Introduction to Literary Context: American Poetry of the 20th Century Review

“Salem Press’s new entry in the Introduction to Literary Context series covers the most studied American poetry of the twentieth century. The 34 poems featured include those by such important poets as Robert Frost, Anne Sexton, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, and others. The 11 men and 12 women represented in the book cover a variety of ages, life styles, political beliefs, and poetical styles. Like the other books in the series, the essays are arranged alphabetically by title, and each essay is divided into six sections-content synopsis, historical context, societal context, religious context, scientific context, and biographical context-and concludes with discussion questions, essay ideas, and a bibliography of works cited. Clearly written essays effectively summarize the poems and then bring out the important contextual influences that help students understand the poems and their authors. An important aspect of each essay is the discussion of the rhyme scheme and how it was influenced by such great poets as Dante, Shakespeare, and Whitman and foreign poetry forms from such countries as Italy and Japan. High-school students, college students, and teachers will find these essays very helpful, while the discussion questions and essay ideas will give them further insights into the poems. A recommended purchase for most public, school, and college libraries.”
- Booklist