Rediscovering My First Collection of Poetry: Norton Anthology

The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, Richard Ellman, Robert O'Clair, Famous Poets

Who would have thought I could come to love and appreciate a book from the Creative Writing class I took, when I was a sophomore in college? I think I actually loathed all 1,456 pages of that gargantuan anthology at the time. Yet, today it has become a treasured jewel to me.

As I thumbed through this illustrious first volume of The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, copy written and published in 1973, I found a note from one of my classmates, asking about an assignment we needed to complete for this class. Our professor, Dr. Ashley asked the class to do an analysis of assigned poems or a character sketch depicted in the poems. For this particular assignment, we were to do an analysis of a poem by Allen Ginsberg. Although I don’t remember which one of his poems we were assigned to analyze, that handwritten note from my classmate remains a nostalgic book marker, within the pages of this great anthology.

Among the many famous poets included in this great collection are works by Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, W.S. Merwin, Nikki Giovanni, Randall Jarrell, Patrick Kavanagh and E. E. Cummings to name a few. My trip down memory lane is a route to a new journey on my never-ending poetic highway. It’s amazing how the lessons we learned, the ones we passionately love dearly, are the catalysts for our personal, spiritual and professional growth, and development.

Positively and Poetically Yours!


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