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American Sonnets: An Anthology
Edited by David Bromwich
American Poets Project
Library of America

This unique anthology presents one critic’s selection from two centuries of American sonnets. Some of David Bromwich’s choices—Hart Crane’s tribute to Emily Dickinson, for example, or Emma Lazarus’s dedication of Lady Liberty to the world’s tired and poor—are classics cast in bronze. Others—Elizabeth Bishop’s short-lined “Sonnet” or any sonnet typed by Cummings—are hammers that shatter the mold. The heart of the book is in the clusters of sonnets by Longfellow, Very, Tuckerman, Robinson, Frost, Stickney, Wylie, and Millay. Here are our Petrarchs and Shakespeares, the American masters who, by living within the strictures of the octave and the sestet, found full voice, enlarged a tradition, and changed the sonnet forever.

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