice-Cream Man
Gary Geddes
Sandra Lee Scheuer
Jimmy's Place
Human Rights Commission
from Hong Kong
*What Does A House Want?
*Reading Akio Chida's Translations
Robert Hass
Meditation at Lagunitas
A Story About the Body
Human Wishes
Natural Theology
My Mother's Nipples
Don McKay
The Great Blue Heron
Fridge Nocturne
Adagio for a Fallen Sparrow
Esthetique du Chien
The Poem, to be Slow as Evening
Listen at the Edge
Waking at the Mouth of the Willow River
*Big Alberta Clouds
*Song for the Song of the Wood Thrush
*Nocturnal Migrants
Carol Ann Duffy
Standing Female Nude
War Photographer
A Healthy Meal
Model Village
Warming Her Pearls
*The Light Gatherer
Robert Kroetsch
Seed Catalogue
*Billy Collins
*Advice to Writers
*Questions about Angels
*The Death of Allegory
*First Reader
*Osso Buco
*Dancing Toward Bethlehem
*Man in Space
*Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes
*The Night House
*The Iron Bridge
*Ave Atque Vale
Lorna Crozier
Forms of Innocence
The Child Who Walks Backwards
from The Sex Lives of Vegetables
Fathers, Uncles, Old Friends of the Family
Living Day By Day
Inventing the Hawk
*Packing for the Future: Instructions
*What I Gave You, Truly
*Sands from the Gobi Desert
Roo Borson
A Sad Device
The Garden
Intermittent Rain
Snowlight on the Northwood Path
City Lights
Rubber Boots
*Dismembered Villanelle
*Hello Desire
*Seven Variations on the Word Silk
*Heather McHugh
*In Praise of Pain
*Blue Streak
*I Knew I'd Sing
*The Oven Loves the TV Set
*What He Thought
*Ghazal of the Better Unbegun
*A Dearth in the Dreamboat Department
Erin Moure
empire, york street
Post-Modern Literature
Being Carpenter
Tropic Line
Miss Chatelaine
*Ephedra, or 'Smoke of the Villages'
*XXI If I could chew the whole earth
Sharon Olds
Indictment of Senior Officers
First Night
Fishing Off Nova Scotia
The Death of Marilyn Monroe
The Connoisseuse of Slugs
Summer Solstice, New York City
Still Life
The Green Shirt
The Glass
The Lifting
The Swimmer
I Wanted to Be There When My Father Died
*First Thanksgiving
*First Weeks
Sharon Thesen
The Landlord's Tiger Lilies
Women Like Me
Elegy, the Fertility Specialist
September, Turning, the Long Road Down to Love
*Afternoon with Liver
*Hey, I Think That's Me
*Oh Hello, Count, How Are You, Do Come In
*Nameless Dread
*Summer Twilight
Bronwen Wallace
The Woman In This Poem
All That Uneasy Spring
A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf
Common Magic
Thinking With the Heart
Rita Dove
Nigger Song: An Odyssey
The Secret Garden
The House Slave
Adolescence II
Boccaccio: The Plague Years
from Thomas and Beulah
The Event
Variation on Pain
The Stroke
Thomas at the Wheel
Taking in Wash
The Great Palaces of Versailles
After Reading Mickey in the Night Kitchen for the Third Time Before Bed
*Anne Carson
*The Glass Essay
Tim Lilburn
Names of God
Touching An Elephant In A Dark Room
In the Hills, Watching
Learning a Deeper Courtesy of the Eye
Discipline of Secrecy
How To Be Here?
*Quiet, Quiet
*Boom Boom Boom
*Jan Zwicky
*Your Body
*Open Strings
*Bill Evans: 'Here's That Rainy Day'
*The Geology of Norway
*Passing Sangudo
*Theories of Personal Identity
*String Practice
*Glenn Gould: Bach's Italian Concerto
*Carolyn Forche
*Early Night
*The Colonel
*The Garden Shukkei-en
*Blue Hour
*Don Paterson
*A Private Bottling
*To the Great Zero
*St Brides: Sea-Mail
*Waking with Russell
*The Thread
*The Sea at Brighton
*The White Lie
Margaret Atwood
W.H. Auden
from The Poet and the City
from The Virgin and the Dynamo
Robert Bly
Looking for Dragon Smoke
Evan Boland
The Politics of Eroticism
Robert Creeley
A Sense of Measure
Lorna Crozier
from 'Who's Listening?'
E.E. Cummings
Three Statements
T.S. Eliot
Tradition and the Individual Talent
from The Music of Poetry
from Hamlet and his Problems
Robert Frost
The Figure a Poem Makes
Allen Ginsberg
Notes for Howl and Other Poems
Seamus Heaney
Feelings into Words
Ted Hughes
On Poetry
Denise Levertov
Some Notes on Organic Form (1965)
Philip Levine
The Poet in New York in Detroit
Robert Lowell
from An Interview
Don McKay
Some Remarks on Poetry and Poetic Attention
Daphne Marlatt
musing with mothertongue
BP Nichol
'After Reading the Chronology'
Narrative in Language: The Long Poem
Charles Olson
Projective Verse
Sylvia Plath
An Interview
Ezra Pound
A Retrospect
Al Purdy
An Interview
Adrienne Rich
Excerpts from What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics
Theodore Roethke
from Some Remarks on Rhythm
from Open Letter
Gary Snyder
Poetry and the Primitive
Some Yips & Barks in the Dark
Wallace Stevens
from Adagia
Dylan Thomas
Notes on the Art of Poetry
Phyllis Webb
On the Line
Letter from Gary Geddes to Phyllis Webb
William Carlos Williams
A New Measure
On Measure - Statement for Cid Corman
William Butler Yeats
from Magic
from The Symbolism of Poetry
from A General Introduction to My Work

Student Resources

Gary Geddes is a poet, anthologist, and retired professor of English and Creative Writing, Concordia University.

Making Sense - Margot Northey and Joan McKibbin
The Canadian Writer's Handbook - William E. Messenger, Jan de Bruyn, Judy Brown and Ramona Montagnes

Special Features

  • Poets are represented by extensive selections that demonstrate the breadth of their work
  • Each poet is introduced by a thoughtful biographical headnote to help contextualize his or her work
  • Includes discussions by 30 of the anthology's poets about writing and reading poetry
  • Features a balance of Canadian (27) and international poets (41)
New to this Edition
  • Includes 10 new authors--D.H. Lawrence, H.D., Marianne Moore, Michael Longley, Billy Collins, Heather McHugh, Anne Carson, Jan Zwicky, Carolyn Forche, and Don Patterson
  • All selections have been reconsidered and where appropriate updated to bring the anthology into the twenty-first century
  • With the addition of several female poets this collection contains a broad representation of women's writing
  • Revised headnotes provide up-to-date biographical information about each author as well as unique insights into their work
  • A Dictionary of Poetics will be offered on a companion website