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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 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Library of America #178)

American Poetry: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Library of America #178) - David Sheilds This is something more of historical value than actual literary value. It could also be titled "Poems about God and/or New England and other poems." And about half of those others are poems about dead infants. It's often said that American poetry begins with Walt Whitman and nothing here disproves that notion. There are things here like Joseph Breintall's "'A plain Description of one Single Street in this City.'" Which is just that, a plain description of one single street. There's no larger metaphor, no meditation on the subject, it's just a documentation of everything on that damn street--in verse. There are some exciting things like Michael Wigglesworth's "Day of Doom"--a sort of Seventeenth Century "Left Behind," where all the sinners who have had all the fun up until that point finally get their comeupance. Also included are some cameos by famous people--John Smith, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin. None of them were great poets, but neither was anyone else living in the colonies then either, apparently. Again, as a historical document, this is something. But if you never read most of these poems, you're not missing anything.