New Selections, Enduring Value
The Fifth Edition includes 1,828 poems (191 new) by 334 poets (17 new); the Shorter Fifth Edition includes 1,113 poems (124 new) by 251 poets (12 new). No other poetry anthology offers such abundance, which is why students hold onto The Norton Anthology of Poetry long after the course ends—it is their poetry reference for life.
In response to instructors’ requests, a number of important works by major poets have been added to the Fifth Edition. New additions include: Chaucer, "The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale"; Spenser, "The Shepheardes Calendar: Aprill" and book 1, canto 2 of The Fairie Queene; Shakespeare, ten additional sonnets; Milton, from Book 4 of Paradise Lost; Mary Wroth, 7 additional sonnets; Swift, "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift"; Keats, "Lamia"; T. S. Eliot, "Little Gidding" and "The Hollow Men."
Instructors committed to teaching the rich diversity of English-language poetry will welcome the Fifth Edition’s increased attention to world poetry in English and to often-overlooked American voices. Among the poets newly included are Richard Wright, Weldon Kees, Robyn Sarah, Charles Bernstein, Anne Carson, Vikram Seth, and Simon Armitage.
New Help with Syntax and Versification
An indispensable aid in helping students become better readers and interpreters of poetry, Margaret Ferguson’s new essay, "Poetic Syntax," goes to the heart of a perennial stumbling block—how to recognize, describe, analyze, and appreciate syntactic ambiguity in English poetry.
Jon Stallworthy’s much-admired essay, "Versification," has been revised to offer clearer explanations of rhyme and form while paying new attention to metrics in Old and Middle English and Renaissance verse.
Annotations throughout the anthology have been extensively revised to clarify archaisms and allusions, and biographical sketches situating the poet’s life, works, and literary concerns have been updated. A more legible typeface has also been adopted for this edition.
Resources Highlighting Intertextuality
Poetry instructors have come to depend on the flexibility and rich intertextuality of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Three free learning resources—one online, for students, and two in print, for instructors—now offer more possibilities for demonstrating ways that poems speak to one another across time, place, and tradition through literal borrowings, forms, conventions, themes, and cultural concerns, among other means.