Bontemps, Arna, ed.
. New York: Harper and Row, 1941.
A first-rate anthology of Afro-American poetry designed specifically for the young reader. The chapter on the city offers a wide view of urban life.
“Tenement Room: Chicago”
“City: San Francisco”
Cahill, Susan and Michele F. Cooper.
The Urban Reader
. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1971.
A gold mine of prose, poetry, and pictures of various aspects of city life. Lyrics are also included. A must-see for teachers and students.
“I Went to the City”
“The Sounds of the City”
A Dictionary of Terms
. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1962.
A good explanatory text for teachers. Great examples of all techniques presented in dictionary form.
Dunning, Stephen, Edward Lueders, and Hugh Smith.
Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle
. New York: Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Co., 1966. This is a great source book. It includes a wide variety of poetic styles and subjects. The book is beautifully complemented by black and white photographs.
“How To Eat A Poem” “Crossing”
“Unfolding Bud” “Too Blue”
Greene, Marvin L, ed.
. Glenview: Scott, Forsman, and
This is an interesting anthology particularly featuring Toni Cade Bambara’s “Geraldine Moore the Poet,” a short story which really captures
poetry grows out of common experience.
Jones, LeRoi (Imamu Baraka).
Negro Music in White America
. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1963.
Good background on blues and music of the city in several chapters (6,7,8). Stress here is on a continuum from African forms to black expression in an urban environment. A useful source of information.
. New York: Vintage Books, 1970. The classic text for teaching poetry to elementary school students. It’s an inspiration for everyone!
Lee, Ulysses, Sterling A. Brown, and Arthur P. Davis, eds.
. New York: Arno Press, 1970.
A surperb and thorough collection of Afro-American literature, especially poetry. Because it was originally published in 1941, it contains works not commonly anthologized.
Lomax, Alan, and Raoul Abdul, eds.
300 Years of Black Poetry
. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1970.
An excellent anthology, including many African poets, particularly those of the Negritude period.
“Mother to Son”
Lomax, John A., and Alan Lomax, eds.
American Ballads and Folk Songs
. New York: The MacMillan Co., 1934.
The introduction has background material on traditional ballads. The body includes hundreds of examples of lyrics separated by subject, including chapters on the blues, spirituals, and work songs.
McBee, Dalton H.
New York: Harccurt, Brace, Janovich, Inc., 1972.
An interesting text covering many styles of writing.
Millay, Edna St. Vincent.
. New York: Harper and Row, 1939.
Lots of imagery and sound patterns. Millay lived in New York, and wrote beautiful lyric poetry. She saw the more positive side of the city—but also felt alienation of the individual.
Pooley, Robert C., George K. Anderson, Paul Farmer, and Helen Thornton, eds.
England in Literature
. Chicago: Scott, Foresman, and Co., 1963. Basic text on English literature including historical overviews, biographical data, and numerous selections.
Rockwitz, Murray, and Milton Kaplan.
The World of Poetry
. New York;
Globe Book Co., 1965.
An excellent anthology that divides poetry into aspects of human existence. There are hundreds of selections here that reflect feeling and shared personal experiences. Chapters of special value are “Trains” and “The City.”
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When
The Rainbow Is Enuf
. New York: McMillan Publishing Co., 1977. Powerful choreopoem that became a stunning Broadway production. This contemporary piece shows every aspect of this unit; technique, theme dramatic presentation, and appeal. It is a fantastic way to introduce long\er sustained poetry. It is especially useful if paired with the soundtrack. Some parts may need to be screened for younger students.
Sheffey, Ruthe T., and Eugenia Collier, eds.
Impressions in Asphalt
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1969.
This anthology divides urban life into sections of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Each one deals with a different aspect of personal experiences.
“My Papa’s Waltz”
Stanford, Barbara Dodds, ed.
. New York: Hayden Book Co., 1971.
The entire book is filled with excellent poetry and prose selections from the Afro-American experience, arranged chronologically.
“We Real Cool”
Doorways to Poetry
. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1938.
Although most exercises and selections are based on diverse subjects, many of the sections are divided into themes in one chapter, “The Mind of Poetry.” This is an excellent book that does a good job of integrating technical information with careful analysis.
“City Under Snow”
“I Meant To Do My Work Today”
The Forms of Poetry
. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1926.
Another good solid dictionary of terms with examples.
Wheelock, John Hall.
What Is Poetry?
. New York: Charles Scribner’s
“In the making of a poem, the creative impulse and critical faculty must be equally matched.” (p. 70)
Wheelock is himself a poet who works on themes of isolation. In this book, he considers people’s resistance to poetry. He also investigates why modern and contemporary poetry is often baffling to the unsophisticated reader. A good book for teachers who are concerned with acceptance of a poetry unit.