The Poetry of Our World: An International Anthology of Contemporary Poetry

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9780060553692: The Poetry of Our World: An International Anthology of Contemporary Poetry

The Best Poetry of the Last Fifty Years from more than Seventy Poets and Representing the Entire Globe

Here is capacious and sparkling gathering of poems, an anthology that extends its reach from the English-speaking world to Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. This unique volume includes such well-known figures as Pablo Neruda, Anna Akhmatova, Paul Celan, Seamus Heaney, Wole Soyinka, and Elizabeth Bishop but also offers the less familiar but equally welcome voices of Ugandan Okot p'Bitek, Indian A.K. Ramanujan, and the Japanese poet Shuntaro Tanikawa. With insightful essays by such eminent scholars and poets as Helen Vendler, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Sven Birkerts, Carolyn Forché, and Bei Dao placing the selections from each region in their cultural, political, and literary contexts, The Poetry of Our World guides readers through the richest and most eclectic selection of world poetry available today.

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About the Author:

Jeffery Paine is the author of Father India: Westerners Under the Spell of an Ancient Culture. He is contributing editor, and was for many years literary editor, of the Wilson Quarterly. Jeffery Paine lives in Washington, D.C.

From Library Journal:

We are fortunate to have two excellent, recently published international anthologies of contemporary poetry available to us now, thanks to Paine's new compilation. Complementing The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, edited by J.D. McClatchy (LJ 7/96), it has some duplication but is clearer in its definition of "contemporary": the "demarcating starting year" is 1950. McClatchy's volume was arranged by continent and contained the works of many more poets. Paine and his helpers (Joseph Brodsky, before his death, played an important role) chose to select fewer poets for each country and to "make the poem's shining merit the sole criterion" so that "a world anthology of poetry, perhaps for the first time, would not merely cover the bases but be primarily a pleasure to read." Thus, Latin America is represented by eight poems each by Neruda, Borges, Paz, Vallejo, and Drummond de Andrade, followed by a sampling of ten other poets (one poem each). Each section is preceded by a thoughtful introduction of several pages by the selector in that area (e.g., Carolyn Forch for Latin America). In the English-speaking world section, only two American poets (Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell) are included, with four more in the "sampling" section. These selections put into perspective this country's relative unimportance among the sheer numbers of excellent poets from other corners of the world. A stunning and highly readable anthology; recommended for public and academic libraries.DJudy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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