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American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1953-56 (Library of America #227)
Gary K. Wolfe, Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth, Theodore Sturgeon, Leigh Brackett, Richard Matheson

American Poetry: The Twentieth Century (Henry Adams to Dorothy Parker)

American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Volume One: Henry Adams to Dorothy Parker (Library of America #115) - Robert Hass, Robert Hass, John Hollander, Carolyn Kizer, Nathaniel Mackey, Marjorie Perloff Anthologies like these often get criticized for being either too Dead White Male oriented or too multiculturaly inclusive (See the criticism for the recent Rita Dove edited Penguin Anthology of 20th Century Poetry.) Library of America avoids that simply by being gigantic. Arranged by order of birthdate volume 1 and it's 900 pages only gets to the birth year of 1893. So everyone is here and well-represented. And it's not diverse just in a cultural sense, everything from Ezra Pound and his circle of inscrutables to the light verse of Dorothy Parker and song lyrics of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin are included. The big names however do receive the most representation. Robert Frost gets nearly 60 pages, Wallace Stevens 70 and Pound 80 pages. You also get just about all the Gertrude Stein a sane person can tolerate. Seriously, Gertrude Stein is the poetic equivalent of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Revelations for me included a total rediscovery of Robert Frost, and a certain disappointment in things that I once really liked like TS Elliot. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, aside from its amazing language, is sort of juvenile. It's the world view of a young adult with little life experience. In another music analogy, it's almost like going back to the Simon & Garfunkel songs you loved as a teenager and realizing how naive they are. And this collection caused me to go back and read Spoon River Anthology in its entirety. I don't know of a better, more inclusive anthology of American poetry. Worth reading cover to cover just for its amazing breadth.