Poems of New York

Poems of New York

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Overview

New York City has always been a larger-than-life, half-mythical place, and this collection offers an appropriately stunning mosaic of its many incarnations in poetry–ranging from Walt Whitman’s exuberant celebrations to contemporary poets’ moving responses to the September 11 attack on the city.

All the icons of this greatest of cities swirl and flash through these pages: taxis and subways, bridges and skyscrapers, ghettos and roof gardens and fire escapes, from the South Bronx to Coney Island to Broadway to Central Park, and from Langston Hughes’s Harlem to James Merrill’s Upper East Side. Wallace Stevens, e. e. cummings, W. H. Auden, Dorothy Parker, Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, and Audre Lorde are just a few of the poets gathered here, alongside a host of new young voices.

Encompassing as many moods, characters, and scenes as this multifaceted, ever-changing metropolis has to offer, Poems of New York will be treasured by literary lovers of New York everywhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375415043
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/13/2002
Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 457,163
Product dimensions: 4.36(w) x 6.45(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, a former poetry editor at the New York Times Book Review, is the editor of the acclaimed anthology Poems of New York and The Poets Laureate Anthology. She lives in New York City and currently teaches American literature at Sarah Lawrence College.

Read an Excerpt

If I Should Learn by Edna St. Vincent Millay


If I should learn, in some quite casual way,
That you were gone, not to return again—
Read from the back-page of a paper, say,
Held by a neighbor in a subway train,
How at the corner of this avenue
And such a street (so are the papers filled)
A hurrying man—who happened to be you—
At noon to-day had happened to be killed,
I should not cry aloud—I could not cry
Aloud, or wring my hands in such a place—
I should but watch the station lights rush by
With a more careful interest on my face,
Or raise my eyes and read with greater care
Where to store furs and how to treat the hair.

Table of Contents

Foreword

WALT WHITMAN (1819–1892)
Mannahatta
Broadway
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819–1891)
The House-Top: A Night Piece

AMY LOWELL (1874–1925)
The Taxi
Anticipation

WALLACE STEVENS (1879–1955)
Arrival at the Waldorf

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS (1883–1963)
The Great Figure

SARA TEASDALE (1884–1933)
Union Square
Broadway

MARIANNE MOORE (1887–1972)
New York

CLAUDE MCKAY (1889–1948)
The Tropics in New York
The City’s Love
A Song of the Moon

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY (1892–1950)
Recuerdo
‘‘If I should learn’’

DOROTHY PARKER (1893–1967)
Observation

E. E. CUMMINGS (1894–1962)
“Taxis toot whirl people moving”

CHARLES REZNIKOFF (1894–1976)
“Walk about the subway station”

FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA (1898–1936)
Dawn

HART CRANE (1899–1933)
To Brooklyn Bridge
The Harbor Dawn
The Tunnel

LANGSTON HUGHES (1902–1967)
The Weary Blues
Good Morning
Harlem
Juke Box Love Song
Subway Rush Hour

HELENE JOHNSON (1906–1995)
The Street to the Establishment

W. H. AUDEN (1907–1973)
Refugee Blues
September 1, 1939

GEORGE OPPEN (1908–1984)
Pedestrian

ELIZABETH BISHOP (1911–1979)
The Man-Moth
Letter to N.Y.

MURIEL RUKEYSER (1913–1980)
Seventh Avenue

MAY SWENSON (1913–1989)
Staying at Ed’s Place
At the Museum of Modern Art

KARL SHAPIRO (1913–2000)
Future-Present

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI (1919– )
“The Pennycandystore beyond the El”

AMY CLAMPITT (1920–1994)
Dancers Exercising

GRACE PALEY (1922– )
The Nature of This City
Fear
On Mother’s Day

HOWARD MOSS (1922–1987)
The Building
The Roof Garden

DENISE LEVERTOV (1923–1997)
The Cabdriver’s Smile

JAMES SCHUYLER (1923–1991)
This Dark Apartment
An East Window on Elizabeth Street
March Here

WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA (1923– )
Photograph from September 11

KENNETH KOCH (1925– )
Girl and Baby Florist Sidewalk Pram Nineteen
Seventy Something

GERALD STERN (1925– )
96 Vandam
Let Me Please Look Into My Window

FRANK O’HARA (1926–1966)
Steps
Gamin

JAMES MERRILL (1926–1995)
An Urban Convalescence
164 East 72nd Street

ALLEN GINSBERG (1926–1997)
I am a Victim of Telephone
My Sad Self

W. S. MERWIN (1927– )
St. Vincent’s

GALWAY KINNELL (1927– )
Room of Return
Running on Silk

JOHN ASHBERY (1927– )
A Sendentary Existence
So Many Lives

CHARLES TOMLINSON (1927– )
All Afternoon

PHILIP LEVINE (1928– )
Get Up

RICHARD HOWARD (1929– )
209 Canal
Among the Missing

L. E. SISSMAN (1929–1976)
Tears at Korvette’s
Visiting Chaos

ADRIENNE RICH (1929– )
Upper Broadway

GREGORY CORSO (1930–2001)
Eastside Incidents
The Whole Mess . . . Almost

DEREK WALCOTT (1930– )
The Bridge

AMIRI BARAKA (1934– )
Return of the Native

MARK STRAND (1934– )
Night Piece

AUDRE LORDE (1934–1992)
To My Daughter the Junkie on a Train
A Trip on the Staten Island Ferry

TED BERRIGAN (1934–1983)
Whitman in Black

HETTIE JONES (1934– )
Dust— A Survival Kit, Fall 2001

JUNE JORDAN (1936–2002)
Toward a City that Sings
“If you saw a Negro lady”

C. K. WILLIAMS (1936– )
Love: Wrath
From War

CHARLES SIMIC (1938– )
Couple at Coney Island
For the Very Soul of Me

THOMAS M. DISCH (1940– )
The Argument Resumed; or, Up Through Tribeca
In Praise of New York

BILLY COLLINS (1941– )
Man Listening to Disc

ERICA JONG (1942– )
Walking Through the Upper East Side

SHARON OLDS (1942– )
Boy Out in the World

NIKKI GIOVANNI (1943– )
Just a New York Poem
The New Yorkers

RONALD WARDALL (1947– )
Three Weeks After

DAVID LEHMAN (1948– )
The World Trade Center
October 11, 1998
September 14, 2001

LAWRENCE JOSEPH (1948– )
In the Age of Postcapitalism

DOUG DORPH (1949– )
Love

EDWARD HIRSCH (1950– )
Man on a Fire Escape

JORIE GRAHAM (1951– )
Expulsion

ROBERT POLITO (1951– )
Overheard in the Love Hotel

NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (1951– )
Construction Site, Windy Night
1972, #43
The Last Hours of Laódikê, Sister of Hektor

ELIZABETH MACKLIN (1952– )
A Married Couple Discovers Irreconcilable Differences

VICKIE KARP (1953– )
Glass

LAURIE SHECK (1953– )
In the South Bronx
The Subway Platform

CORNELIUS EADY (1954– )
The Amateur Terrorist
Dread

PHILLIS LEVIN (1954– )
Out of Chaos

VIJAY SESHADRI (1954– )
A Werewolf in Brooklyn
Immediate City

JUDITH BAUMEL (1956– )
You weren’t Crazy and You weren’t Dead

LI-YOUNG LEE (1957– )
From The City in Which I Love You

MARTÍN ESPADA (1957– )
The Owl and the Lightning

JAMES LASDUN (1958– )
Woman Police Officer in Elevator

REGINALD SHEPHERD (1963– )
Antibody

DEBORAH GARRISON (1965– )
Worked Late on a Tuesday Night
I Saw You Walking

MALENA MÖRLING (1965– )
Let Me Say This

WILLIE PERDOMO (1967– )
123rd Street Rap

DAVID BERMAN (1967– )
New York, New York

KEVIN YOUNG (1970– )
City-as-School

MELANIE REHAK (1971– )
Adonis All Male Revue, November 24

DAVID SEMANKI (1971– )
Rain

NATHANIEL BELLOWS (1972– )
Liberty Island

Acknowledgments

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Poems of New York 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
VioletBramble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An anthology of poetry about New York City written between 1859 and 2002. Poets in this anthology include: Walt Whitman, Amy Lowell, W. C. Williams, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop. This volume is a part of the Everyman's Library Pocket Books series and my favorite of the titles that I've read so far. Throughout the book there are poems about Sept 11, 2001. This was the one I liked the best:I Saw You Walkingby Deborah GarrisonI saw you walking through Newark Penn Stationin your shoes of white ash. At the cornerof my nervous glance your dazed passagefirst forced me away, tracing the crescentberth you'd give a drunk, a lurcher, nuzzlingall comers with ill will and his stench, butnot this one, not today: one shirt arm's shearedclean from the shoulder,the whole bare limbwet with muscle and shining dimly pink,the other full-sheathed in cotton, Brooks Bros.type, the cuff yet buttoned at the wrist, aparody of careful dress, preparedness -so you had not rolled up your sleeves yet thismorning when your suit jacket (here arethe pants, dark gray, with subtle stripe, as wornby men like you on ordinary days)and briefcase (you've none, reverse commutercome from the pit with nothing to carrybut your life) were torn from you, as your lifewas not. Your face itself seemed to be walking,leading your body north, through the ageof the face, blank and ashen, passing forthand away from me, was unclear, the sandy crown of hair powdered white like your feet, butunderneath not yet gray - forty-seven?forty-eight? the age of someone's father -and I trembled for your luck, for your broad,dusted back, half shirted, walking away;I should have dropped to my knees to thank Godyou were alive, o my God, in whom I don't believe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rarely read poetry, but decided to buy Poems of New York, because I miss NYC very much. This is a terrific anthology with selections from poets of the 19th century to the present. A wide sampling of the different flavors of NY captures the essence of this imperfect yet beloved city.