(Part 2) Best american poetry books according to redditors

Jump to the top 20

We found 499 Reddit comments discussing the best american poetry books. We ranked the 247 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the products ranked 21-40. You can also go back to the previous section.

Next page

Top Reddit comments about American Poetry:

u/williw5495 · 31 pointsr/FrankOcean

Just had a look around online, you can get it on Amazon here (UK and US). Apparently it's a collection of poems that "riffs on a Frank Ocean song, paying homage to the man but also investigating oceans, The Ocean, and the similarity between heartbreak and break beats by blending Frank Ocean's musical catalogue with personal narrative and social critique."

u/gmpalmer · 22 pointsr/books

I'd give any of these to someone interested in poetry and wanting to get a good start.

Jill Alexander Essbaum: Harlot

Brian McGackin: Broetry

T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land and Other Poems (start with "Prufrock")

Sylvia Plath: Ariel (note: this is the "restored" edition--yes it is superior)

Anne Sexton: Transformations

Dante: The Divine Comedy (Durling & Martinez translation)

Anon: Beowulf (Heaney or Sullivan/Murphy translation)

Homer: Odyssey (Fagles translation)

Kim Addonizio: Tell Me

David Mason: Ludlow

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Collected Sonnets

Shakespeare: Collected Sonnets

Moira Egan and Clarinda Harriss (ed.): Hot Sonnets

Sounds Good, 101 Poems to be Heard

I'll go ahead and add the publisher's page for my book (which I absolutely would include as a good "beginning" book) but it won't be out until late January.


*edit: I absolutely WOULD include my book as a beginner book--sorry for any confusion!

u/tintinsays · 6 pointsr/books

I love this idea! This is really difficult to do, though.

I looked through my lists of books and didn't find any that started with these words, but I combed through Amazon and found some. Mind you, I haven't read these, so I can't recommend them or not.

Also, for "marry", it is really hard to find books that start with that word spelled like that unless they're called something like "Marry me" which might kind of give it away. Maybe go with "Mary" or "Merry" for the spelling? Just a thought.

Anyway, books! I selected a bunch, some might have funny titles. I didn't know what kind of a vibe you were going for, so I figured I'd throw out what I found, silly or not.


Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

Will You Still Love Me in the Morning?

Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life

Will You Marry Me? For obvious reasons, if you use this one, I'd recommend giving the books in reverse order (Me, Marry, You,Will)-- or if you want to sound like Yoda.


You Suck: A Love Story This one is by Christopher Moore, a hilarious author.

You Only Live Twice This is a James Bond novel

You Can't Go Home Again This is a classic, and is supposed to be amazing. I've never read it though. :/

You Shall Know Them This looks really philosophical and strange.

You Never Know With Women Harlequin cheap novel. Didn't know the sense of humor, could be funny. Har har.

You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense Bukowski.


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Warning! Linked book is abridged. Booo.
Mary Barton Never heard of it, but Amazon calls it a classic.
Mary This one is by Nabokov.


The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

The Merry Wives of Windsor Shakespeare.


Marry Your Baby Daddy Tee hee.

Marry Anerley This is large print and has no reviews. :/

Marry Me This one is by John Updike. I've never read anything by him, but he is supposed to be pretty good.


Me Talk Pretty One Day Someone else suggested this and I second it. If you haven't read it, it is a book of short bits by the author about struggling with his speech in Paris. It is really good.

Me Tanner, You Jane Suspense thriller? Never heard of it.

Me Again People with amnesia. This book has really good reviews.

Me and Emma This one also has really good reviews.

Me! Okay, this one is a kids' book, but depending on personalities, it could work, so I threw it in here.

I hope this helps and that someone has read some of these books and can tell you if they are any good. Either way, let us know what you end up doing!!

u/jforres · 5 pointsr/femalefashionadvice

I LOVE POETRY. And I sort of taught my girlfriend how to read it. Honestly, it's kind of like wine. There are things that are true and not true for sure, but your emotional interpretation of poetry is most accurate when unfiltered. Try not to judge your interpretation of the poetry (I know, easier said).

This is my favorite poetry book. The poems are grouped by theme, but cover a very broad range of time periods and are from all over the world. I just think it's so cool to see what about the human experience hasn't really changed in hundreds of years.

I taught my girlfriend to love poetry with Kay Ryan's poems. They're short, so you can read one in bed together and then sit and think about it and discuss what it could mean or how you're interpreting it. :)

u/iJubag · 5 pointsr/tipofmytongue

It's called "The Way" in English, and is from his collection

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

EDIT: Added the full poem
> murdered in the alleys of the land

> frost-bitten against flagpoles

> pawned by females

> educated in the dark for the dark

> vomiting into plugged toilets

> in rented rooms full of roaches and mice

> no wonder we seldom sing

> day or noon or night

> the useless wars

> the useless years

> the useless loves

> and they ask us,

> why do you drink so much?

> well, I suppose the days were made

> to be wasted

> the years and the loves were made

> to be wasted.

> we can’t cry, and it helps to laugh—

> it’s like letting out

> dreams, ideals,

> poisons

> don’t ask us to sing,

> laughing is singing to us,

> you see, it was a terrible joke

> Christ should have laughed on the cross,

> it would have petrified his killers

> now there are more killers than ever

> and I write poems for them.

u/zebulonworkshops · 5 pointsr/Poetry

I think all the actual suggestions I made in this post would apply here (disregard that it's about buying a poetry gift, you're the 'they' or 'she' in this haha) so I'll paste it in and make a few additional suggestions. But #1 suggestion is to read through Poetry 180 and when you find pieces you like to search those poets in google or at poetryfoundation.com (they also have a great browse function where you can search by theme, 'school', poet, subject, occasion etc)


There's certainly a wide variety of options, the best options are mostly more poetry to read. All good poets read lots of poetry. I mean, sure, there's probably 3 or 4 out there that don't, but outliers aside, poets read poetry. So there's a couple options, if she only started writing a couple years ago, I would suggest a workshop type text book and a subscription to a nice literary journal like American Poetry Review, Rattle, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Georgia Review, Arts & Letters, Five Points, Gettysburg Review, Paris Review etc. Depending on the type of poets she likes, different magazines would be better.

One good tact would be to ask them for a few of their favorite poets, maybe say you're thinking about reading more poetry or something, or just ask. Do a google search for their name and "literary journal" or "literary review". If you see that name in any of the above journals I mentioned, get her that subscription. If not, consider getting her one of their collections from Amazon. For anthologies, which are great for young poets especially, because it can help introduce a reader to many similar or dissimilar voices to broaden their reading horizons, and also some of the books I'll be recommending have a strong prompt/craft component to help them continue to develop. I especially recommend the bolded titles, and Seriously Funny, while good, may be a bit complicated for a newish reader of poetry. But I could be misreading what you mean by poetry career and they could be plenty comfortable with it.

Here are a couple that are good options:

Seriously Funny is a great anthology themed after poems that bring wit to serious topics. It's edited by husband/wife poetry duo David Kirby and Barbara Hamby.

Staying Alive has a great variety of poems organized by theme. These are mostly poems published in the last 50ish years, and lean slightly toward being more accessible (easy to understand) than the first anthology.

Contemporary American Poetry: Behind the Scenes was edited by Ryan G. Van Cleave and is more of a textbook (like the next 2). It has a CD with audio recordings of many of the poets in the book and it is broken up by poet, mostly chronologically I believe. It has some craft essays as well. Being a textbook, new copies are expensive, but used are cheap cheap.

The Poet's Companion is edited by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, both tremendous poets in their own right. This one is more oriented in using poems to spark your own writing, but it does have a good amount of poetry in there, and the craft essays are brief and to the point.

In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop edited by Steve Kowit is also a great textbook for producing your own writing by looking at certain aspects of other poems. Stylistically this is similar to The Poet's Companion, and both are tremendous. Used they're each only $6 with shipping too.

Or, here are a few books that you can't go wrong with: Rose by Li-Young Lee, Tell Me by Kim Addonizio, Rail by Kai Carlson-Wee, The House of Blue Light by David Kirby, American Noise by Campbell McGrath, The Gary Snyder Reader—a huge book, but great, Some Ether by Nick Flynn


If you find a few more specific poets you like and want to find more of feel free to message me, and if I'm familiar with them I'll shoot you some more suggestions. A couple other poets who get personal and focus on minutiae/details etc would be like Albert Goldbarth, Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Matthew Neinow, Nick Latz, Gaylord Brewer, Ted Kooser, Philip Levine and, a couple that do similar with a definitely stylistic approach would be like Bob Hicok, Dean Young, Alex Lemon and Emma Bolden. For other lyrics/audio you may enjoy Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Ani DiFranco, Utah Phillips, Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, Atmosphere/Slug, Josh Martinez...

Best of luck on your journey!

u/authorjtdavis · 4 pointsr/AskMen

I wrote and self-published a book of poetry about her. I don't much like poetry and I'm not very good at it, but it was heartfelt and she loved it. I even put it up on amazon and put the link on our knot.com page in case other people wanted to read it haha

u/chimrichalds · 3 pointsr/books

Like you, I find most of his poetry pretty drab but I really like this collection:

The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems 1946-1966


An Amazon review that is a bit insulting but accurate nevertheless:

By A. S. Lyons on September 5, 2005
"If you're a Buk fan you'll want to check out his earlier 'more lyrical' poetry; basically not as raw and hard-hitting as his work in the Seventies and beyond, a bit more fancy word-work involved, but still interesting. If you're not a fan, and prefer all that pretentious abstract imagist poetry, then this is probably the only book by the man that you might like... "

u/ProblemBesucher · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

well. A book that changed my life back when I was 15 was Walden from Thoreau. I threw away everything I owned. yeah I mean everything even my bed. I own nothing that dates from before I was 15. Would this have the same effect today? who knows.

back then, the book Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche had something to to with me ''taking a break'' from school, contributing too did: genealogy of Morals, into the wild, Adorno - dialectic of Enlightenment ( had no idea what that guy was talking about back then but made me real queasy about the world nonetheless.)

books that changed my life recently: Lying from Sam Harris. Steven Pinker - Enlightenment now made me pick a lot of fights with people who like to hate this world.

Insanity of Normality made me forgive some people I had real bad feelings toward, though I'm sceptical now of what is said in the book

unless you understand german you won't be able to read this: Blödmachinen , made me a snob in regards to media. Bernard Stieglers books might have the same effect in english

oh and selfish gene by Dawkins made me less judgmental. Don't know why. I just like people more


oh lest I forget: Kandinsky - Concerning The Spiritual in Art made me paint my appartement black blue; Bukowski and the Rubaiyat made me drink more, Born To Run made me run barefoot, Singers Practical Ethics made me donate money and buy far less stuff.

u/MrWhelmed · 3 pointsr/Poetry


All the Millay you could ever want (or enough to keep you reading for quite a while). Approximately 740 pages of her work for $13 new. Enjoy!

u/amazon-converter-bot · 2 pointsr/FreeEBOOKS

Here are all the local Amazon links I could find:














Beep bloop. I'm a bot to convert Amazon ebook links to local Amazon sites.
I currently look here: amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca, amazon.com.au, amazon.in, amazon.com.mx, amazon.de, amazon.it, amazon.es, amazon.com.br, amazon.nl, amazon.co.jp, amazon.fr, if you would like your local version of Amazon adding please contact my creator.

u/brittlepage · 2 pointsr/Poetry

Also a college student here. I just bought one from Amazon for 12ish bucks and it’s pretty good (didn’t have ‘I, being a woman’ though, oddly) but you can buy it used for around $4.

Collected Poems https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062015273/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nueNAbY7VTVZS

u/globaldu · 2 pointsr/cripplingalcoholism

Bluebird for me. I know it's cheesy, but it makes me swell up every time.

Often my wife and I take turns reciting poems from my Bukowski Bible and I can't read Bluebird without choking up.

u/dappledthings · 2 pointsr/books

I got into poetry because I took a class. It forced me to pause over poems that I otherwise probably would have read once, skipping them because I didn't understand them. But like a lot of things in life, we must linger long over things we don't understand, forcing ourselves to admit we don't get it, working though tough problems. Poetry, for me, has been an excellent way to develop the skill of lingering.

That being said, the next step is finding the poets you like. Sure, there are poets who are more accessible because of their use of conversational rhythms and minimal high-brow references and diction. Charles Bukowski is a great one for an earthy, Dionysian feel. If you want a different style, you may like Stephen Dunn, who seems more wise and contemplative in his poems (which contain less references to his anatomy than Bukowski).

But in general, you will need to read widely and drink deep. Maybe get a general anthology that would allow you to read short poems by multiple different authors, so that you can find what you like. Better still, a textbook would help explain technical aspects of a poem. Learning the technical aspects opened up worlds for me. Not knowing the technical aspects of an art is like listening to radio music and not knowing what or where the chorus is. It would hardly make sense.

Another strategy, like a class, would be to grab somebody who is interested in poetry and read poems together. That way, you can offer interpretations on poems to each other. No two people ever see a poem the same way, and learning what other people see in a poem not only enhances your own experience of the poem, but it helps build a connection between you and other people.

One last thought: it helped me to remember in the beginning that poets are just people. They are struggling with the same questions as us all. Who am I? How should I act toward my fellow humans? Where am I going when I die? Is there a God? Will I be remembered? Reading poetry is a way to discover how others have dealt with those questions.

Have fun! That's important, too. :)

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Can't find it either, but you can find the poem in this book

u/waitingforbatman · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

First figure out what style of poetry you like. Do this by reading some sort of anthology. I would recommend Perrine's Sound & Sense, which can be on the expensive side depending on what edition you buy, but is probably the most useful book I've ever bought. It was required for one of my high school classes, but I can't count the number of times I've referred back to it since then or just sat down and reread it for the hell of it.

Two protips for reading poetry: (1) take a lot of time with each poem; read it more than once; consider the significance of all its elements, and (2) don't pause (mentally or out loud) at the end of a line unless there's punctuation there. Sorry if you think that's really basic advice; I'm just surprised at the number of people who don't know this. It improves comprehension a lot.

That said, the most recent poetry collections I've read and would recommend are Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia, The Book of Medicines by Linda Hogan, Ideal Cities by Erica Meitner, and Ariel by Sylvia Plath. If you're looking for something less contemporary, John Donne is my favorite poet of all time.

u/CasualPancake · 2 pointsr/FrankOcean

I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean by Shayla Lawson

Here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989979784/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

u/hectma · 2 pointsr/books

I'm a big fan of Love is a Dog From Hell. I think The Shower is collected in The Pleasures of the Damned.

u/redwoodser · 2 pointsr/philadelphia

I've not seen that and after your advice I will. Thanks.

I don’t have many books by Bukowski, but I think he’s painfully brilliant. This review by another speaks for me. It’s about the first book by him I bought many years ago that completely changed my mind about his work.

“This book, while definitely some of the earlier, less polished material of Bukowski's, was a game changer for me! My perception of what poetry is and can be has forever been altered. For the first time in my life, I'm reading and writing poetry without boundaries. This collection is a must-read!”


u/coatimundim · 2 pointsr/Poetry

[Rose] (http://www.amazon.com/Rose-New-Poets-America-Li-Young/dp/0918526531) is a particularly strong collection in general.

I highly recommend it.

u/NedBenson · 2 pointsr/IAmA

So many! I guess it depends on the day, but I love poetry by Stephen Dunn, he had a book of poetry called "Different hours" that i loved. As for artwork, it really depends on the day. But i love Turner, I love Sergeant, I love Moore...

u/gnorrn · 2 pointsr/quotes

You really need the original formatting here:

> the first president to be loved by his
> bitterest enemies” is dead
> the only man woman or child who wrote
> a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical
> errors “is dead”
> beautiful Warren Gamaliel Harding
> “is” dead
> he's
> “dead”
> ...

u/rainbowbritest · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

The Time Travelers Wife :)
The Road Not Taken and Other Poems
I'll go with... #45

u/SirDucky · 1 pointr/literature

Eulogy to a Hell of a Dame is what got me into Bukowski. Personally I always thought his poetry far surpassed his prose. I think The Pleasures of the Damned is a great best-of album (it's an anthology of selected poetry compiled after his death).

u/KittenAnne · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I am sure that you have most likely checked out Robert Frost.

Maybe some ee cummings? He writes some odd poems!

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

u/RyanTheGod · 1 pointr/writing

Many people that read my poetry claim I'm a mix of Frost and e.e. cummings. I'll take it. I actually have E.E. Cummings: Complete Poems, 1904-1962. Have read through about 1/3 of it. Love it. Definitely was mimicking him without knowing.

u/rygel_sir · 1 pointr/OCPoetry

link to my poetry book on kindle/amazon is it okay to leave something like this here?

u/veritasae · 1 pointr/wordcount

Well color me ignorant. I know nothing of what you speak. I took a look at Frederick Turner's The New world - the best I could come up with was the Amazon Page for it where you read some excerpts.

I read some of the introductory information, also the first couple of stanzas. I must admit, it feels like it must be an acquired taste. What do you think about epic poetry as an art form? (Besides to obvious - you are writing in it of course) Do you feel like it is an acquired taste? And if so - how do you find yourself composing epic poetry as opposed to some other form of poetry, or straight fiction?

When you speak of using The New World as a close analogue for your own, in what regard to you refer? Meter? Plot? Genre? All of the above, or possibly only some?

u/MaryOutside · 1 pointr/literature

I think maybe I just ordered it from the library. I know this is different, but I am a fan of Frederik Turner's The New World, which is also long-form, modern poetry.

u/long_way_home · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems, 1904-1962

I remember first reading E.E. Cummings back in high school, and he was the first poet that I ever really connected with. I loved the funny way the wrote and how his lines were almost separated like thoughts. I definitely went through a copycat period where I was hugely inspired by his work, and even though my list of favorite poets has expanded since, he'll always be my "first" haha. Thanks for the contest!

Edit: OH! Used is more than fine :) The more you read the more you know